Aside from this article being informative about some of the negative associated with online classes during the summer, I will say that online classes provide the freedom of managing your own schedule for what works best for you as well as providing the advantage of being able to be anywhere at any time as long as wifi is part of the program. To all of you incoming freshmen who are wondering whether or not online classes are for you, here are just five things that I hope will help.
1. Due dates.
If you are not one of those people that check their email every day, I highly suggest becoming one of those people if you plan to take an online class. Due dates during a summer course are, for the most part, set in stone. If you have never had a nightmare about whether or not you’ve turned something in on time or contemplated whether the due date said 12:00 am or pm…then you have not experienced an online class before.
2. Technical difficulties.
This is also a high stress and something to consider during online classes. Having wifi and a computer that will be there for you all summer long is a must. Say your computer shuts off in the middle of a test. What do you do? Pray. Just pray.
This is something that I think many of us have struggled with during the summer. The motivation to stay inside and study those power point slides or flashcards verses going to the beach with friends is difficult. Studying on a pretty summer day when you know you could be basking in some Vitamin D takes motivation, self-sufficiency, and determination. Work hard play hard definitely applies here.
4. Double checking.
This point really ties in all of these aspects as far as online classes are concerned. Double-checking your assignment due dates as well as your online Dropbox to make sure things are turned in correctly is essential. Sometimes the lack of a click on your computer can be detrimental to your grade. Check your computer. You may seem attached at times to those outside of your class but I promise good grades are worth being a bit dependent on your computer for four to eight weeks.
5. Classroom environment.
Obviously a virtual classroom environment is a bit different. If you are someone that needs to be present in a classroom and appreciates working alongside a teacher in person, online classes might not be the way to go. However, online classes teach you to be responsible for the material on your own. Sure, you are still responsible for the information in a regular classroom setting. However, having to make your own time to apply the concepts with only the help of online tools not only teaches you to be independent, but it also teaches you to make the time and rely on yourself more than the professor to understand the content.
I hope that these five things are helpful for any incoming freshman debating an online class. Having control over your time is great, but be sure to use it wisely. Also, remember that you can catch the sun another day. A’s are not easy to come by in college, but they are in every way possible!