What are some of the challenges surrounding online courses?

1. SELF-DISCIPLINE

One of the greatest challenges stems directly from the need to attend online school to begin with and that is flexibility. Your need as a full-time worker, a parent, maybe both, is to have an easier access to college and with the many demands associated with that you must have the ability to self-discipline and focus outside of those restraints. While cell phones, crying children and knocking neighbors are not allowed in the traditional setting, they do exist in the online schooling world and being able to learn effectively takes major dedication to your studies.

2. SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

What you may also find challenging is isolation…working alone. Do you work more effectively with the help of classmates or do they actually hinder you? Online schooling versus traditional brick and mortar schooling generally has minimal social interaction. Maybe you prefer working at a slower pace, on your own schedule, or a faster pace is more your style, with online schooling, you set goals for yourself.

3. TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

Another challenge is technology.  If you aren’t comfortable with a computer and the Internet, then this will definitely put a burr in your online learning. These skills are needed to navigate efficiently through your studies.  I would suggest you take advantage of training or workshops that will enhance your technology skills in order to have an easier road to online learning. 

4. SLOW PROFESSOR RESPONSE TIMES

It would be good to do some research involving response times from professors at a certain college before you begin. Student reviews are the best place to find out this information.  Most professors will return an email in a timely manner, others may not which may be frustrating when a deadline is looming. Teacher are generally required by the school to have such a reaction time that does not hinder the online learner, having said that, there could be instances such as, a death in the family, sickness, or just a poor professional attitude that may get in your way.

5. HIDDEN FEES

In addition, there are some hidden fees associated with online schooling. For example, a high-speed Internet connection is mandatory and some courses have an “online course fee” associated with the class. Will book purchases be required or are ebooks available online? Be certain to look into all possible “hidden fees” before you enroll.

The Diploma Dilemma holds some key information regarding the challenges of taking on online courses and obtaining your degree online.