15 September 2009

Online Classes

Warning:

Online classes are not necessarily easier, or less work! In fact, they may even be more difficult as there is a complete focus on course content. Fun things worth considering when choosing an online class:

1. No wasted time with attendance or silly classroom issues.  In an online course those things take care of themselves. 

2. In a face-to-face class students might be able to get away with wasting some time, but if you go to the bathroom during an online class your time doesn't count. 

3. There are few immediate answers.  When asking questions in an online class it can take your instructor or peers a few hours to get back to you.  If you are someone who needs feedback right away, you'll have to find a way to deal with an asynchronous environment.

4.  Depending on your class you'll need to have some computer skills before you begin.  Issues with pop-up blocker settings; downloading software; attaching files to emails; etc. can be frustrating for students if they've not done it before.  Don't take an online course if you're not comfortable trouble-shooting your computer settings a little bit.

5. Online classes can be more engaging and a more accurate reflection of the real-world.  Very few of you will ever have to sit in a room with 20-40 of your peers every day taking in new concepts and information.  Online classes allow you to interact with a world-wide community and gather resources for your projects.

6.  I'm done with this list.  Not because that's the end, but if you haven't decided if you can handle it or not by now you're probably not reading this anyway.