by Abby

Should You Take an Online Class?

Sometimes it’s hard to fit all of your required classes into a weekly schedule when you also have jobs, clubs, and other time commitments throughout the day. Iowa State offers a solution in the form of online classes! Before taking my first online class, I was intimidated because I wasn’t sure what to expect.¬†I ended up loving it and have taken quite a few of them since!

Generally speaking, online classes usually have weekly modules of some sort which include lectures (sometimes videos or podcasts), quizzes, and assignments. This varies by the class and the professor, but that’s how most of my online classes have been organized. There is usually a midterm and a final test along with a final project of some kind but, again, it varies by the class and the professor. Online classes provide both a lot of benefits and a lot of challenges and while they may seem daunting at first, you might find that they’re a great fit for you!

Benefits:

  • You have the flexibility to complete classwork when you want to (before the due dates of course).
  • You can do classwork wherever you want. Coffee shops are my personal favorite classroom of choice!
  • You can fit more in your schedule since you don’t have to attend lectures in person.
  • If you are very self-motivated you will enjoy the independent learning style of an online class.

Challenges:

  • You don’t interact with your professor face-to-face unless you visit their office hours.
  • It’s your responsibility¬†to remember to get the classwork done. Don’t forget you’re taking the class!
  • You need a reliable computer and internet connection in order to complete your classwork.
  • If you learn better from hands on experience, you might feel like you’re not learning as much in an online class.

I would recommend using a planner to keep track of all of your due dates for your online class and trying to find a consistent time every week to get your classwork done.

If you think the benefits outweigh the challenges, I would definitely recommend trying out an online class. You’ll get more freedom in your schedule and the rewarding feeling of rocking a class independently!

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