Deciding to go to college and actually picking a university is an important decision in the lives of many teenagers graduating from high school and considering their college options. While distance learning and taking college courses online to earn a degree are a great option for students, there are some things to consider to really understand what distance learning means and what online courses entail. Contrary to what some people believe, online courses are not all that easy and they do require students to work.
The common misconception that online courses are easy is simply not true. Online courses require students to be extremely disciplined and to stay on top of their studies. Because there are no set physical class lectures or meetings, professors expect students to stay focused and on schedule and to keep up with required readings so that they are ready for their assignments and exams. Depending on the school, most schools also have video lectures or require students to engage in web chats and discussions so it is especially important for students to know what is going on in their courses in order to provide input, which can be graded.
This also means that online courses require students to practice time management skills. Just because you aren't required to meet at school a couple of times a week, does not mean that you can slack off with assigned readings, assignments, quizzes, and exams. It actually means that you need to work hard to ensure that you know what it going on. This means you need to find a way to balance school with other commitments and ensure you are making time for your schoolwork and studies. It is probably a good idea to comb over your personal and school commitments to come up with a schedule that will allow you to balance school and your personal life.
Online courses also require that students have access to a computer or laptop on a regular basis and that they have access to an internet connection as well. This is important because all of the communication that will be done for the course will rely on a computer. Potential students should also know that because distance learning requires quite a bit of studying and reading, it is important to have a quiet and stress free area that is free from distraction to be able to do work there on a regular basis.
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