Is Online for Me?
If you have never taken an online class before, you may have some misunderstandings about how online courses really work.
Let’s start by talking about some of the many benefits of online education.
- You don’t have to worry about travel time to class or finding a parking place on campus.
- You can focus on your classwork around your busy schedule. Can’t attend class on Tuesday because you have another obligation? No problem! You can log in to class around your schedule.
- Need to review a concept to get a better understanding? Resources are at your fingertips–both within the course and elsewhere online.
- Gaining technical proficiency by taking online classes will serve you well in the workplace. Businesses increasingly rely on technology for interaction with clients, co-workers and vendors. The opportunity to work with the evolving technology will be an advantage.
Online education myths:
- Online classes are easier. No. Online classes offer you more flexibility to learn on your own time, but you will have the same amount of work.
- No group projects! Another ‘no’. Just because you are taking a course online doesn’t mean you will not be required to work in small groups. Group assignments are an important part of your education and will still be required online.
- No class discussions. Wrong again. Most likely you will need to do weekly discussion board posts around specific topics and interact virtually with your classmates on this subject.
- Flexible assignment deadlines. Online courses will have regular assignments just like in class…complete with deadlines for submitting the work.
Tips for Taking Online Classes
- Time Management is key. Students must be self-motivated, self-disciplined learners to succeed in online courses. You need to be able to tell yourself to ‘go to class’.
- Hold yourself accountable. Treat an online course like it was in a classroom. Schedule regular ‘class time’ for you to cover the material and complete assignments.
- Create a space specifically for studying, stay organized and eliminate distractions. While it may be fun to think of completing your assignments in the living room while watching your favorite television show, that’s not the best environment for succeeding in your online class. Set up a space that is quiet and allows you to not be distracted while you are completing your coursework.
- Actively participate and interact. Just because you are not in a physical classroom doesn’t mean you cannot interact with your fellow students and your instructor. Build your network with other students. Consider setting up virtual study groups if you’re having difficulty. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor if you have questions or need additional assistance.