Do you have the time?
students manage time to ensure that
assignments are done before their due
dates, without the sort of prompting from an
instructor that is often taken for granted
in a classroom environment.
Time Availability – Be sure you
have enough time.
a traditional face-to-face class a rule of thumb has
always been that you should be prepared to spend two
hours outside of the classroom doing “homework” for
every hour you spend in the classroom. “Homework”
includes reading textbooks, doing research, completing
assignments, and studying for tests. In a typical 3-unit
class you will receive 48 hours of classroom
instruction. Therefore the total time commitment for
that class will be about 144 hours.
In an online class, the time
commitment is much more difficult to estimate. Since you
do not attend classroom lectures in an online class, you
may mistakenly believe that an online class takes much
less time. This is not true. Faculty and students alike
report that an online class, if anything, may take a
greater time commitment than a face-to-face class
because the instruction you receive and your response to
it occurs for the most part by reading and writing.
Organization – Are you a good time organizer?
Time organization is another factor to
consider. In a face-to-face class time is organized for
you. The class schedule tells you when and where to
attend, and for how long. During that time an instructor
tells you what assignments to do and when you must turn
them in. If you miss something, you can always ask a
In an online class, there are no class
sessions to attend. You must be proactive in visiting
your class web site frequently to read the
announcements, documents and assignments. It is up to
you to keep to the schedule that the instructor presents
in writing in the syllabus or class calendar. You must
also take responsibility for independently reading and
researching the material that the instructor discusses
in her written instructions.
All this assumes that you are a good
manager of your time. In an online class it is up to you
to manage your time successfully. You need to make
realistic judgments about how much study time is enough
on your own. It is very easy to fall behind in an online
class. In fact, this is the biggest problem among online
students. Once you fall behind, it is difficult to catch
up. If you are a good time organizer and a good
independent planner, online classes are for you. If not,
think twice before signing up.
How do the following statements
apply to you?
- I am good at managing my own
- When I have an assignment that is
due, I know how get it done early.
- If I need to schedule time to
take an in-person exam or meet with my instructor, I
am good at making and keeping scheduled
- I like the freedom of choosing
when and where I will do my class work.
- I want to take an online class
because I need to take it to meet my goals.
- I do not need a lot of
face-to-face discussion or explanations in order to
learn a topic.
- I do NOT think an online class
will be easier than an in-person class.
- I like having all the time I need
in order to formulate the answer to discussion
The more of these statements you said
“Yes” to, the more likely online classes will be a good
fit for you.