How to know if Online Classes are right for you

Online classes are tremendous resources for students that are on the go!

When should you take an online course?

  1. If you need a flexible schedule
    Online classes are a wonderful alternative to traditional, brick-and-mortar learning environments for students with demanding schedules. If you are taking several classes, have a hectic work schedule, or small children to care for, then online classes can offer some much-needed flexibility to your already busy life! You can study, complete assignments and other learning modules on your time and make the course work for you.
  2. If you have a long commute to school
    Is your school far away? Save on gas, traffic, time and stress by taking some online classes. You can login anywhere with a good Wi-Fi connection like home, a coffee shop, or your local library. This can also be a good option if your current college or university doesn’t offer a class you want to take…you can commute electronically to another school. Just be sure to look into your current college’s policies on outside credit hours first!

How is an online course different than one in a traditional classroom?

  1. More quizzes and daily assignments
    To keep you on track, online classes usually require more daily assignments. While these might be a bit time consuming, they are great because you have more grades! These can help you keep your class grade high and can give you points just for having completed the work.
  2. Exams are often open note
    Given that tests are usually administered remotely, your instructor understands you have access to your notes, textbooks, and other study materials. Thus your exams are more than likely going to either be essays or open note. Be sure to take good notes and to mark important pages in your assigned readings for quick reference!
  3. Less face-to-face interaction
    Since these classes are online, your interactions with other students likely won’t be in person. Instead of participating in class discussion during the class period, you will likely have to publish discussion posts to a class message board. These can be a great way to get involved and to participate in class discussion, but might not be a good fit for those who prefer not to write.

What are some ways you can be sure to ace your online classes?

  1. Be aware of all significant dates and deadlines
    While any college course requires students to track important dates, this is particularly important when you take an online course. If you have a smart phone, program dates into your calendar, if not, pick up a school planner. Write down due dates for papers, discussion posts, group projects, and take home tests as well as your weekly reading assignments. This will prevent you from falling behind just because you are used to receiving reminders from your instructor.
  2. Tutoring
    Since online courses require more independent learning, it’s always a good idea to supplement with weekly tutoring sessions or regular study group meetings. We recommend talking to your College Completion Coach about your free access to StudyEdge—an online platform with hundreds of hours of study material! This way you can be sure you have time to work through any questions you have and confirm that you have truly aced the material!
  3. Get to know your professor
    Just because the class is online doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make appointments to speak with your professor. These one-on-ones are a great opportunity to network, discuss your concerns about the class, and express your interest! If possible, try to meet your professor at their office hours at least 2-3 times a semester. However, if you are telecommuting or have a hectic schedule, that can be difficult. Be sure to email regularly, and you can even set up an appointment for a phone conversation.

Online courses are a terrific way for you to earn college credit, but there is an adjustment from a traditional campus classroom setting. Be sure to reach out to your College Completion Coach if you need some advice on how to register, study, and succeed in your next online class!

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