Are you considering online education?
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Students who enroll in distance education courses need to recognize that the online learning portion of the class is different from their Face to Face (F2F) class time.
- Online learning requires you to establish a schedule of when you will work online and work offline to complete the assignments; while online courses allow flexibility and convenience, without the self-discipline of setting a schedule students may find the online portion of the class difficult. Be realistic with your time management skills.
- Much of the course content online consists of videos, readings, and some sort of presentations (e.g. PowerPoint), with student interaction limited to various online interactions (Forums, Wikis, etc.) rather than F2F interactions. Students who prefer F2F courses may find discussion limiting. Be realistic about your desire to interact through technologies.
- If you prefer to be in a physical classroom for interactions with professor and other students, you may find online classes more lonely.
- If groups are used in the online portion of class students may find it difficult to interpret what a fellow student is saying, though with access to one another students can learn to listen well to one another.
- If peer to peer feedback is included in online education this allows students to critique one another’s work prior to submission of the final assignment. This requires more time from students than in the typical course.
- Online courses require some basic computer skills. Be realistic about your ability and willingness to develop or improve these skills.
- Typing and using a mouse
- Navigating through various windows and screens
- Connecting with links embedded within the course content
- Uploading assignments
- Ability to search the Internet
- Communicating with people you will not meet until the end of the course through email and discussion groups
- Managing files and folders
Before registering for an online class you will need to consider these facts and realities to determine if you are willing to work in the online environment. Once you make a determination then you can make an informed choice.