Do you want to enroll in an online degree program, but you’re a bit cautious due to some concerns? This article will help you clarify some myths and misconceptions about online courses. Taking online courses and degrees can be just as educational and rewarding as conventional in-person classes, with the added benefit of completing them on your own time. So, let’s take a closer look at some common misconceptions about online courses.
Myth #1: Online courses are easier than traditional classroom-based courses
Students’ most common misconception about online courses is that they can get an “A grade” without putting in a lot of effort. Nonetheless, pupils quickly realize that online degree programs are not easy to complete. And that they will need to follow a study schedule to complete their degree in a specified time frame. Professors teaching online courses expect their students to produce the same amount of work, as they would in traditional campus-based programs. This means that students are not missing out on any course material, and have just as many options for learning that content as you would in face-to-face classes.
Myth #2: There are no time limits for completing the online courses
Many people believe that online courses have no time limits, but this is not the case. In today’s world, many online courses are part of degree programs and have set time frames, from 4 to 17 weeks on average. And if you don’t complete the coursework within the specified period, you won’t be able to transfer the course. Therefore, it is critical to understand the course requirements, program duration, and total workload before enrolling in any online degree program.
Myth #3: The quality is poor
Similar to the misconception that online courses are simple, many people still believe that the quality of online programs is relatively low, and does not meet the standards of traditional classes. But, this is not true. Sure, some online courses are not well-organized, and course materials are delivered haphazardly to the students. It also stands true for traditional classes. Instead, many online programs go through a rigorous inspection to ensure that the course content is well-organized and that the material (lectures, readings, exams, etc.) is delivered in a way that complies with best practices for virtual or online learnings.
Myth #4: Online courses do not transfer
Many students are worried that their online courses will not transfer to advanced degree programs, or other undergraduate institutions if they switch their colleges. While you should always check with your institution to see which courses transfer, many universities view online courses as equally transferable as traditional courses.
Myth #5: It’s difficult to reach out to your instructor
There is nothing more aggravating than not being able to contact your professor when you need guidance for designing a study plan, when requesting an extension on a deadline, or when something is not available in the course content when it’s supposed to be. Fortunately, most online instructors recognize the importance of maintaining regular contact with their trainees and provide multiple avenues for doing so. Instructors offer a variety of communication channels to students, such as email, Q&A forums, virtual office hours, and regular announcements. There’s no need to worry because your instructor is just one tap away.
Myth #6: There is no interaction with peers
This myth needs to be debunked. Online courses and online learning rely heavily on peer-to-peer learning. There are numerous ways to interact with classmates, from discussion boards to group assignments involving creating wiki pages, presenting group work using online conferencing tools such as Skype or Zoom, and participation in various types of peer assessment. Indeed, many online classes necessitate regular peer interactions, with about three to four groups discussions per week or unit. That means there are numerous opportunities to interact with and learn from their coursemates.
Myth #7: Online courses require less time
Study shows that online courses typically take less time to complete, but it doesn’t mean they have limited course materials. Online programs usually have more extended class periods and shortened semesters. And these could be the reasons why online courses take less time to complete than traditional campus-based programs.
Myth #8: Cheating is more common in virtual classrooms
It’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of this misconception. You might think the class is virtual (web-based), so why wouldn’t someone use all those resources? But, there is no clear evidence that cheating occurs more frequently in online courses than in face-to-face classes. In reality, professors use various methods to verify the authenticity of their coursework. There are services that instructors use to prevent cheating and plagiarism, such as Turnitin and ProctorU. Some professors use open book or open note tests, while others may forego standard tests in favor of portfolios or projects. Whatever the case, professors and course designers place a high value on the authenticity of student learning
Myth #9: You need to be tech-savvy for taking online classes
It’s true that you must be technologically competent, or have basic technology skills for taking online classes. For example, you must know how to navigate a browser or connect to internet devices. But if you don’t have these skills and are enlisted in an online course, don’t worry; your college or university will provide you with educational materials or video tutorials to help you get information about these topics. Also, you can seek assistance from your professor and class fellows if you need help with the course assignments or other group projects.
Myth #10: Anyone can achieve success in online courses
Success in an online course depends on several factors. Time management is one of those elements that help students succeed in an online learning system. Online learning is a type of self-paced learning. This means that you are responsible for completing your daily tasks and submitting the class assignments within the given deadline. Furthermore, online learning allows students to work independently and at their own pace. For example, if you are scheduled for morning sessions, you can round up in time, and use the rest of the day to work on other projects. And if you are for night sessions, online courses can accommodate your study plan, too. Of course, you will need the same writing skills, study habits, strong communication skills, etc., as you would need in conventional classes.
As you have read, there are a lot of myths about taking online courses, and hopefully, this article has helped debunk some of them. It’s now left for you to decide whether online courses are appropriate for you. Before enrolling in an online course, consider your options and seek recommendations from friends, professors, and family members, to come up with the best decision. For more information about online degree programs, please, visit our site, CollegeDegree.Education.