How to Prepare for an Online Class
As popular as online classes are, there are still millions of individuals that have not taken one. Some adult learners are even scared to try one. They are so used to sitting in a classroom they don’t want to try and balance a new way to learn with their already busy schedule. Online courses were not even available for many individuals going back to school for a graduate degree. But, there are some daring students out there. They are willing to try anything once. Or, because of their travel/work schedule they have to attend online classes to continue their education. They always want to know the same information; how can I prepare for an online class?
The content in online classes is typically not anymore difficult than taking a class on campus. There is definitely a learning curve for new online students though. Depending on the type of program you are entering in, there are certainly some things you can do to better prepare. For instance, if you about to start an MBA program you may want to brush up on your finance and accounting skills. Or if you are starting a Master’s in Education make sure to brush up on your APA style writing. In most programs with quantitative classes excel will probably be used. If you do not use excel on a daily basis you may want to take a tutorial on it. Also, it would be a huge help if you can get the textbook list for classes prior to them starting.
Besides the type of classes you will be taking, time management is a large component in online classes. There is no one telling you when to be online, so you have to be motivated to log in and complete your assignments. At the undergraduate level 10-15 hours per week is recommended to dedicate to school. At the graduate level, 15-20 hours a week is typically recommended to complete your assignments. This will give you ample time to do your research, read your textbooks, and take your exams. If your schedule will not allow you to dedicate this much time for school, a graduate degree may not be in your best interest. You may need to ask for some time off from your boss or ask a family member to help with chores around the house. Either way, without proper time management skills you will not be successful in your first online class. Once you take a couple and get the hang of it things will get easier.