Would Taking Courses Online Be Right for You?

LaDonna Dean photo online study

I have been going to school for several years now, and have taken both online as well as classroom courses. Online courses have played a valuable place in my life as a working mother and student.  With all that I am juggling it is not easy, but online education for me has made it possible to continue to pursue my goals.

Online courses are part of Farmingdale State College’s Distance Learning program. Today flexiblity and efficiency are both up there on the priority list of almost every task one has.  Online courses make both flexibility and efficiency possible, while also saving you time and some gas.  In this blog, we’re going to touch on a few topics that may help you gain a better understanding of online courses.

Why do people take online courses?

So why exactly do people consider online courses? The most popular reason is the business schedule.  A lot of students today have families, work full-time jobs, and/or take care of disabled or sick family members.  Online courses make education possible for those who have a great responsibility and with very little time.  Another thing could be a lack of transportation.  Not everyone has a car to get around or maybe cannot afford one.  With online classes that are not an expense, you don’t need to worry about it.  A final thought is classroom settings.  Let’s face it, after going to work not everyone wants to sit in a classroom setting, tired.  The student wants to complete their assignments in the privacy of their own homes.

How are online courses and regular courses similar?

Online classes and regular classes require the course work to be completed.   You are using the same exact textbook as regular courses, with the same grading scale and requirements.  School policies are the same, and this includes absolutely no cheating.  The college credit amounts are the same and so is tuition.  A lot of the professors that teach the classroom courses are also teaching the online courses, so you’re getting similar content.

How do online courses and regular courses differ?

A few major things that stand out with online courses are that they are all usually administered through an education platform called Blackboard Learn. This is not a platform just at Farmingdale. It is used internationally and used from kindergarten and up.  It is on Blackboard Learn that your class participation is encouraged through discussion questions.  Usually, within each discussion question, the student is provided with a topic in which they need to provide feedback and respond to one or two of their fellow classmates.  With the understanding that one must make sure that proper etiquette is always used.  Through the Blackboard Learn platform, additional assignments and reports are submitted.

 What things should one consider before taking an online course?

The most important thing to understand about online courses is they are far from easy. A lot of people think that because you’re not in front of a teacher it must be easy.  Online courses are in a sense accelerated courses.  One of the reasons is because the professor will not be there face-to-face with you, so a lot of things you will be required to learn on your own and teach yourself.  Though the teacher is there to help, it may be up to three days before the professor can get to your question(s).

If you are considering taking courses, understand that it is very deadline sensitive, so you must ensure you are the type of person who is very disciplined, as a lot of the professors do not accept late assignments.  One would also need to be very organized if you are considering enrolling in an online course. There are tons and tons and tons. Did I say tons of reading and very fast reading?

If you don’t already have one though, there are computers within the campus labs. It is based on if you can buy yourself a laptop, so that you cannot only complete your homework anywhere, but it’s also stored and carried with you should you need it at any time.

In terms of supplies, you may be required to purchase additional software to complete the lab assignments. Always confirm the textbook and materials needed with your professor beforehand, so that you are ready to go at the start of class.  Once the course starts it will move fast.

This concludes my online courses details. I hope you have found this blog informative and it answered some of the questions about online courses that you have been wondering.

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