All posts tagged Online Learning Tools

All About Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Classes

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Online classes are usually either synchronous or asynchronous. Some courses may be a combination of both. There are also blended courses for students who want a limited amount of on campus attendance but prefer to do the rest of their work online at home. Blended courses and synchronous courses are good choices for students who wish to have a transition path from on campus attendance to fully online study. There are also independent study courses, taken online, for students who prefer to work at their own pace, either faster than a traditionally-scheduled course or at a slower pace as best fits their own schedule.

Students have different preferences about which type of course they prefer. Let’s talk about how each type of course works.

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Five Myths about Online Education

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People have a lot of preconceived ideas and beliefs about online education. Among those beliefs are that online education is easy and that students are isolated from their peers and instructor. The truth is that accredited online education is academically equal to traditional education. Here are five of the most prevalent myths about online education:

Myth 1 – Online classes are easier.
For most students, online classes are actually more time-consuming and, in some cases, more difficult. The reason is very simple. Sitting in on-campus classes involves most listening and speaking; very little in depth reading and writing is done in class. In online classes, in depth reading and writing are necessities since all work is done at home on the computer.

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5 Reasons to Choose Online Classes

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Students take online classes for lots of reasons, although those new to online classes may not fully understand the differences between online and on-campus classes. Do be sure to check next month’s posting to find out about the myths surrounding online classes. The differences in the two types of classes are some of the very reasons that students describe as their reasons for choosing to do part or all of their education online. Here are the top five reasons for choosing online classes.

1. Convenience: The top reason is avoiding the time needed for commuting to and from school, which can save hours throughout the week when managing school, work, and family activities on a daily basis. Some students report saving as much as 5-10 hours a week in commuting time and they can apply that time to studying.

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Digital Tools and Skills for Successful Online Learning

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Computer and technology literacy is a requirement for successful online learning. Without these skills, successful completion of online classes can be negatively affected. Think about it: if you can’t save and name files, or upload and download file attachments, then you can’t submit your assignments. If you are constantly figuring out how to use a specific technology tool required for your assignment while you are also working on the assignment, the time spent will be doubled or even tripled. It is to the student’s advantage to be proficient with technology prior to taking an online class.

In my role as an online professor, I see students who enroll in my online class without the most rudimentary technology skills. I have worked with students who did not know how to name files and set up folders to organize class documents. Some students sign up for class and do not even own a computer. Other students have computers but only for Facebook or other social media. These situations contribute to the difficulty of an online class.

Succeeding in an online course or program requires proficiency in multiple areas of digital tools and skills. Learning to use technology after starting an online class puts a lot of stress on students; it is far better to learn technology skills before taking your first online class. Many schools offer tutorials and webinars on technology and library tools and skills. There are also many free online resources for learning how to best use the technology you will need for school. The following are the basics you will need to know before starting your first online class:

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Our Top 10 Favorite Forums for Distance Learning Students

Discussion forums are designed to engage all types of learners in an educational community. Through the various types of forums, students can freely share their ideas, opinions and experiences and can create challenging discussion in an interactive, friendly environment.

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