I think Penguin67 had some excellent points; I would like to add a few personal experiences to this very sound advice.
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3. How much peer interaction do I want for my learning? It is not impossible, but meeting your peers can be more difficult in an online course. You don't have that "Hey let's meet for lunch and study before class" kind of socialization. If that is important to you, you need to find a way to do that online.
Oddly enough, I have found that I am more able to socialize with my peers in online courses than I did when I took courses in a traditional classroom. It might be because my program emphasizes a lot of group work so we are forced to be creative in collaborating since we can't just get together for a study session or to work on a project. I feel a much greater sense of camaraderie and less competition in an online program than I did when taking traditional courses. When I took traditional classes, I was a commuter and didn't have much time to get to know anyone else in my courses but in an online environment, we're all virtual commuters in a sense.
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5. Is online more convenient for your schedule? And if so, can you overlook any negatives to online learning in order to ahve your learning be convenient? I teach an online masters course, and two of my students told me that online learning was really not for them, but they needed the convenience of it, and they are making it work.
I agree that online can be very convenient, particularly if one is working or would have to commute to a campus for class. I currently take one class on-campus and it is not at a time that works well for me. It's an early morning class and, adding in the time that I spend commuting, I need to get up very early to get to class on time. I live in an area in which the winter weather is notoriously bad, so I have had to miss a few classes---which may impact my grade, not because of attendance issues but because I have missed some of the material. I find that very frustrating and I have decided that I will not take any additional classes on campus unless they're during a summer session.
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6. Do I have the right equipment to make the online class work? Computers need to be rather new, or have certain settings on them so that they will accept the software for the course. Also, you will probably need a headphone set with a microphone. Some courses require a webcam.Check with your instructor to see what the specs are.
One issue with some online classes is that some of the software that might be required, such as programs to enable one to add voice to PowerPoint presentations, are not always compatible with Mac. I did not realize that there would be software compatibility issues at the beginning of the semester and ended up buying a new Intel Mac upon which I could run Windows when necessary. I had wanted to upgrade my computer system anyway, but had not counted on the extra expense of buying a new computer plus the software plus some of the other hardware such as headphones with a microphone. I occasionally still have technological issues with one of the websites when I am using the Mac OS, which is one of the major stressors I experience in taking online classes.
Dudette10 made some excellent points, too, about the nature of group work in online classes. I was very skeptical at first, mostly because I'd had unpleasant experiences with group work in a traditional classroom setting. In an online class, group work is at first very intimidating because it's hard to think outside the box and imagine how you will all collaborate since you most likely can't get together in person. In one of my classes, we have the same group for the entire semester and we've settled into a good pattern; we know we can count on each other and we work together very well. I wish I could remain in this group throughout the entire graduate program! In other classes, our groups are assigned for only part of the semester and there's always some difficulty in the beginning as people get to know each other. There are also the inevitable group dynamics in which someone feels he/she is doing all the work and someone else isn't and there can be ego clashes from time to time. I think a lot depends on the people in the group and how willing everyone is to work together. Sometimes I do feel a little "grouped out" because I have one group in one class, one group in a second class, and two different groups in a third. Trying to balance four different groups in three different classes has definitely challenged my organizational skills!
I also agree with dudette10 that some professors will give more assigned reading, online tutorials, and discussion groups to make up for the lack of lecture. I think there is a perception among some students that online is actually less work but sometimes it can be a lot more work. It certainly entails a lot more effort but I feel that it is working well for me.