Is Online Learning Right for Me?
You want to learn. You understand the importance, and value, of getting an education. But, you are too busy to make the commitment to being in class three, four or five days a week. Perhaps the Online Campus at Aims Community College is the answer for you. Online learning is an increasingly popular way for people to get access to the courses and knowledge they need. In Aims online courses, you learn entirely online, using your computer with Internet access. In some online classes, you may have to go to a campus for your first class or for proctored testing sessions in a campus lab. Consult the class schedule or your instructor for details. Interested? Consider if online learning is right for you:
First of all, understand that online classes are different than traditional classroom experiences in a number of ways:
- The presentation of the material. Instead of in-class lectures and discussions, the course content is presented through web pages, audio/video presentations and other means.
- The ways you will interact with your instructor and other class members. Since you will seldom meet face-to-face, you will interact through communication tools provided for your class. These tools might include web-based chat rooms, message boards and email.
- The total learning experience. While you will cover the same material in the same amount of time as students in a traditional classroom setting, you may find that your learning experience is less structured, that is, you may spend less time with your instructor and fellow class members and more time learning on your own. However, you can be sure that your learning experience will be no less demanding; you'll have to be disciplined and motivated to get the most out of your online learning experience.
Many students report learning more in online classes than in traditional classes, and they find the online learning experience more rewarding. Still, online classes may not be suited to your individual learning style. Before you enroll in an online class, consider the following:
People who learn effectively in an online setting are:
- Self-motivated and willing to accept responsibility for their own learning,
- Self-disciplined, able to budget their time effectively and willing to stick to deadlines,
- Comfortable with technology, especially web-based and Internet technologies,
- Willing to accept the challenge of being an independent learner,
- Willing to take the initiative and contact their instructor when they have questions or concerns regarding the course,
- Able to communicate well in writing,
- Aware that the flexibility inherent in many online courses does not mean the course will be easy.
In addition, to be successful at online learning you must have:
- Reliable access to the Internet, including an up-to-date web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, or Safari.
- A working email account (note: all Aims students receive a free email account through myAims after registering for courses, contact the Aims Help Desk for details.),
- Access to other technologies as required for each course. These technologies may include a television and/or VCR. Consult the instructor for details.
If online learning suits your style and meets your needs, then consider enrolling in courses in Aims Community College's Online Campus. Consult the current Class Schedule for details!
Still not sure? Take the Is Online Learning Right for Me? Quiz.