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Challenge: Back to School

Back to Online School: Things to Consider Before Switching to Online Education

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Before enrolling in online education, think about whether this style of learning will be beneficial to the student. Consider that even though students can ask questions, in these online courses, the reply may be delayed. The response could be through an email, by phone, or the class’s online forum. Students should make sure they can work without the personal contact of the professor and classmates.

The format of online classes can be quite a challenge, and there are some things that should be considered before making that choice. Here are several things to think about before making the move.

You must have a reliable Internet connection and computer. The computer needs to be a desktop or laptop as the tablets may not be configured for the classes. Make sure everything performs well because a slow computer or Internet will hinder the student. It can be a significant problem when a deadline is quickly approaching. Students need to try to finish and send their assignments ahead of time in case there’s a problem. Never rely only on a public Internet. It’s a good idea to contact the IT department for assistance if needed.

Set up a place to study. It needs to have a fair amount of space and should be very comfortable. It will be used to read the literature that’s assigned, listen to lectures, and complete the assignments. Make sure this space is private with few distractions.

Set a scheduled time to study every day. Most students think that online classes take less of their time, but this isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes it’s just the opposite. Set aside an average of nine hours per week for each course that’s taken online. This is usually sufficient time for listening and watching any lectures, reading the literature, and completing the assigned work.

The schedule can always be changed if more, or less, time is needed. Remember; it’s important to remain focused and abreast of things when taking classes to complete the work and get it submitted on time.

Maintain a balance between flexibility and responsibility. Online courses offer students a sense of freedom and flexibility that they’ve never felt before when it comes to their education. However, with this new found freedom comes an enormous responsibility. A sense of balance, between the two, needs to be sustained right from the first day. One of the best things about online classes is the students set a time and pace for themselves. And most classes can be started any time of the year.

Online classes aren’t any easier than traditional ones. It’s not surprising that many students believe online classes are easier. But this isn’t true. They do offer convenience and flexibility, but the assignments and class materials are just the same. However, online course study demands a tremendous amount of motivation and self-discipline.

Interaction is expected. Before getting involved in online classes, most students think there’ll be no engaging with the professor or other students. This isn’t true at all. In fact, students are now connected with the others through technology. The feedback is still there and will help students build their confidence and develop a relationship with others.

The professors are an important part of this learning and interaction process. They are there to teach, assist the needs of the students, oversee the classroom, and motivate the students. They are available through discussions in online forums and emails. They are willing to give help and answer questions when required.

Online classes still have their deadlines. At the beginning of the course, the assignments and their due dates are outlined for the students. It’s crucial to make a note of these deadlines, so everything is submitted on time. Always attempt to finish and send the work ahead of time in case of any problems that may arise.

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