Is Online Learning Right For You?
What is online learning?
It’s a great option for students who are good at managing their time and are self-motivated. Participate in weekly on-line discussions, complete assignments, and take exams at whatever time of day is convenient for you as long as you meet the course deadlines. Some professors will require you to come to campus for an orientation or exam but others may not.
Do you have access to a computer on a daily basis?
To be successful, you should log into your course every day, though you will spend more time on some days than others doing the learning activities.
Are you comfortable using technology?
As a student in an on-line course, you will be expected to submit your work using software such as Microsoft Office Word and Power Point.
Do you need the flexibility to study and do coursework at hours convenient for you?
Note: On-line courses require similar time commitments to traditional in person courses and should not be “easier” or “more difficult”, but just a different way of learning. Generally speaking, you are expected to spend about 9 hours per week per course.
Do you prefer or enjoy communicating with others in writing?
Although you don’t “meet” with others in person, you will be having on-line conversations with your classmates. There are pros and cons to this approach as compared to sitting together in person. One pro is that you will get to hear from all of your classmates by reading their thoughts and contributions. Another pro is that you will have to reflect on the question being asked and refer to the textbook and other resources before responding. The con is that is can be quite time consuming to read what everyone else has said and it often takes longer to type than it does to talk.
Are you self-motivated and able to keep yourself on track toward your goals?
In a traditional class, attending class is easy because it’s built into your schedule. In an on-line class, you will need to create a schedule that allows you enough coursework time to be successful. As you need to do in all courses, you’ll need to keep track of assignment due dates.
Hopefully this information helps you decide if on-line learning is for you. If you are still unsure, you can reach to the professor who will be teaching the course to find out more about how the course is set up. You can also contact your academic advisor.