The ten questions in the survey reflect some of the facts about taking online courses.

  1. Online students sometimes neglect courses because of personal or professional circumstances, unless they have a specific and compelling reason for taking the course. Procrastination causes the downfall of many students.
  2. Some students prefer the independence of an online course; others find it uncomfortable and would prefer to have face-to-face interaction with other students and an instructor.
  3. Online courses give students greater freedom of scheduling, but they require more self-discipline than traditional courses.
  4. Some students learn best by interacting with other students and instructors. However, online courses sometimes do not provide as much opportunity for this interaction. The individual student must take responsibility for regularly contacting other students and the instructor. Communication in an online class is facilitated by the use of bulletin boards, chatrooms, and e-mail. The responsibility for regularly checking these systems rests solely on the student.
  5. Online courses require you to work from written directions without face-to-face instructions.
  6. In some online classes, if you are using "snail mail," it may take two weeks to get comments back by mail from your instructor.
  7. Online courses require AT LEAST as much time to be dedicated by the student as traditional courses. A three-credit lecture class equals three hours of traditional class time and six hours outside of class studying. For each hour in class, two hours should be spent outside of class studying. This means that a student should allow a minimum of nine hours for this course. Successful online students have reported spending more time - not less - than for a traditional class.
  8. Online courses use technology for teaching and communication.
  9. Textual materials (either on paper or on the computer) are the primary sources of directions and information in online courses.
  10. Some online courses require some on-campus work-orientation, review sessions, exams, or labs. Student schedule flexibility is important.