Amanda Hollman, assistant opinions editor, @HollmanAmanda
Like most colleges, Utah Valley University offers many online courses to give students a variety of options to achieve their degree. Like any other choice, there are benefits and downfalls. Before clicking the submit button to register for that online class, check out if that is a good option for you.
Online courses give students a chance to learn on their own time, which is especially helpful for many. UVU has many working students trying to pay their bills, and often finding a job that works with your class schedule is difficult. While online classes have deadlines just like traditional classes, they give you a chance to plan your education when you have time for it.
While having the option to learn the material on your own schedule is a great opportunity, it can be a challenge for many people to accomplish. It is easy to procrastinate taking the time to learn the material in order to be ready for the test. Those that are excellent self-motivators can be successful in online courses, while those of us that do not fall into that category have to work much harder. If you fall into the latter group try to plan a specific time to take care of the work for each online class. Planning will make effectively completing the class more likely.
Everyone learns differently; some people learn best from lectures while others need a hands-on experience to get the most out of a class. Knowing your learning style will greatly help you in your college experience, especially when considering online courses.
With online classes, it is often difficult to get in touch with your professor, so you have to do many things on your own. If you can learn from a textbook, with possibly other visual teaching tools such as slideshows or videos, then online classes could work for you.
Another helpful tool for a successful online class would be to have a tutor to be able to fill in the holes in the information that you do not understand. Whether this is a friend who knows the material or someone you hire to assist you, having a supplemental source of aid can be a great means for victory.
From a young age, the term “strength in numbers” has become real to us. Accomplishing a difficult task is easier if there is someone to motivate. Try to plan your schedule so that you know someone taking the class with you. If that is not an option, once the class starts, see if someone will get together with you to study so that you can help each other out.
Online classes can be a great option for those that would like a change of pace from their regular classes or want to have more control over their learning. Just make sure that you know how to keep yourself motivated before taking the class.