What You Need to Know about Online College
The first thing a potential online student needs to know is that online college will deliver college-level work. You can expect to see the same challenging material and difficulty level in your courses that you would see in a traditional, campus-based university or community college. Many students sign up for online courses under the misperception that these courses will be easier than those offered on a campus. This is simply not the case. In fact, some students find online classes trickier than campus-based courses because there is no professor or instructor present to keep them on task. Instead, online students have to take control of their learning on their own.
Another thing you need to know about online college is that it is time-consuming and will take a good deal of effort to stay on schedule. Another misperception about online college is that you can work entirely at your own pace. While there is a greater degree of flexibility as to when you turn in your work, you will still have to abide by the deadlines established by your professor. Sooner or later, your semester, quarter, or module online will end, and you will have needed to complete all the work assigned to you in order to pass the class. Time management will be just as important at an online college as it is on a traditional campus.
Something else that’s good to know about online college is that students can take full advantage of its perks. You don’t have to stay cooped up in your home in front of your computer—you can take your laptop to a coffee house, public library, public park, or anywhere else that offers free Wi-Fi. You’d be surprised how much a change of scenery will do you good in your studies and how it may even help keep you more focused if your home is a place you equate with recreation, rather than studying.
Finally, you should know that you can combine online courses and campus-based courses in a single semester. For instance, if you manage to get most of your campus-based classes on a Tuesday-Thursday schedule, but another course you need is only offered on Monday-Wednesday-Friday when you work, that might be a good opportunity to take the course online. Online courses don’t typically have specific times during the day that you must report to class, which is why they’re such a big help to working students.