Many people around the world are getting their education through online college programs. Still, to those unfamiliar with online education, you may wonder how it all works.
An online college program’s layout is similar to in-person classes that you can expect from a traditional brick and mortar university. The only difference is that students learn and submit all coursework and assignments from home without having to travel to and from college daily.
What is an online college like?
Online college attendance is similar to an in-person college. You will have to log on to your computer and the student portal regularly. This portal will be where you will find all things related to the program, such as the syllabus, lessons, coursework, grades, and contact information to your professor and fellow students.
Sometimes an online course will require students to come to the school’s campus at some point, especially in a field where you need clinical experience, such as nursing. Other colleges may bring the students in for in-person lectures, networking opportunities, or team building activities.
Just because you are doing college online does not mean that the work will be any easier. The coursework and the expectations of students are often the same between online and in-person schooling.
How do you learn in an online college?
Most courses will begin with lectures, just like in a classroom. Lessons are either a live video stream of the professor teaching, a pre-recorded class on the course page, a text document of the lecture, or in the form of a slideshow.
Every class is different. Some require you to listen to or read the lectures every day, while others require you only to do so once a week.
Another big part of is it includes participating in class discussions. More likely than not, you will be required to have weekly chats with either your class, your professor or both. You will participate in a discussion board or an online group meetup held at a specific time. Some professors will give students a prompt to answer, while others will let the class lead the discussion.
How do you complete assignments?
Assignments for online college classes will usually involve a combination of reading, researching, and group work. Reading materials can either be in textbooks (physical or online versions) or right on the course page itself.
Your professors will likely post assignments on the course page. All tasks must be completed on time and before the due date for them to be accepted.
Some classes will require students to participate in group projects where they would communicate with the group virtually and then do a remote presentation.
How do you take the exams?
Online exams are proctored by a test proctor watching you take your test through a webcam or by software that detects cheating.
In some cases, students will visit a local testing site with a proctor to watch over them as the test goes on. Otherwise, students can take their exams from their homes.
How do you graduate?
Online colleges that are part of a brick and mortar institutions will likely invite their students to attend the physical graduation ceremony. Suppose you are attending a primarily online college or live far from the school’s physical location; you may participate in a virtual commencement ceremony.
What are the major benefits of an online college?
Online college offers you the time and geographical freedom to do your classes when and where you want. It is generally more cost-efficient than physical classes, and it also gives you more flexibility in your pacing and learning. Working adults or stay-at-home moms intending to pursue their dreams will find this a great option.