Updated 8 months ago
If you are working full time or can't afford transportation/living costs to go away to school, online learning may be the answer for you. Taking classes online removes the traditional boundaries of time and location and allows you to set your own pace (to some extent) and choose the most convenient time and place to study.
How do online courses work?
Most online classes operate on a weekly schedule rather than a daily one. In addition to lesson plans and readings, a weekly deadline is typical and may include assignments, exams or participation in discussions, case studies and other learning activities.
Discussions are critically important: Since you don't see your instructor and fellow students, you should use the discussion board often. Contributing your thoughts and experiences makes the course much more interesting and valuable for both you and your classmates, and most courses require you to interact frequently. In online courses, there's no way to sit in back of the room and avoid speaking up — you must be present and active.
Is online learning right for you?
Learning online works for many people, but it is often a new experience and takes some getting used to. To succeed as an online student, you have to be reasonably independent, motivated and able to manage your time well. You will not attend lectures in a classroom, so you assume more responsibility to read, communicate online, write papers, submit assignments according to deadline and balance your coursework with your personal and professional life. You will have a much more active role in managing your online learning experience than you would in a classroom.