Online schools intimidate some college students, especially those students who believe they lack the discipline to study on their own.
But in most cases, that fear of failure is not justified.
And lack of discipline as a prerequisite for enrollment in e-learning classes is fast becoming a myth and a non-issue. For a growing number of students, distance learning is becoming the only way to experience college, even if that includes developing discipline along the way.
It is no secret that online classes require discipline. But those skills develop quickly when there is an easy-to-understand plan, or schedule, from the beginning of each class. And competent e-learning instructors are especially diligent about providing a detailed online syllabus.
The syllabus, a simplified roadmap for the class, tells students:
Additional information is often included on the class website, like links to: class notes, class video or audio lectures, message boards that connect students with each other, and individual grade books updated with the grades for each assignment.
Weekly emails from instructors are a normal part of online courses and generally explain the current week’s assignment, giving a heads-up about challenging homework that requires extra effort.
In traditional college classes, instructors hand out the syllabus; and students attend classes in person. But there is often little personal communication between instructors and students, unless the student initiates that communication. Online class instructors generally engage students through regular emails and discussion boards; and they welcome feedback from students. This is a strength of online classes.
Students who avoid enrolling in online classes may miss out on a rich, flexible learning experience that incorporates the latest in distance learning technology and prepares students to work in careers that rely upon technology. These career fields include health care, information technology, accounting, computer science, engineering, business administration, medical billing, paralegal and almost every other field.
But online classes are a great way to develop that discipline and to leave fear far behind.
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