An online course is usually an open course intended for unlimited access and participation by the public through the Internet. In some cases, a teacher or other trained professional has established such an online course, whereby only qualified people (usually graduate students) are allowed to participate. In general, an online course can be taken by almost anybody who has reasonable computer skills and a willingness to learn. In recent years, more colleges and universities have started offering distance education via the Internet, so if you are considering learning a particular subject area, it may be worth your while to look into online course options.
The most common form of online courses is a self-directed program. In such programs, students spend a part of their school term completing assignments and coursework, with the main focus on reading, writing, listening and thinking. For many instructors, the key attraction of this form of learning is that students can pursue the coursework on their own time, making it more engaging and dynamic. However, this form of teaching also tends to mean that instructors have less contact with their students, with the result that they may not be as attentive to feedback and suggestions from fellow students as they would be in a face-to-face situation. This means that online courses are not as valuable as they are sometimes made out to be, especially for higher level degrees such as PhD.
Another form of online courses is classroom based courses. These allow the instructors to interact with their students directly, via video conference, chat or email. This makes it easier for prospective students to get a feel for the environment of the university, as well as for the instructor, since they will have a clear picture of how the classroom works. With classroom-based courses, students also have the added benefit of scheduling flexibility. If a learner has an uncontrollable scheduling problem or cannot attend a class due to illness or a commitment in another form, he or she still has the opportunity to take part in the required coursework.
Asynchronous versus synchronous communication is also a consideration for online learning experience. Asynchronous communication means that two or more computers to communicate with each other over a period of time without the involvement of both parties. Synchronous communication (sometimes known as real-time communication) is a means by which information is passed between parties through a series of exchanges that are triggered by the presence or absence of one party to the exchange. In most cases, the source of information will remain constant, while variations are infrequent. Asynchronous communication can be very useful for synchronous information, but the experience is somewhat limited and not always smooth.
Some students and instructors use the procrastination factor to justify the use of online courses, despite the lack of interaction. Students who can’t commit to an online course due to time or health reasons will argue that the lack of face-to-face interaction prevents them from receiving all the benefits of the course content. However, there are a number of online courses that do not require students to remain online during the initial part of the course, thereby allowing them to interact throughout the course in a more limited capacity. These online courses usually allow students to take partial classes at their convenience and then require them to complete other assignments and midterms within a set time frame. This allows students to better manage their time. Click here more information about Vertex Investing Course.
The dark side of procrastination is not just the lack of opportunities for face-to-face interaction, but the potential for misuse of internet-based courses. One of the most common problems that arise is the ability to move ahead with assignments once the instructor has recommended an online course. Online courses may have been recommended by a friend, a class instructor, or an online tutor. Instructors often encourage online courses because they offer flexible schedules, and because they eliminate the need for travel and accommodation expenses. Instructors also have a lot of information at their disposal when it comes to grading, which makes them responsible for imparting knowledge according to a set syllabus, rather than grading each assignment on a “totem” level.