Lesson 3: 10 facts you need to know about online courses

  1. Online courses require at least as much time dedicated by the student as face-to-face courses. Typically, successful students report spending more time, not less, than with a face-to-face class.
  2. Textual materials presented on the Internet are the primary source of directions and information for online courses; therefore, strong reading skills are very important for success in an online course.
  3. You should be able to complete the following tasks to be successful in an online course: navigate the Internet, use email, including attaching a file to an email message, download a program and install it, and do a search on the Web.
  4. Online courses require frequent and diverse uses of technology for accessing information and assignments; therefore, you need to be comfortable working with various types of technology to be successful.
  5. Online students sometimes neglect courses because of personal or professional circumstances, unless they have specific and compelling reasons for taking the course. Procrastination is the most common pitfall in taking an online course.
  6. Some students prefer the independence of online courses, while others find it uncomfortable.
  7. Online courses offer students greater freedom of scheduling, but they can require more self-discipline than face-to-face courses.
  8. Some people learn best by interacting with others. The individual student must take responsibility for regularly contacting other students and the instructor.
  9. Online courses require more self-direction since face-to-face instructions are sometimes not available.
  10. In online courses, instructors are not able to respond to questions immediately like they are in face-to-face classes.