There are a lot of people offering distance Reiki certification. Distance learning has existed for years. Attunements are the only thing that makes a Reiki course different from others. See my articles on Attunements and Distance Attunements for some specifics on their place in Reiki. Instead, I would like to talk about the rest of the Reiki course as applied to distance learning.
To often, distance Reiki courses consist of a manual, distance attunement, and certificate. Often, the teacher would give an email address so the student could send questions. This method provides no actual teaching. A good distance learning course must have three components: core material, interactivity, and accountability.
What makes good core material? Good core material is easy to retain, flexible, and progressive. Studies show that the type of instruction affects retention. Lecturing is the lowest, then reading, video, multimedia, and finally hands on. Studies also show that combining methods work even better. The more methods you can incorporate, the easier it is to retain the information. The material should be flexible enough to allow for many modes of learning. Each lesson should build on the last. Students should be able to go through the material in order and properly build on it. Structured, progressive lessons that incorporate multimedia, audio lectures, and hands on practice are the best way to go.
Attunements are part of the core training. A distance attunement should be a scheduled time between the student and the teacher. Many distance course rely on chi ball attunements or self attunements. These make the student feel unimportant. A good teacher should take the time and schedule any attunements. If possible, a phone call or video chat should accompany it.
What makes good interactivity? Students need to be able to interact with the teacher and each other. This last part is crucial. Students who figure out their own answers will retain the information much better. But this needs to be in a monitored environment, so if they go of course, the instructor can navigate them back. For distance learning, you can use phone calls, online, chat, and webinars. These are all good, but they do not allow for time zone and other schedule issues, which is one of the key advantages of distance learning. A discussion forum with an email component is a good choice for Internet solutions. The instructor can schedule live calls or chats to supplement this.
What makes good accountability? Now here is the tricky one. In school, teachers assign homework and ask students to solve problems at the blackboard. They also give pop quizzes and tests. Distance learning can recreate all these. But with something like Reiki, how are you going to give homework and test? There are a couple of ways, but a technique one teacher used on me was meditation reports. These are reports, or journal entries if you prefer, on the various exercises assigned to the students. You could test them on some of the material, and have them fill out healing reports on Reiki sessions provided to others. But for accountability to be there, the teacher has to read and comment on all them.
You can go on eBay and find dozens of distance Reiki course that will send you a PDF manual, PDF certificate, and distance attunement. But is that really teaching. No. Teaching requires interaction and accountability. If you are interested in a distance Reiki course, look for one that offers all three.