Are you preparing to take your first online course, or considering taking one? If you are accustomed to taking your coursework in the classroom, you are probably curious to know how online courses are different from being in the classroom. In this post, we will provide a general comparison of the two types of environments and the things you will need to know to be successful in an online course.
Online courses at Webster University provide you with the same high-quality learning experience as our face-to-face courses anywhere in the world. You will be taught the same content by the same distinguished faculty as you would in the classroom. You should also expect to complete the same type of learning activities, such as readings, discussions, assignments, assessments, simulations and team-based projects.
Online learning connects people across the world, providing a wide variety of perspectives and enriching your coursework. A key component of your course will be interacting with your peers and instructors from around the world. This will enhance your learning experience, impact your comprehension of the course material, and help build networks and valuable relationships. Contributing to these continuous interactions will add value to your learning experience.
Online courses require just the same commitment and dedication to learning as your classroom courses, if not more! Due to the nature of online learning, there will be a strong emphasis on reading and writing, which can be time consuming. As the courses are typically structured in a week-by-week format, you will see that there are weekly deadlines or due dates for individual items. (Important note: all times given in a course are in Central Time; note the difference from your time zone accordingly, or change your time zone in WorldClassRoom.)
Necessary Characteristics for Success
Online courses will require a good deal of self-motivation and time management. You will not have the benefit of being face-to-face with your instructor and classmates who can provide encouragement to stay on track and reminders about coursework. You will likely see this occurring within your online course as well – the difference is you need to take the initiative to login so you can see it!
We recommend logging in regularly and frequently during the week to stay on top of readings, new discussion posts and other details. For many students, it helps to set a schedule to follow each week; consider when you will finish your textbook readings, when you will post and reply on the discussion boards, when you will complete other activities and assignments, etc. Also be sure to set up your notifications, so that you can keep track of what is happening with your course, even without being logged in.
How Online Classes Work
Webster’s WorldClassRoom platform provides you 24/7 access to your coursework from just about anywhere you have an internet connection. Within your course, you will have access to all of your course information, such as overviews of what you will cover that week, lecture notes from your instructor, information about readings, activities and assignments to complete, and much more! If you are curious to see what an online course looks like, check out our Online Course Tour.
We hope this information has provided you with the information you need to know to be as successful in an online course as you can be in the classroom. Should you need more information or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.