Request a Review

Three Reasons to Get a Professional Independent Review

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Student reviews are rarely constructive, representative and objective. A professional review is precise, honest and impartial – you’ll know for sure where to concentrate your precious time and resources.

Stand out in your niche! Appeal to more people by showing that you care about quality. Courses with an independent review are more popular than those without.

Get clear, actionable and expert advice. No more worrying about finding information on ‘everything’ – we’ll give you a checklist of exactly what you need to do to improve the quality of your course.

“the standard of something measured against other things of a similar kind;

the degree of excellence of something”

How it works

1 - Submit your course in just a few clicks

You can do this right now by using the payment gateway below, or through receiving coaching and review from an official OTI Professional Course Reviewer. We need your payment, a link to your course (100% discount coupon if you charge for your course) and your contact details.

2 - Relax while a professional reviews it

Unless you choose one of the ‘In a hurry’ options, we will aim to turn your course review around within ten working days. This includes a first review and a Quality Check review. All official OTI Professional Reviewers are trained to the same high standard. See ‘Be a reviewer‘ for more details.

3 - Receive your quality review report

This will show you a full assessment against the criteria (see The Standards) – a summary of your overall score and your score in each of the seven quality sections, with detailed practical and constructive feedback. If your course is assessed at 65% or higher, you also get a promotional badge to use.

4 - Stand out in your niche: get more sales!

If you receive a badge of quality, you can use this in your course promotional material to show potential learners that you offer a quality course. We will also promote your course through our marketing channels, including the Index on this website, our Twitter feed and to our other email followers.

“the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service,

that bears its ability to satisfy stated or implied need”

Each course review generates a full report.

Example report opening pages purple background
Example report summary pages purple background
Example report detailed pages purple background
Example report checklist pages purple background

This shows the overall score and score by quality section, with detailed reporting and a full checklist for refinement.

The Badges

Good Badge
Read more about the Good Quality Badge

This badge is awarded to courses that reach at least 65% of the assessment criteria. New trainers putting a first course together should aim for this level as a minimum. Showing a 'Good' badge in course publicity tells prospective learners that this trainer takes their teaching task seriously and has learners' best interests at heart.

Great Badge
Read more about the Great Quality Badge

This badge is awarded to courses that reach at least 75% of the assessment criteria. Trainers who have offline experience, or who have a few courses available, with at least one cycle of feedback incorporated, will most likely be here. Showing a 'Great' badge in course publicity tells prospective learners that this trainer is experienced and they will receive a high standard of training.

Excellent Badge
Read more about the Excellent Quality Badge

This badge is awarded to courses that reach at least 85% of the assessment criteria. Experienced online trainers with a strong learner following and multiple points of access are most likely to be here. Showing an 'Excellent' badge in course publicity tells prospective learners that this trainer operates at a high level of skill and provides training that is world-class.

Outstanding Badge
Read more about the Outstanding Quality Badge

This badge is awarded to courses that reach at least 95% of the assessment criteria. Experienced trainers with credibility and a global following are likely to be here - but it is not a crowded group! Showing an 'Outstanding' badge in course publicity tells prospective learners that this trainer provides a world-class learning experience that offers much more than just the course.

“meeting the minimum standard required to satisfy customer need

If your course is more than 5 hours long, or you have more than 6 courses you want reviewed,

contact us today for a bespoke deal – info@onlinetrainingindex.com

To purchase one of the review combinations above,

use the gateway below:

Choose your review requirement:
Course Link(s) - must be free!

Can’t afford it in one hit?

You can pay monthly (total payable $240/yr).

One course, standard review (10-day turnaround) only
Course Link - must be free!

FAQs

(frequently asked questions)

Wow - getting a rating feels like a big ask ...

First of all, we don’t anticipate that the majority of (caring) online trainers will need to make many adjustments to achieve a ‘Good’ rating. Yes, there has to be a minimum cut off somewhere, but this is about giving learners such a good experience, they want to come back for more – and that’s good for everyone, right?!

Secondly, this is about supporting and encouraging online trainers to raise their game – the higher the quality of training, the happier learners will be. Happy learners spread the word far more effectively than trainer-led publicity, which in turn leads to more sales and more people wanting to take courses that are rated – and rated well. All of these things lead to happy trainers!

At OTI we’re all about the win-win, so if it feels a little bit too much like hard work to get to a minimum standard, maybe online training’s not for you?

Why is a review done annually?

We think one year is the maximum amount of time any online course should be left without some kind of update (or even a full overhaul for some subject matters).

We want to encourage online trainers to factor updates and refreshes into their courses and the annual renewal of a review of quality is one way to do that.

How long does a review take?

Once an application has been made (assuming all the required information is given), we aim to turn a standard review around in ten working days. Each review goes through a Quality Check with a different reviewer, before the result is finalised and the review result and report are sent out. There are also options to Fast Track (five days) or Queue Jump (two days) for a higher fee. These options aren’t available for the three-for-two bulk course review offer though.

Any course which achieves a rating of Excellent or Outstanding at the first review will be checked by a more senior reviewer. Having a Quality Check stage is not only best practice for reviewing services, it also ensures we are maintaining the high values and standards of OTI that learners and trainers expect, trust and rely on.

Are there any courses you won't review?

Although we’re generally pretty relaxed about course subject matter, there are a few areas we will not review – this list below is indicative, not exhaustive, so if you request a review and we decide your subject matter is not something we’re comfortable with, we will give you a full refund (please note that this refund is only available where courses are ‘up front’ and obvious about their subject matter – if your course is subversively trying to cover a subject matter we don’t like, we’ll tell you but keep your money …).

So we won’t review any courses that teach others how to commit or have the tools/techniques to commit:

  • acts of terrorism
  • crimes against minors, vulnerable adults or animals
  • actions that promote, encourage or incite any kind of prejudicial behaviour or action against others of a different gender, race, religion (including non-religion), ability, sexual orientation, financial situation or any other way of distinguishing one group of humans from another
  • actions that promote or encourage self-harm

We think that should cover most things, but if you want to check your course subject matter will be accepted before submitting it for review, we can do that – simply email info@onlinetrainingindex.com  Please note though that if we say your course subject matter is ok for review after a quick check like this and then find you have some subversive content in there, you don’t get a refund!

My course isn't quite ready - can I still get a review?

Short answer on this one – no! We will only review completed and published courses (i.e. they must be available for people to join/take the course).

What if my course is hosted in different places?

It’s not unusual for instructors to have content repeated on different platforms, however, any rating review received and subsequent badge awarded is for the single course on the single platform.

For example, you may have some ‘teaser’ free videos from your full course available on YouTube, which act as a lead magnet for your paid course on a hosted platform. If you have a review completed of the full course with a rating and badge given, you cannot imply that your YouTube videos are ‘badged’ as these are not what has been reviewed. You can of course mention that the full paid course is ‘badged’!

If you have a course reviewed that is available on different platforms that has EXACTLY the same content, availability, bonus material and opportunities, then please get in touch so we can check this and give you formal approval to use the badge in more than one place. Please note though that ANY difference in the offering that is part of the review assessment process means it is effectively a different course. This means you will need to apply (and pay for) for a separate review.

Do you review courses that are not in English?

We don’t currently review courses that are not in English, but we are interested in talking with anyone who would like to be a reviewer in another language. Please get in touch through info@onlinetrainingindex.com

Why isn't price part of the assessment criteria?

The price of an online course is too easily manipulated to be a consistent indicator of quality – with online courses, you don’t necessarily get what you pay for! By taking price out of the equation, learners can decide if the course quality is worth the price they are being asked to pay.

Why isn't length part of the assessment criteria?

Along with price, length is another factor that can too easily be manipulated. An online course is a short-cut for a learner to get the information they want. No-one wants to have to wait longer than necessary to get that!

If it only takes half an hour to learn a basic concept or skill, then that’s how long the course should be. It makes sense to assume that a more complicated skill or higher level of skill is likely to take a longer period of time.

We would expect learners to apply their own common sense to using length as well – if they expect to learn brain surgery in half an hour for example, then they may not be the learners you’re looking for …

Why aren't learner reviews part of the assessment criteria?

Not so long ago, a major online marketplace had a purge on learner reviews shown against courses – purely because they recognised that too many instructors had been using ‘underhand methods’ to get ‘5 star’ reviews (such as review swaps, paid ‘student’ reviews and other tactics), which jeopardised the credibility of the whole system.  Any incentive to leave a review begins to go down a slippery path – some instructors were incentivising people to only leave glowing recommendations (sometimes without the reviewer having taken the course at all!).

While consumer reviews can be useful for many purchases, unfortunately there are too many ways to ‘game’ the system, so although we will look at them if available, they don’t carry a massive sway on an assessment score. There are some ‘independent’ learner review websites, but these tend to be biased towards the university-led MOOCs and in some cases are a result of a partnership between universities and the review site itself.

Online Training Index is proudly independent and not tied to any marketplace, platform or online course provider – our assessments are the closest you can get to impartial and objective!

What if I disagree with the review rating - can I appeal?

Of course – although we would strongly encourage you to take a good look at the report you receive and see if you disagree with the recommendations for improvement 🙂

If you are convinced that the review process has missed vital elements of your course that would give it a higher rating, please get in touch with us at info@onlinetrainingindex.com and we will send you a copy of the appeal process, an appeal application and payment details.

The payment is nominal but necessary to deter frivolous appeals! If your appeal is upheld, you will be refunded the appeal fee. If not, you won’t. In most cases your appeal will be reviewed by the most senior reviewer available (and someone who hasn’t previously reviewed your course).

How many reviewers are there?

At the moment we don’t publish that information, or the names of our reviewers – because some of them want to simply be learners sometimes rather than reviewers!

However, if you are approached by someone claiming to be an official reviewer (we encourage our reviewers to offer coaching to trainers to improve their courses), we will confirm whether or not that person is part of our reviewer network.

Surely you don't have expert reviewers in every subject?

We’ve actually got pretty good coverage of many subject areas, but we also don’t like to only have ‘experts’ review particular subjects either. This is because someone with a high proficiency in a subject is likely to have forgotten what it feels like to learn about the subject for the first time. They will therefore find it more difficult to review a course from a learner’s point of view.

Naturally some courses will only be suitable for those who already have a high proficiency in a subject (such as a course taking someone from intermediate to advanced level), in which case we will assign a reviewer with a suitable level of proficiency to do the review.

Why are all payments in US dollars?

The largest global market for online training is currently the United States of America – this is also where the majority of major online marketplaces and platforms are based (there are some notable exceptions). However, many digital products and especially online training, whether it originated in the USA or not, is priced in USD – it is the (currently) commonly accepted universal currency for online courses.

At some point in the future, we are planning to be able to offer payment in local currencies, but until that time, we will stick with USD, As our payment gateway is PayPal, you will find that you are charged in your own currency at a rate of exchange determined by PayPal on the day of withdrawal.

If you live in a country that does not allow PayPal, but you want to make a purchase from OTI, please get in touch through info@onlinetrainingindex.com and we will work something else out.

How do you know what you're talking about?

Great question – and definitely the right one to ask! Online Training Index is a culmination of real experience in training both offline and online (with outstanding feedback from learners), best practice as published by a wide range of expert educators and evidence from other trainers and online course providers.

In addition, findings from published reviews and studies of online learners’ thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviours with online courses have been added into the grading mix.

Last but not least, our founder’s last corporate role before setting up her own successful independent training company was Head of Insight and Performance for a globally respected organisation – so she knows a thing or two about analysing performance-related data 😉