While online classes are certainly great in some ways, each student has to make sure that the learning method and responsibility of an online class is suitable for them. Are you a student considering taking classes online? Unsure of what to expect? Not sure what classes to take or when to take them? Continue reading below to gain knowledge about everything you should know before taking an online course. Not only will this give you an idea of what to expect, but will also make the decision process easier for you!
Credit Transfers Are Sometimes Tricky
One very important thing that many students forget to take into consideration when looking into online classes is whether or not the credits will transfer to their institution. Now, this is only the case if you were taking a course(s) at a different school than your main, however, it is still knowledge that all students should know.
Perhaps you’re taking a course over the summer to lessen the number of credits you take in the fall, or maybe you need an easy course to take to fulfill certain criteria in your major — regardless, connect with an academic advisor before enrolling to make sure that the credits transfer correctly and how you expect them to. You don’t want to waste time or money on a course that doesn’t count toward anything!
You Spend Plenty of Hours Online
Just like a regular classroom course, an online course requires hours of invested time. For example, almost all online courses have some form of classroom engagement, whether that is through a voice-thread post or discussion board entry. Discussions allow you to share your knowledge of the topics and lessons of the week as well as bring forward any questions you wish to ask fellow students.
In most cases, instructors will ask a prompt and require you to answer the prompt based on the knowledge of the lessons given that week. Following your response, instructors typically request that you respond to another student’s answer to the prompt with either an agreement, disagreement, or another question. In addition to discussion posts, Stephanie Larson of US News states that your teacher may require you to watch/listen to lectures, participate in group projects and complete other assignments such as a quiz, homework exercise, or exam.
You Can Still Take Risks/Have Fun
College is not solely about working hard and getting the greatest grades, it’s also about expanding your knowledge, ideas, and perceptions of things you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. With that being said, when reviewing what classes you want to take, take some risks and have fun! If you can take a film course or art course that fulfills one of your requirements, go for it!
In my junior year, I took a course that was about the science in science fiction films! It was so much fun- we got to watch a lot of cool movies, all while learning some interesting things about science, and it was online! While in college, you’ll have so many opportunities to learn and engage in fun ways, so don’t hesitate to explore fun courses when looking for online classes. You won’t regret it!
The Routine of Your Teacher/Course Can Differ
Not all teachers run their courses the same way, and when it comes to online courses, you will find that some teachers hold virtual meetings while others encourage discussion board participation. Evaluating these differences is important when it comes to your learning style because you can distinguish which kind of approach works best for you and which ones don’t come as easy.
Attendance is Important
Part of the reason why online classes are so great is due to the fact that attendance is not as strict and rigid as regular classroom attendance. In contrast to the traditional classroom method, most online courses do not typically hold attendance. Instead, credit is given in the form of either weekly quizzes, discussions, or assignments.
Deciding what classes to take online and even if you want to take them can be difficult without the proper help or resources. If you are considering taking courses online, reach out to an advisor and review your requirements, as well as read student reviews to help you decide, but don’t forget to have fun too!