Posted in Blogging, Returning to School 30+ Years Later

My Take with Online Courses #Undergraduateadult


Now that I’m at the beginning of my second term of online courses I must say that I have mixed feelings about the process.

I like them!

You do have to be self-sufficient when it comes to learning. Discipline is a must. The deadlines must be met.  You are given the essential tools for survival. That would be the textbooks.

One doesn’t need to be at a complete loss. Make sure you know how to use the internet to research what you need to know, and read the textbook.

I know, you don’t like to read the book. Well, read it anyways. You won’t be sitting in class listening to your professor go on and on with a lecture. Your lecture, if you are lucky will be a PowerPoint of about ten slides. That’s it.

You will have to go online and research if you need to know more to understand your assignments or discussions.

The tests are open book. They are still hard regardless.

I also like the time I’ve saved in not having to travel across the state to sit in a classroom. It would be an hour drive one way for me. That would be two hours spent on the road when I could be reading that textbook instead.

What I don’t like…

There isn’t much I don’t like about the type of course study. I have the discipline for doing what I need to do when I need to do it. Especially, when I set my mind to doing something that I want to do passionately.

I did teach myself to self-publish, didn’t I?

When I’m done with school, there will be loads of stories to come. Which leads me to the other thing I don’t like. That would be not having enough time to write stories. I have all these new ideas popping into my head that I keep jotting down in a journal I keep at my desk. I read something in one of my textbooks, and a light comes on, jot that one down.

Seriously, if you want to return to school, then do it!

Online courses need discipline and self-sufficiency.

There are hybrid courses too. You do some of the work online and the rest in the classroom.

Or, there is old school, 100% classroom.

It’s your choice. I know I’m glad to have jumped at the opportunity when I did.

 

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Author:

Linda Nelson is a YA Contemporary, Fantasy, and Romance author. She published her first work, Friends of Choice, in 2010 and wrote her first YA Romance, Along Came Neil, in 2013, after joining RWA at the request of a friend. When she isn't creating dramatic situations for her Contemporary characters, she's most likely playing tug with her pup, Keelaa, the pup with the razor sharp teeth. You can visit her at www.lindajnelson.com.

2 thoughts on “My Take with Online Courses #Undergraduateadult

  1. Paul,
    Yes, one needs to be careful with online courses. My experience is from an accredited university. There are other accredited schools besides the one that I am taking part of, that are joining the online education. Southern NH Univesity, Lowell Mass University is just to name a couple. The tuition is lower than attending school as a resident at the college since you don’t need to pay for room and board.
    Each class has online discussions that the students are required to post a response. The expectation of a minimum of 5 hours for each discussion to be spent reading and answering. The expectation is that you are to read each initial posting and then you are to post a reply to at least four other student’s initial answers.
    Then there are the assignments that need to be done. If I have a question about any of the modules I am working on, even the assignments and discussions, the professor is available through email. They frequently check for questions regularly.
    Someday, I may give the classroom experience a try, but for now, the online classes suit me well.

  2. One has to be careful with online courses, however. If you take them from an accredited university they may be fine; but there are many “scamiversities” out there offering online courses (some as their exclusive content; others as a part of a greater, but financially costly and occupationally useless, separation of the unlearned from their money). Some entire programs (I’m looking at you, Phoenix) can be dismissed entirely out of hand. But online courses taken through an institution known and trusted, and which did not merely come into being with the Disinformation Age, can be effective.

    That said, I personally prefer the classroom experience even as an adult; hearing other students’ questions to the professor (which sometimes do clear up issues I may not have understood either but did not think to ask about), and talking directly to both the professor and the other students. These things have always helped my understanding of content and of course expectations; so if my schedule and the school’s schedule permit, I personally opt for the classroom course instead of the online one. But many schools now simply designate certain courses as online only; and they can, when organized properly, be thoroughly helpful.

Go ahead, I'd love to hear what you have to share!