For the beginning of the Fall School season, we are offering our students and those interested in taking our online course, a series on "Distance Learning Best Practices", plus other assorted tidbits, helps and hints.
So to start things off, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
First, do you have the time to devote to an online study course? Many think that the convenience of online work means less hours required to complete the same amount of work in a classrooom setting. Online class work takes the same, if not more time initially, than an onsite college or vocational class. An online course may save you commute time plus you get to choose your own hours. But typically, students don't weigh the temptation that comes with online work. Let me put it this way. We say to ourselves: "There is often something else more pressing, I can fit in my online studies when I have nothing better to do, I am not facing a strict deadline with my teacher or evaluator,...," and the list of excuses builds from there.
And if you are starting out new to online distance learning, the style of course work, emails, working with an email program on your computer, time between sending a lesson and the response time,... all this and more can add minutes if not hours to your weekly work schedule. Add to that family time, socializing, meals, and the vast minutiae of stuff that enters our day to day living and online time for homework and lessons can easily be forgotten or thought to be not as pressing as other demands.
Here is UMA's suggested TIME REQUIRED to complete UMA course work:
10- 15 hours per week. This is equal to a 9 credits course load at a university or college.
Okay. That's the start to this series. More later.