Once you’ve been forced to wake up for a few 8:00 AM classes the thought of taking an Internet based class becomes a tempting one.
Before you sign up for a semester online, however, there are a few things you should consider. Internet classes sound great, but they do have their downsides. Here are three things to reflect on before signing up for classes that allow you to sleep in till 1:00 PM every day.
1. Internet Classes Require Willpower
One of the perks of taking a class online is that studying is always on your own time. Never again will you need to wake up at 7:00 AM to take a cold walk across campus. You can read the textbook, listen to lectures, and collaborate on projects whenever you feel the compulsion.
This benefit of Internet classes, however, can also be their largest drawback. If you aren’t accustomed to managing your time it can be all too easy to get behind. Without a teacher keeping an eye on you, it can be all too easy to slack off until the last few weeks of the semester.
If you need a professor to keep you on task, the benefits of an online class may not be worth the struggle. Are you able to study when nobody is looking over your shoulder or handing out pop quizzes? If not, then perhaps showing up to a classroom is the better option for you.
2. Internet Classes Require More Organization
Do you check your email infrequently? When you take on an online class, your professor’s main form of communication will either be through email or your college’s online class portal. You’ll need to check both of these frequently in order to stay on top of your work.
Usually, assignments will be expected. (For example: a report may be due every Friday) Sometimes, however, a random assignment will be posted at odd times that will be due in just a few days.
Because of this, you will want to check your email at least once every day to ensure you don’t miss anything. If an assignment is emailed out and you don’t check your email in time to complete it your grades will take a harsh beating. Doing this once or twice over a semester can dramatically lower your average score and can even lead you to needing to retake the class!
3. Internet Classes Are Harder To Study For
One of the unfortunate facts about online classes is that studying itself can be more of a challenge than for regular classes. Once you’ve got the textbook in front of you, and once you know what assignments you need to complete, you may find that actually getting work done is harder than expected.
For one, asking questions when you don’t understand is not as simple as when you visit the classroom three times per week. You can’t just raise your hand and get an explanation from the professor.
Now, you need to email your teacher. Perhaps you’ll get a reply by the end of the day. If the information you needed was critical for continuing to study, you may spend a whole day unsure of a key aspect of your lesson that holds you back from understanding the rest of the chapter.
One of the best options for coping with this lack of assistance is to visit your TA office hours with a list of questions. Unfortunately, the TA schedule probably won’t match up with your own, and didn’t you take an online class in the first place so that you wouldn’t need to show up on someone else’s time?