The fall semester is just around the corner and many of you are finalizing your class schedule before the start of the semester. Have you ever thought of taking an online class through our Worldwide Campus instead of a regular one in the classroom? In my two years of college so far, I have taken three online classes. I took one class during the summer of 2015 and one this summer while doing an internship. The other class I took was during last spring semester. Classes taken from your computer can both have benefits and drawbacks.
I think the biggest advantage of an online is that you can work on it whenever you want. There is no lecture by the professor like a regular class. You don’t need to leave your home and drive to school. You can simply stay home and study. If your schedule is busy, then an online class could be your answer.
Online classes are usually cheaper than classes taught in a classroom. Students might save money but won’t have the same learning experience than in a traditional classroom.
I feel like instructors in online classes give more feedback to the students on their assignment. They have to complete a rubric evaluation for every assignments. Students can see where they lost points and see the instructor’s comments.
One of the disadvantages of online classes is that you are basically on your own. If you need help because you don’t understand something, you can’t just go ask the professor after class. You can message the instructor, but he or she might reply back a few days later. During an online class, you don’t really have classmates and you have to learn by yourself. You have to teach yourself the weekly material.
Format of an online class at ERAU
- Review Questions
- Group Project
- Research Paper
- Final Assessment
All the online classes I took were business classes and their format was quite similar. Online classes at ERAU have a duration of nine weeks. Every week, students will have to submit various assignments on a date set by the instructor at the beginning of the semester. These assignments can include review questions, essays, and discussions. The review questions are pretty straight-forward. You will have to answer questions from a chapter in the textbook. Depending on the class you take, you might have to submit a weekly essay on the topic of the week. Finally, you will have to interact with different students in you class by posting and replying to a discussion thread.
Your class might include a group project. I really had a bad experience with the group project in my Business Information Systems class (MGMT 320). The instructor will assign you in a team (typically four students) and you will have to submit an essay/report. In my group, only one of the three colleagues I had participated in the project. The two of us did the whole work for our team. We tried to get the participation of the two other members by sending emails but it did not work. After we submitted the project, one member sent us an email saying that she was not able to participate since she was at a wedding. The last member seemed to have disappeared from the class. He wouldn’t be active in the weekly discussion threads.
At the end of the nine weeks, you will be required to submit a term paper that can range between 6 to 12 pages. The final assessment is due on the last day and can consist of multiple choice questions, true or false, matching, and/or short essay questions.
I hope that you learned more about online classes and that you will choose the best option for your needs. They both have their pros and cons.
Until next time!
Editor’s note: Current residential campus students must submit appropriate paperwork before enrolling in online courses through the Worldwide Campus. Consult with the Record’s Office, your advisor or admissions counselor before deciding whether online courses are right for you.