Are you thinking of taking an online college course, but are not sure whether or not this course format will work for you? Well, here are some of the major requirements when taking an online college course:
Time management. One of the nice points about taking an online college course is that you can engage in the course during the times you have free to do so. While online courses have deadlines just like face-to-face courses, you will likely find it easier to meet these deadlines because you can attend an online course at different hours of the day. This means that you can work around your other activities. Even so, you will likely spend more time online than you would in a face-to-face class. The key to meeting deadlines in an online course is discipline with your time. Since you don’t have to attend a face-to-face class, it is really easy to put off your class participation. Yes, an online course does allow for some freedom in attendance, but you do still have to attend the course.
Written instructions. Another nice point about taking an online college course is that everything comes in written form. This means that you do not have to rely on notes that you took in regards to an assignment and/or course lecture. All is put into writing, including your responses in the course. This way, you have everything up front for all assignments. Too, if you are not clear on any particular set of instructions, you can email the instructor for clarification. This helps the instructor out, too, because if one student is unclear about a set of instructions, then chances are at least one other student has questions. This helps an instructor pinpoint ambiguities for correcting the posted instructions. What you do need to realize, though, is that having everything in writing safeguards the instructor, as well.
It makes it difficult for you to say that you did not know, did not understand, or did not remember a particular point because it is all in front of you, and the instructor will hold you responsible for reading the vast amount of information posted in the online course. This could be a downside to taking an online course because it does take quite of bit of time commitment to read and understand all the information. So, if you are considering an online college course because you think that you will have more free time for other things or will do less work, think again. You do the same amount of work as you do in a face-to-face college course, and it will likely take you more time to do it because you have to read all the discussions, all the notes, and all the assignments. This is the trade off for the privilege of flexibility.
Permanent notes. Notes come easier in an online college course because the instructor posts lectures in writing. You get to read the student discussion in the discussion forum, and you get written feedback for any questions you have, as well as the graded assignments. You can print all this information off and keep it in a notebook for later reference. Too, you can do a course search for a quick reference of information when completing an assignment or studying for a test. How cool is this? Beware, though, your online instructor can track whether or not you’re reading the posted information, so do read all postings. If not, this can affect your grade for the course.
*Taking an online college course means that you have to be a self-disciplined student to be successful.