Over six million students in the United States have enrolled in some kind of online educational class.
Online education is a great opportunity for people who can’t attend traditional classes, for whatever reason. They give you the chance to learn at your own schedule without having to commute to a campus.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about online colleges.
Take a look at these 10 things you need to know about getting an online education.
1. Online College isn’t Easier Than Traditional College
Many people think online classes are an easy A. So if you want to get an online education because you think it will be easier, this is not the route for you. Online classes take as much work as traditional classes. In some regards, it might even take more work.
Instructors assign the same type of assignments and expect the same quality results. Many online courses are shorter than face-to-cade courses, so you’ll have to do all this faster than other classes.
Students learn the same content in an online education, but the way they learn it is different and more creative.
2. The Quality of Online Education is the Same as Any Other Education
Just because an online classroom doesn’t have the same set up as a traditional classroom doesn’t mean the quality is any lower. But online classes, like the ones at InterCoast College, are held to the same standards as traditional classes.
We’ve all heard of that one online class horror story.
However, bad classes are a result of bad teachers, not their platform. Most online courses take necessary steps to make sure their content is organized and well delivered.
You can get the same amount of learning out of an online class than a class in a traditional setting.
3. You Still Interact with Other Students
Online classes require student participation and group projects the same as any other class. Peer interaction is a central part of most learning environments, online education included.
How do you interact with people you can’t see?
Depending on the class, the instructor might require you to contribute to group discussions, to work together on group projects, do peer review assignments, or communicate with tools like Skype or Zoom.
Many classes are built around this kind of learning, meaning you get the same amount of student interaction as normal.
4. You Don’t Have to Be Tech-Savy
You do need some basic computer skills to take online classes, but you don’t have to be a computer master. As long as you know how to turn on the computer, connect to the internet, and navigate a web browser, you have enough computer knowledge to succeed in an online environment.
Any other programs you’ll be working with have similar components. If you get confused, many online classes include walkthroughs to help you understand the tools.
5. You Have to Put in the Same Amount of Work
Sometimes online classes seem like they have less work than traditional classes. In reality, they have the same amount of work, you can just complete that work around your own schedule.
While you might not spend days doing homework because of your full-time job, you’ll still have to finish that homework on your own time.
You’ll spend just as much time on coursework as other students.
6. You’ll Have Support
It’s not harder to get in touch with your instructor. You aren’t working through the projects on your own. If you have questions, you won’t be left on your own.
Instructors understand the importance of communication when it comes to online courses. Because of this, many of them give you several ways to reach out to them.
You can contact them through emails, virtual office hours, Q & As, and more. It just depends on the teacher and what tools they decide to use.
7. You Can Transfer Online Courses
For some reason, the fact that online classes are remote, people think they can’t be transferred. While there are a few classes that you might be unable to transfer, other universities and education programs take most online classes.
Talk to someone in your institution before you take a class you want to transfer. But in most cases, you’ll be able to transfer these classes just fine.
8. It’s Not Easier to Cheat
People tend to think that because there’s not an instructor in the room with you, it’s a lot easier to cheat on exams or projects. This simply isn’t true.
Remember, online education is held to the same standards as traditional education. Many instructors take extra precautions to make sure cheating is impossible.
For example, they might use tools like Turnitin to check for plagiarism, set up open book policies, or replace exams with other projects.
9. You Can Save Money on Your Education
You aren’t commuting to a traditional classroom, so you don’t have to pay for all the expenses that come with it. Your tuition doesn’t have to cover overhead, like classroom space or supplies, and you can apply financial aid award to the class bill.
These things make taking an online class less expensive than enrolling in a traditional education setting. Saving money is always a win.
10. You Can Customize Your Learning Experience
You don’t have to sit through a certain number of classes a week. Instead, you can learn at your own pace in your own time.
This doesn’t mean you have less work than normal, but you can do that work at your own time. Don’t like working in the morning? Work at night. Can’t wok in the afternoon because of your full-time job? Work when you get home.
You can customize your learning experience, which gives you the chance to get more out of it.
What You Should Know About Online Education
Online education isn’t easier than traditional classes, and it’s not lower quality either. You have to put in the same amount of work for an online class as you would in a face-to-face class.
That said, online classes provide people a flexible, inexpensive way to get an education. They can finish coursework around their normal job or schedules.
Need some extra help with your online class? Take a look at some of these tutoring options.