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Online College Courses: Are They Right for You?

This post was written by Amelia Orozco, one of our DCCCD student bloggers.

In every college student, there is a hint of trepidation when enrolling for classes. Even if you are a first timer, an old timer, or haven’t gone to school in years, you’ll probably panic over the courses to decide between and how to take them. Plenty of reasoning and a lot of scheduling issues might affect this decision. So, what could be considered the perfect ultimatum? Why not try online college courses?

Before delving into the major decision of your first online course, there are a few different things you should probably know.

The “Good”

  • Convenience, convenience, convenience. There is no doubt that this is the best way to take classes if your schedule is super hectic or varies weekly. There are no set schedules and you may complete work at any time you choose (yes, even you who is up at 3 a.m., you night owl).
  • Coursework can be completed before the actual course ends. Depending on how your professor sets up his/her online class, you can most likely finish your work before then if all assignments are readily available.
  • Workload may be significantly less than it would in other courses (say good-bye to group projects and public speaking!). However, this is my personal experience and may not reflect every course.
  • It gives a sense of independence. You set your own pace and work according to your own schedule. If you’re motivated, this can be a great thing.

The “Bad”

  • Online courses aren’t for everyone. You should be persistent and dedicated to get your work done on time. There is only you, your laptop, and assigned materials — your professor will not be there to make sure you get your work done.
  • Speaking of professors, they make little to no leeway for late work. This means minor excuses like being “sick” aren’t going to get you out of your unfinished essay.
  • If there are restrictions put on assignments, you might not be able to complete them in the designated time frame. For example, an exam may only be open for one or two days and this may cause problems depending on your availability.
  • Your work is on a laptop; this speaks for itself. Everyone is tempted to open a new tab and look up YouTube videos or browse trending Twitter topics.
  • Computer malfunctions. They may rarely happen but taking precautions is a necessity, especially look out for times when the sites are down for maintenance.
Amelia uses eCampus to log in to her online classes, check coursework, and take exams.
Amelia uses eCampus to log in to her online classes, check coursework and take exams.

Keep in mind that this is all personal preference. If you are familiar with using computers (hopefully you are; after all, it is the 21st century) then this will most likely work out. If you lack persistence, then it may be more difficult for you to get your work done. However, none of this will completely determine your success in an online class.

So, if you’re nervous about taking in-class courses and would prefer online, by all means do it! I know I’m like that; social anxiety is my kryptonite and these courses have been a life saver.

For more information about how online classes work, how to get started, or to see success stories, head to the Dallas Colleges Online website.

Feel free to comment below about any personal experience with online courses and how they have impacted your college life. Do you prefer them or in-class courses and why?

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