What To Keep In Mind When Taking Online Classes

By Kylie Exline on February 26, 2016

Being in college, there are things we do not always feel like doing. I.e., going to the gym or attending class. If the latter (which I know it is), enrolling in an online course just might be the right move for you, depending.

Before taking an online class however, there are certain things you should keep in mind. There is the whole expenses thing, as well as what exactly is going to be expected of you. Below are relative facets if questioning this common college/class dilemma.

Cost Effective?

When looking to see if a specific class is offered online, make sure you also check that dollar amount that is most likely found in the fine print at the very bottom. In most cases, the class charges more given they pay the professor more. Why exactly? Well, the professors have to upload all of the coursework online, sans giving you the proper information in person. Otherwise known as showing up for class. And yes, even when hungover. P.S.: Perk of having an online class = not having to show up.

They also have to pass specific certifications and have the necessary support. In other words, you kind of need to understand PowerPoint and PDF to pass the class. If money is a deciding factor, then you may have to stick with that in-person instructor who has a 0.3 on Rate My Professor. Sorry dude.

Plus, you can’t forget that actually owning a textbook is most definitely a must. It is also less likely that you would make friends, given you obviously are not in the classroom. For more information on the price differences, check out this helpful site.

Image via Pexels.com

Time Management.

Now this is a fun aspect of pondering an online course. *Insert sarcasm here.* Although it may seem like we have oh so much time on our hands, this is really not the case. If anything, we underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete an online assignment, therefore losing precious study (partying?) time.

With all of our in-person classes, even if we do not complete an assigned reading or submit the quiz that was due at midnight, we feel accomplished simply because we got out of bed and made it there. Cue the “just rolled out of bed” look. Then cue the “single for a reason” look.

So moral of this factor is, treat this class just as any other class. Then add a few more hours of studying on top of what is required. Time is wasting, people.


Alright, so here is a biggie. If having an incentive is the way for you to actually complete an assignment, you and online classes are not meant to be. Disappointing, I know. Just because you do not physically have to be present for attendance, being mentally there is just as, if not more so, vital.

Motivation is key, as is being fully aware that you have to drive yourself (lucky for you, not literally). Whether the award be a can of original flavored Pringles every finished lecture, or an excuse to visit the soda vending machine downstairs, any stimulus counts. Where there is a will, there is most certainly a way. And hey, if being able to self-motivate, what can’t you get done? #Accomplished.

Technological Difficulties.

Raise your hand if technically challenged? I see you. For the majority of us, mastering high-tech devices is just not our thing. With that said, online classes may not be either. Although working a laptop may be second nature to us nowadays — you know, with all the social media out there — it becomes a tad more complicated.

Excel is usually prominent, as are other well-known systems. Well-known in the sense of those involved in the tech community. Minority rules. Good news is that there are support systems out there ready to lend a hand. Just visit your nearby help center on campus. Or use Siri to your total benefit.

When seriously thinking about enrolling in an online course, there are various aspects you should take into deep consideration. Though the numbers prove they are in fact more expensive than simply taking a class in person, it may be helpful for you. Especially if you are taking courses specifically for summer, or have a tight schedule, this just may be the ideal schedule.

Keep in mind that self-motivation is imperative, maintaining focus is pivotal, and excuses are not a thing. You will for sure learn the ins and outs of maintaining time management, and really discover that time is not always on your side. But hey, class can’t be so bad when you don’t even have to leave your bed, right?

It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of taking an online class. For more information, don’t be afraid to visit this site.

Editing, Writing & Media. FSU// Go Noles! Class of 2016.

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