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More and more students are going this route. There are both pros and cons (as there are with anything) to taking classes online. First, you will need to decide on a college or university which offers the coursework you need. Check out the accreditation of the institution you are considering to make sure your credits will transfer to other schools and that your degree will be recognized once you've finished your coursework.
Once you have decided on a school, you will need to set aside time to do your coursework since you will not be attending classes in the traditional sense. It takes an immense amount of personal discipline to take classes online since you are basically on your own--your own pace, your own timeline--with a few deadlines put in place by your online instructor. If you do not set aside regular timelines and work schedules dedicated to your online coursework, chances are you will not complete the work. Therefore, you won't finish the class, you won't get credit, and you will have wasted hard-earned money.
Check out other issues dealing with online or distance learning at the links below. Good Luck!
One of the keys is whether you want/need interaction with your teacher and other students in the learning process. I teach an online course in Fiction and teach the same course in the classroom. The online course gives working adults the chance to read some great books ... something they might not do without the pressure of course deadlines. The in person class, however, always has more interaction, and I think we "do more" with the books this way. We use Blackboard, which allows for some written discussion; this simulates discussion, but isn't the same.
As Amy suggested, it take significant self-discipline when you take online courses. I did many courses online in my last degree program, and I can understand how just about anything can get in the way of completing work. I had to remember that old but true adage: "Obstancles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal."
You know yourself ... if you have the self-discipline and you do not feel the need for interacting with instructors/students, then you can do well with the online courses; if not, stick with the more traditional formats.
I've taken several computer classes online, and I have been successful at the majority of them. However, their was one class, that I had to drop, computer programming, because I just couldn't get it. I needed a face to face instructor.
My point is: consider the class that you are taking. Is it something that you stuggle with. If so you may need a traditional setting.
However, if you are self disciplined, and focused, I think that online classes can be a great alternative to traditional classes.
Good Luck to you!
I'm sure it varies from class to class, but I have observed that many times online courses require more work in terms of assignments than do traditional classes. Such extra work may be the instructor's attempt to make up for the absence of face-to-face contact with students, or it could be an effort to insure the integrity of the course. Before committing your time (and your money) to an online class, check out the workload and the time frame you will have to complete assignments.
The previous posts are very strong, but I echo the sentiments in the fifth post. I think that one element of the online class methodology is whether or not one has the time and commitment to complete the work. If a student is a self- starting or possesses self initiated drive to complete work, then I think an online method works well. If a student has a tendency to procrastinate and requires some external motivation from a professor/ instructor or from colleagues, I would caution about entering online courses and study the situation a great deal. The workload is quite significant and must be recognized in the deliberation process.
I tutor a great many students taking on-line mathematics courses, who discover that their background may be weak and/or that taking an upper-level mathematics course--such as calculus or statistics--without the give-and-take of the classroom Q&A sessions is quite a challenge. These courses, usually prerequisites for graduate programs, are rigorous, and require the student to cover a great deal of material, do quite a lot of homework, and finish the course in a limited amount of time. These students often have not only the expense of the course but also the expense of weekly or biweekly tutoring sessions since the only communication with the course instructor is via email. If I were to take online courses, I would make sure the subject matter was not highly technical in nature because of this limitation.
I have also taking several online classes and even took classes to how to teach online. Some of my classes were done in a program called blackbook and some were done in called desire to learn. To get a taste on some online classes you can start with some pbs teacherline courses. However their method is high in online discussion so you need to check back frequently to keep up. When I took my courses on blackbook there was little to no interaction from others. Most of my class were ok online except, psychology. That would have like 5 parts to every lesson with subparts to each of those. The class really needed to be done in person or someone needed to rewrite it for the online environment. It really depends on the class or instructor.
I have taken a couple of online classes as an undergraduate. I find that there are pros and cons to taking an online class. For example, taking a math/technical class online can be challenging while an arts/theoretical class may be managable. If you are an organized person it may be easier and more convenient for you to take an online class. However, if you are taking an online class because you just don't want to get ready and go to class then taking the class will be difficult regardless if its online or not.
I would suggest, if you do take the class online, don't procrastinate because work can pile up really easily in these types of classes
I have taken many online courses and really enjoyed them. I personally like the classes that are self paced because when life gets in the way of school work, you don't get a lower grade for it. I am able to "work ahead" so that if a kids gets sick, I can tend to them and not stress about the paper that is due. If you need more structure, make sure you have a class with a timeline for when assignments are due. Some classes do make you do more discussion posts so you can have "conversations" about the topic but other classes are purely self directed. You may have to just try a class to see how the teacher runs the class and if it will work for you.
I have just completed an online MA program and loved it! I also completed an online certificate program in substance abuse counseling. Both of these programs were designed for working professionals. As others have indicated, the self-paced nature of the coursework requires a more disciplined approach than traditional education. On the other hand, being able to attend "class" on our own time enabled many of us to achieve academic and professional success. We used blackboard (discussion board)and the learning requirement included a minimum of posts per discussion board question in addition to whatever projects and research papers were assigned. The program included a weekly synchronous chat session. Faculty input was uneven at best, though, which could be problematic.
Teaching in an online environment requires a different skill set than teaching in a traditional environment and not all faculty have that skill set. The faculty that were the most beneficial included comments on the discussion boards and modeled the protocols for online discussions. Further, they gave meaningful feedback in a timely manner thus ensuring that the learners stay focused and mistakes do not accumulate.
I think you’ve made a very good decision to join the growing online student community. Online education has changed the face of our education system and many prestigious universities are now offering online degrees. A few things you should keep in mind before joining any online course is to check if it’s accredited by a recognized body and review the curriculum to see if it fits your requirements. Once you’ve joined their <a href="http://www.independence.edu/distance-degree-programs.php">distance degree programs</a>, you need to be disciplined and keep up with your coursework since there will be no classroom lectures to attend. My sister told me about this online and distance learning university – Independence University – that offers programs in health sciences, education, and business. You might find some of these courses interesting.
There is a new group created call "Tips for Online educcators!" Join the group and let's all contribute to this revolutioanary approach to online education.
See you there!
I think it is wonderful that you want to take an online course! So many opportunities are now available in the non-traditional classroom using the latest technologies that can achieve the same outcome as the traditional brick and mortar classrooms of yesteryear.
A few things that you will need to consider when you choose to begin online learning. Several different formats exist for the online classroom. The basic differences are synchronous or asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning means that you (the student), other students, and the instructor, are all in the classroom at the same time of day. Instruction would be via a microphone and possibly a web-camera. Asynchronous learning consists of either discussions that are much like this discussion board for your question, where an instructor poses a question, and the students respond accordingly, or possibly pre-recorded chats for the students to listen to at a more convenient time.
One thing that you can be assured of is that as an online learner, you must be self motivated. Because you can learn in the comfort of your home, wearing your pajamas, and in the room with children, pets, or the telephone ringing, you must be able to give enough attention to learn the objectives and perform the work at hand. Another important factor is that much writing exists in the online arena. Because there isn't much face to face interaction, more papers are required in an online environment, than in the traditional learning environment.
No, I am not really know the climax and the conflict of tears.
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