Are Online Classes Right For You? Five Things to Consider
Online classes have become increasingly popular in recent years, both for students enrolled in completely online degree programs, but also for students earning their degrees in traditional brick and mortar programs.
Online courses are able to supplement traditional classes for those students attending in person universities, oftentimes allowing them access to classes that would otherwise be unavailable due to being completely filled up by other students.
But the convenience of being able to study anywhere there’s an internet connection and the convenience of escaping commuting to class are also major benefits, making online learning more popular than ever. However, keep in mind that the online learning format is not the best mode of learning for everyone.
It takes a certain type of student to excel in college classes online, so to be sure that you’re making the right decision, ask yourself the following questions before you consider enrolling in an online class:
Do You Have Regular Access to the Internet?
Ideally, online students should own a computer or laptop, but as long as you regularly have access to the internet, you should be ok. An online class is typically taught and tested 100% online, so it’s essential that you have reliable access to the internet in order to succeed in this format. If you don’t have a computer of your own, ask your friends if you could use theirs for school duties, or visit your school or local library to see if you can get regular access to their machines.
Do You Have Good Time Management Skills?
Online classes require far more discipline and time organization than regular classes, since everything is entirely up to you. There won’t be a professor or teacher reminding you during class that there’s an assignment coming up, that you have a test next week, or that you need to read the course materials each night. All that you will have to guide you through your coursework is a syllabus and email contact information for your instructors. You will need to maintain a regular schedule without any external support, and you should be prepared to utilize time management skills to effectively keep up with your academic calendar.
Can You Work Independently?
A lot of people think that online courses are easier than in-person classes, but this can often be far from the truth. Online classes require students to work independently, which involves immense self-motivation and of course self-discipline, which poses major problems for some students. If you have trouble sticking to the syllabus, keeping up with traditional course schedules, and completing your assignments on time, then an online class probably isn’t right for you. However, if you work well independently and you don’t need reminders to remain on track to complete assignments and projects, then an online class could be your perfect learning style.
Are You a Quick Learner?
If you’re a quick learner then online classes will likely be a breeze, but if you need new concepts to be orally explained to you multiple times before you get them, then you may find online classes to be entirely too challenging. While studying in a traditional classroom, take note of your learning style and think about how well you would do if there wasn’t a teacher available to answer your immediate questions. Do you rely heavily on the teacher to explain course materials, or do you typically understand them from the book itself? Use the answers to these questions to determine how suitable an online class would be for you.
Can You Follow Written Instructions Easily?
Some students are oral learners, while others are prefer visual display and still others learn best from reading. If reading is your preferred method for taking in new material, then studying online could be an ideal fit for you. However, if you struggle to understand written instructions, online classes could be an unsuitable choice leading to a great deal of frustration. Most online classes are predominantly based around written instructions, so it’s important that you can process and understand these with ease.
No education format is perfect for everyone, and this is certainly true of online courses as well. Some people thrive on this learning method, whereas others struggle with it. Avoid disastrous results by reviewing your answers to the above questions to help guide you toward the right educational path. Good luck!