The availability of online courses has become a phenomenon in the education sector. Thanks to the Internet, it has become so popular that there has been a significant rise in educational institutions dedicated specifically to online teaching. Existing colleges and universities have adopted this method of learning by offering their students the option of taking some of their courses online rather than in a classroom.
With so many non-traditional students pursuing a higher degree of learning, the option of attaining credits online has become far more attractive than taking in-person courses. With online classes, all of the information lies at the tip of a student’s fingertips.
The Benefits of Taking Online Courses
So why have online classes become so popular?
Some students are working full-time jobs and raising a family, so they already have a full calendar. An online class alleviates the stress of trying to negotiate a work schedule that will complement classroom dates and times for an entire semester. It also absolves the hassle of trying to find a babysitter for a few hours. An online class allows the student to study around their existing schedule, rather than working around their academic schedule.
For those who are timid in a traditional classroom setting, taking an online class is the perfect solution. Students have the security of communicating with their professors without feeling embarrassed about whether their question was valid.
Common Myth About Online Learning
Taking an online course requires as much, if not more, discipline and commitment than a course in a classroom.
It is worth noting that the same amount of work that is in a traditional class will be the same for an online course. The curriculum is the same. However, the way the course is being conducted is different. Because of this, prospective online students need to know these four things:
- Have a basic understanding of technology
- Be organized. Set up a schedule
- Familiarize yourself with the syllabus
- Communicate professionally
Have a Basic Understanding of Technology
It is important to be comfortable with a computer. Usually, most courses have a prerequisite before allowing a student to enroll. Still, there are certain software applications that students should familiarize themselves with when planning to take an online class. Failing to do so will lead to frustration and stress that can ultimately affect one’s studying and ultimately, GPA.
Be Organized. Set up a Schedule
Just because an online course allows a student the freedom and flexibility to study at their leisure doesn’t mean that a schedule of some sort shouldn’t be implemented. Online classes require structure. The everyday demands of life can easily take priority when taking online classes from home. It is wise to set aside a specific day and time, particularly a couple of hours in addition to the online classroom time, at least three days a week.
Familiarize Yourself with the Syllabus
Like any college course, it is recommended you familiarize yourself with the course syllabus. Again, the traditional classroom content will not differ from an online course’s content. The professor will lecture and answer as many questions as they can in the allotted time. The difference with an online course is that the deadlines may be more relaxed. Some courses will give a student until the end of the semester to complete their assignments whereas a traditional classroom setting will incorporate stricter assignment deadlines. So, with a course load of online assignments, it is most advantageous to organize these according to your availability.
The closest you may get to your online professor is communicating with them online. This means that there will be much writing involved. It is important to take note that although it may feel easier to communicate with an online professor and classmates in a more relaxed manner, it is not preferred. Professors expect their students, whether they are in class or online, to communicate professionally, writing complete sentences, void from abbreviations, and emojis.
Understand, Organize, Familiarize and Communicate!
Florida National University (FNU) is dedicated to the betterment of our students, academically and socially. Our academic programs offer quality education to a student body of diverse cultures. If you are looking for a university that gives you the flexibility to take online courses and help you become the best professionally organized and disciplined scholar you can be, apply to FNU today and contact one of our admissions advisors now!