Taking an Online Course?

Online classes have been around for years and through advancements in technology, they are continuing to be commonly utilized. Online classes aren’t better or worse than traditional classes – they just offer a different blend of challenges for the average student. There are advantages and disadvantages to taking classes online, but you shouldn’t allow some of these traits to affect how you attend online classes.

Here are a few tips to guide you through your online course

First, you should check the school’s website for the recommended software and hardware for the course of study. An online course may require students to stream a podcast or participate in a video conference. So make sure you have all the necessary apps and tools to start the course. Also, use reliable Wi-Fi. You don’t want your internet to cut in the middle of an important lecture or a major test. Have a backup place to go, if your home internet cuts out.

The greatest advantage of online classes is also one of their greatest weaknesses. Taking a class online generally doesn’t require you to be at a certain place at a certain time, so you have more flexibility. But this can lead you to easily mismanage your time and procrastinate. Follow a consistent schedule and set goals to remain on track.

One misconception is that it’s easier to take an online class, because you can do it at your own pace. Yes, you do have more flexibility, but it’s not any easier. Most accredited online courses are just as difficult as their in-person classes. If you underestimate the difficulty of a class, you’ll be less likely to succeed. Go into your online classes expecting something challenging, and meet that challenge accordingly.

When you’re online, all the information and entertainment in the world is right in-front of you—and that can be a major distraction. When you’re in the middle of an uninteresting lecture, you’ll be tempted to use social media, read an article, or find some other excuse that make you drift off. Avoid getting distracted.

Lastly, learning online shouldn’t mean working in isolation. Most online programs have academic counselors to help struggling students. Also, students should network with classmates virtually – via social media and course forums and in person when possible. Take the college online experience offline by meeting up with classmates that are nearby.

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