Are You Ready to Take an Online Course?

Distance learning provides considerable freedom, allowing students to often choose when and where they’ll participate in class activities. However, this flexibility must be balanced by responsibility, as courses will have deadlines, course attendance requirements, or group collaboration. Contrary to popular belief, online courses are not easier than traditional classroom learning and are more rigorous. There are many possible challenges to online learning, as outlined below:

  • A high level of self-motivation and discipline, in addition to planning and preparation skills, are required to succeed.
  • Online courses have the same workload as traditional courses and in come cases-more. Students will have assignments, exams, requirements, and deadlines just as their on-campus peers.
  • Students should have an understanding of technology. Students will be required to use computers, webcams, and various software programs to complete and submit their assignments.
  • Students need to be self-directed learners with high motivation to complete tasks on their own. Research shows that students who are self-directed, motivated, and engaged in the course with a strong connection to the instructor and their peers, are more successful.

Time on Task

Additionally, online students should expect to spend at least as much time in an online course as they would in a traditional course, and sometimes more. A 3-credit-hour online course in a 16-week session will require approximately 6-9 hours per week engaging in coursework.