online classes

  1. I have 2 online classes this fall. Any advice on how to pursue these? Thanks
  2. Visit bjmarthin1986 profile page

    About bjmarthin1986

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 15

    5 Comments

  3. by   lizzyberry
    I love online classes! You dont have to drive to class every two days a week and that saves on gas! I just finished one this semester and the only problem with them is that they really do not accept late assignments at least for our school. What questions do you have?
  4. by   bjmarthin1986
    well my one of my questions is do they seem more difficult de to not being in lecture? Is there a lot more reading involved because of not being in lecture? Do exams seem to be more difficult?
  5. by   Daytonite
    I just finished my very first two online classes. We actually asked our instructor if we could leave words of wisdom to the next class coming up behind us. Here are some of the things I feel are important:
    • We all received instuctions via e-mail a few days before classes officially started on how to access the computer program and log in for our class.
    • If there is a tutorial to do to learn how to use the software that you will be working with, do it.
    • Stay organized and don't get behind. I started a 3-ring notebook that I organized into sections. I like having hard copies of things and printed out the weekly assignments and put them into the notebook as well as a copy of the course syllabus.
    • Save all e-mail from the instructor on your computer or print it out.
    • Get familiar with the online program the college has you using to access class assignments and materials.
    • Read instructions carefully. There is no instructor to remind you if you are forgetting to do something.
    • You have to be self-disciplined and stick to deadlines. Don't get behind. It's not a good idea to wait until the last minute to turn assignments in. If you have a computer failure of some sort, you're going to be screwed.
    • I used a flash drive to download and save copies of the PowerPoint presentations or some of the files that were placed on our computer program. They were easier to access whenever I wanted to review what was on them. I only had dial up Internet service so I couldn't always depend on being able to get online to get access into these files so it was just easier to be able to copy them and store them on a flash drive that I could access at any time.
    • Make sure you have a good Internet connection when you are ready to take any online exams. A dial up connection is NOT reliable as I found out with the very first test. I was dumped offline and the test locked me out. Learn where alternate, reliable computers are that you can use. I found that I could use the computers in the public library of the town where I live since they had DSL connections. As an alternative for an emergency, I was prepared to use the computers at a Kinko's, but you do have to pay by the minute to use their computers. Take the address of the school's computer program with you. The first time I used my library computer it took me 15 minutes of panic before I finally got the correct Internet address for College's Blackboard program typed in correctly.
    We had a huge communication problem with the instructor of one of my classes. He works a fulltime job and only teaches the one class. Something happened with his technology and he was not getting the e-mails that we students were sending him with questions. Often there were problems with accessing the tests which made it nearly impossible to meet the deadlines to have them done. He didn't discover the problem with his e-mail until we were halfway through the course and after a whole bunch of us had kept complaining to the program director that he was not responding to our e-mails. And, despite the fact that we had a week of spring vacation, this instructor still placed homework for us to do during that week of vacation on our online computer site. I can't tell you how important it is to check your online announcements and assignments frequently so you don't miss anything.

    Our exams were open book, but timed. One instructor actually allowed us to print out the tests ahead of time, work out the answers and basically just input the answers when we were ready. The other instructor allowed us to do open book. That sounds attractive, I know, however, if you haven't read the book you're going to spend all kinds of time trying to hunt down an answer in the book because you won't know where to look. Also, this instructor allowing open books used questions that had come from the textbook author. The class really wasn't hard: you read a chapter a week and took an online test before the end of the week. Unless your instructor is living under a rock they will be aware that there is a strong potential for cheating. Some instructors were having online students come into the school and have everyone take a test online in a lab at the same time. It will depend on how your instructor is handling this. I thought the idea of printing out the test ahead of time and working out the answers first was great. However, I discovered there were some students who pilfered answers off others without even cracking a book and went to great lengths to try to get the correct answers to tests from people who took the tests before them. Basically, you are pretty much on your own when you do these classes.

    I missed the face to face interaction.
  6. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from bjmarthin1986
    I have 2 online classes this fall. Any advice on how to pursue these? Thanks
    Online classes are a good way to "wedge" extra courses in a busy schedule. I've done online nutrition, psych, and statistics classes.

    Some online classes have online (open book) tests, others might require you to take the test at a proctored site (maybe on campus at the testing center). Some permit you to take tests anytime during a week, others have set time/date/place requirements - it all depends on your instructor.

    As Daytonite said, you've got to be organized. With online or distance learning classes, YOU are the person who makes you stay up with the course material. I also did the 3-ring binder approach for all my classes.

    If you're doing online classes in addition to "normal" face-to-face type classes, you might do the online classes in your spare time. I found myself dedicating weekends to the online classes, while spending the weekdays on my "normal" classes on campus. Just make sure you don't slack off on your online classes - you've got to stay on top of things.

    If the prof puts out a study guide for the class, use it.

    If there is any sort of online discussion forum for use among your fellow students, participate to share & learn.

    If you're having trouble with a concept, feel free to bug the heck out of your instructor until you understand it. Although they're at the end of a computer modem, they're still being paid to help you learn the subject material. Don't be shy about asking them for help, or even about dropping by their office (if needed).

    The good online classes I've taken all seem to have one thing in common - a good student training/work manual. This will typically include goals/tasks broken down by week. Student assignments/problems typically start at an easier level of difficulty, then work up to the more difficult problems. At a minimum, they should include key concepts you need to master in order to do well on the tests.

    Enjoy!
  7. by   nj1grlcrus
    Stay organized, keep a calendar of due dates for assignments and tests, and check in often to make sure no additional assignments are added. (double check the due dates) Good luck! :biere:

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