Innovations in technology and education delivery have changed the ways we learn Massage Therapy.
Today’s society is focused on convenience. Most of our choices these days are based on convenience, we can order dinner from our smart phone through a voice app in our car while driving home from work. We are busy and the task of learning a whole new skill set, even if it leads to an amazing new career, can be a real challenge. Luckily for those interested in pursuing a rewarding career in massage therapy, learning has become a lot more convenient!
For the first time, massage therapy theory courses are now available online.
*MAJOR CAVEAT: Obviously, only portions of a massage therapy program can be delivered online. EVERY massage therapy student will and must experience the hands-on training that is at the core of the profession. BUT, today, with improved technology, students can take some classes online (bio-sciences, theory, business, ethics etc) for convenience and enhanced learning!
For our next blog in our informational series, we continue our chat with Pete Medd, president of Massage Therapy Online about how the innovations in technology is benefiting not only those wanting to learn the skills but the industry as a whole. The massage therapy industry had been resistant to new delivery methods of education, but luckily that is slowly changing. The biggest reason for this growing acceptance for new online delivery is because the quality of the educational content and product has grown and improved exponentially in recent years. In the past, courses were mostly a correspondence-based learning experience which was limiting, very one-dimensional. With the incredible advances in todays technology, the learning experience is much more multidimensional, interactive, greater and enhanced communication between teacher and student, as well as between students.
And the most significant benefit for the learners is the convenience factor, being able to fit an educational program into a busy lifestyle. Most of Massage Therapy Online learners have other careers and family obligations that take up a lot of their time and it would not be feasible to stop all of that to pursue a traditional educational tract. Many learners have financial responsibilities and/or families that need to be cared for and offering these courses online have opened up the possibilities for these people to do all of that AND study along an educational path to the career they truly want to pursue.
Online courses have come a long way from the user-driven, click and read models with cheesy clipart. The courses offered by Massage Therapy Online are engaging and utilize the latest technology for an enhanced learning experience. Our courses, as you will find with any quality online, e-learning program, approaches a subject matter through various, interactive activities, employing multimedia experiences like reactive videos, real life experiential learning activities (for example, interviewing a massage therapist and writing a 3 page report on your experience) Approaching the different subject matters from different angles keeps the learner engaged and helps with information retention. Then that knowledge is tested through quizzes and exams. This program is competency-based so the testing is not to punish learners but is used as a feedback loop to let students know their strengths and weaknesses, really emphasizing that the real importance is that they understand the subject matter.
We have some really amazing teaching tools that get great feedback from learners. Learners really seem to like the 3D Anatomy app that is integrated into the learning program. The entire human anatomy is at your fingertips and the 3D aspect makes it really easy to comprehend how everything fits together. It is an impressive interactive tool that the student then gets to keep after the course as they move forward as a professional, which they also seem to really appreciate. Another aspect of the online course that gets very positive feedback from the students are the discussion forums. Instructors facilitate the discussions of various topics and this platform fosters some indepth discussions between students and between students and instructors, a great place for knowledge exchange. We obviously monitor these forums and we have been pleasantly surprised by the threads that have deviated from the original topic but are unexpectedly productive and demonstrate the enjoyment and benefit of people from all walks of life across the country interacting and learning from one another.
Our instructors also benefit from the online learning platform. We have passionate massage therapy professionals with extensive career and teaching experience and they enjoy the convenience of online teaching, especially because the advanced technology allows for such engagement. This allows them to stay active as therapists but also give back to the industry, mentor and share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of massage therapists.
Aside from the convenience, these advances in education technology has also resulted in major cost savings for businesses and students. We can deliver high quality education without the overhead costs for fancy classrooms or operating costs for a brick and mortar location. This can translate to savings of 30-50% off normal costs. That is a real game changer for a lot of people and makes the education much more accessible for people in a wide range of financial situations.
Our program is full of visually engaging, interactive presentations, 3D anatomy and physiology apps, stimulating discussion forums, embedded e-books that have the option to convert text to audio so you can listen to the lessons like an audio book. All of these innovations and advances are included in our online courses that are both convenient and cost saving, making it a smarter choice for those taking the first steps to becoming a massage therapist.