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Getting the Most Out of Your Online Course

Here at Top Test Prep, we want to make sure that we address questions and concerns of students out there, whose busier schedules only allow them to attend online courses.  Therefore, here are some tips on how students can make sure that they get the most out of the online courses they sign up for.

How to find the best online course for you

Let’s say you want to explore a subject that isn’t offered at your school, or you need extra help in math, or maybe you want to maintain your critical thinking and problem solving skills during summer or winter break. There are probably as many reasons for taking online courses as there are subject offerings, so here are two things to consider when making your choice:

Faculty

One of the benefits of online education is the opportunity to learn from the best of the best no matter where you are. You want to make sure that the course instructor has experience not only in the subject area, but also in education. On top of that, online courses hosted by accredited colleges and universities have the credentials and know-how that are necessary for running an effective course.

Assignments

Keep in mind we’re trying to find the best course for you, not the best course for your classmate or family member. Therefore, it is important to be reasonable with yourself when registering for an online course. Familiarize yourself with course requirements before making the commitment. Some courses have a weekly written assignment that takes less than thirty minutes to complete; others assign technical problem sets that require hours of work in addition to the lectures. Will you be able to dedicate an hour or two each day to your online course, just like you would for a course at school? Your success depends on your commitment to a reasonable workload for your schedule.

How to get the most out of your online course

Yes, online courses are convenient. For once, you can learn physics without leaving your bedroom! This means you can sit in your pajamas while a Nobel Prize winner lectures on Newtonian mechanics, but it also means that you have to approach these courses with the same discipline and commitment that you would for a classroom course if you want the course to be effective.

Why are you taking this course? Seems like a simple question, but there are an infinite number of possible responses. Making sure that your course will help you reach your end goal, whether that’s learning a new subject, brushing up on some concepts before heading off to college, or applying a subject to a specific career path.

How will future employers or academic programs interpret your results? If you plan on using this online course to demonstrate proficiency in a subject area, make sure the course certification is acceptable evidence.

Do I have time to take this course? Hopefully the answer is yes, but that’s not always the case. The saying “you get what you give” certainly applies to these courses; education may be evolving, but the old-fashioned rules of the classroom are timeless. Take notes during lectures, complete assignments in a timely and thoughtful manner, and participate in student interactions.

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