Taking an Online Course? Here is What to Expect.

What should I expect when taking an online course? In this section, you’ll see that the most common challenges for students taking online courses are typically time management and organization. Often students think that online classes are easier than seated classes. They do not realize that there is more of a time commitment in online classes, that… managing their own time is an important aspect of online learning and there isn’t that instructor who’s always reminding them to do things. It’s a struggle to take online classes. I think you have to look at everyone’s situation. For me, you know, I was a single parent, I had to work full time, and then I went to school – so being able to juggle all that, it was – it was hard, but you’re able to do it when you’re doing it online because you can pretty much set your own pace.

It was, it was good. The hardest thing about taking online class is remembering that you have all these assignments to do and all these due dates to do, and they are usually going to be due on the same day… and at the same time. If you have more of an open schedule, it’s actually a little bit harder to make sure that you do all those things like you’re supposed to do. It is so easy to get distracted by all the social media that we have today which is a curse but a blessing because – it’s a blessing because we have easy access to the Internet to help us with homework. But at the same time, there’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, all these different sites.

So, it’s really important to stay focused, and if you’re focused, you get your work done and then you can have your leisure time. The hardest part about taking online class is just making sure you don’t miss things, especially when you first start, like those first two or three weeks, knowing what the professors expect, missing a quiz, a discussion board – I think I missed a couple quizzes and discussion boards one of my semesters because I thought there was no class, but there was because Spring Break doesn’t actually exist in online classes. If I had to give a list… of tips for online success I would recommend that students begin their online class the first day of class. I think one mistake that students make is waiting… into the first week, week and a half of class, to begin, and unfortunately they’re already behind in their class and that generates the feeling of stress and being overwhelmed by their online course.

Online classes differ between subjects and whatever – whatever your professor does. I know some professors only do the quizzes week-to-week, or some only do discussion boards and then do tests, or you write a whole bunch of papers for an English class or something like that. In this semester, I am taking five online classes, and I didn’t realize that… depending on the teacher, the more work you have to put in to it. In some of the classes, I have to spend… between three and six hours just for one class; to get all the assignments ready, quizzes, read the texts, and on top of everything, you have to do a lot of research on your own. I think what surprises them the most, when students first sign up for an online course is the fact that it is not self-paced, that there are deadlines, that there are due dates, that most faculty will set a week parameter and that they have to get their work done within that week.

You have a schedule but week-to-week, it is self-paced. You read, you can read every day, you can read all in one day. As far as pacing goes, they give you what you’re supposed to have done that week, so during that week you pace yourself. So if you’re a procrastinator like me, you wait until the last minute, you do everything on the last day and of course everything’s really, really fast and… way more complicated than it’s supposed to be.

Remember, your most likely challenges will be time management and organization. And importantly, remember that online courses are not self-paced: there are scheduled due dates, weekly deadlines. And expect each course to be different. Mindset Tip A fixed mindset suggests that somebody is thinking about intelligence as an entity, a thing, something that you have a certain amount of, where a Growth Mindset thinks about intelligence as something that you grow and build and that intelligence is a fluid factor.

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