When you cannot attend college classes in person, you can take online college courses. Most classes can be taken from the privacy of your own home on your own time. If you are going to do this, and succeed in your classes, you will need a few valuable tips.
Classes That Require Labs Cannot Be Taken Online
Usually science courses are the ones that fall into the category of not working in online curriculum. If you take a course such as anatomy, physiology, or biology, you have lab time that cannot be completed without coming to a physical school. This is because you will need to dissect bodies, examine living and dead organisms, observe physical reactions to stimuli, etc.. You shouldn't have bodies or dissection subjects in your home in most cases. Otherwise, almost all other classes are fair game.
Dedicate an Hour to Studying and Learning Every Day, Including Weekends
Because you are not dedicating the same amount of time to your classes as someone who goes to a physical school, you need to set aside more time in your daily schedule to study. At least one hour, per class, each night, including weekends, (bare minimum) is typical. It helps you keep up with the pace of the class and it helps you retain enough information to pass your tests. If you really want to do well on your tests, you will need to double your study time, take lots of notes, and/or review class recordings from previous class periods often.
Work Ahead Whenever Possible
In a traditional college class, you cannot work ahead. You can read ahead, if you want, but it generally does not benefit you when your professor or instructor is stuck on one module, unit, or chapter. With an online class, you can work at your own pace, which means you can work as far as ahead as you want. You can even finish your courses weeks or months ahead of the final test. If you can take all of your tests, including the final, anytime you want, then it definitely benefits you to work ahead and finish early.
Set Aside the Exact Same Time for Class Work and Studying Every Night
If the best time to focus and complete your coursework is at 9pm when the kids have settled into bed for the night, do your coursework then. If you know that you wake up at four in the morning every day and you cannot get back to sleep for an hour, work on your classes then. Whatever time works best for you, use it, but remain consistent in the time you select. This helps establish a pattern of behavior that becomes habit over time. Once it becomes habit, then the self-discipline you badly need to get started and keep going will not be so difficult to access and use.
If You Want the Courses to Count for Something, Take Them from an Accredited School
There are three ways to take a college-level course.
- You can enroll in and register through a local or distant college, and take college courses online as though you are in attendance full-time.
- You can "survey" a class, which means you pay to take the class but you never earn college credit for it.
- Then there are college-level courses you take from non-accredited sources where you learn a lot about the subject matter but the courses do not count toward a degree or even toward a certification.
If you want the courses you take to count for something, make sure you enroll and register with the college or university so that your grades and classes are on an official transcript.