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How do I Choose the Best Online Classes?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Taking high school or college courses through online distance learning allows students to hold down a job or take care of other responsibilities while also earning school credits. As long as the credits are accepted as equivalent to those earned at traditional on-site schools, Internet classes let students learn quality information from many geographical locations. The best way to choose online classes is to pick ones that not only work with the credits or skills you need to gain, but that also fit in with your schedule. Not only does adequate time have to be allowed for homework, assignments, studying and test taking, not all online classes are self-paced.

Self-paced Internet classes allow students to log in at any time during the day or night. These courses offer the most flexibility since the student can organize the time needed for the classes around his or her individual schedule. A strict schedule should be created and adhered to, however, as self-paced online classes require a great deal of motivation and initiative on the part of the student. Some assignments and exams must still be completed to meet deadlines and requirements set by the school.

Paced online courses limit the time in which a student can be logged in working on classes since the objective in this type of learning is to have a group of learners working through the material together. An advantage of this kind of distance learning approach is that students may benefit from the questions and ideas raised by other students. Since strict dates and times are set for each aspect of the course, there is no need for the student to take time organizing a plan to complete the online classes around his or her work and personal schedule. A disadvantage of paced online high school or college courses is that the student may have to commit to working at a much faster or slower pace that he or she would at self-paced Internet courses.

Class size is a consideration to make when choosing either paced or self-paced online classes. There shouldn’t be more than 25 or 30 online students per class to ensure that each student will get enough course help and attention from the instructor. Many distance learning classes feature marked group assignments, so working online with large groups of students may be difficult in terms of organization and communication. For example, if even one student in the group can't be reached by email or telephone in time to discuss the progress of the project with the other group members, the quality and completion of the assignment may be compromised.

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Discussion Comments
By suntan12 — On Oct 20, 2010

Mutsy-There are many opportunities in teaching online classes. Schools like the University of Phoenix and Kaplan are always looking for instructors with a Masters degree in their area of their specialty.

These online college classes are flexible and they allow you to add more to your course load. It is not unheard of for those teachers teaching college online classes to earn up to $100,000 a year because you get paid a flat rate per class.

You just have to determine how many classes you are willing to teach and that should give you an idea of how much you will make.

The only downside is that you are considered an independent contractor; therefore you will not be able to get any form of health benefits from the company.

By mutsy — On Oct 20, 2010

Sneakers41-I know that Microsoft online classes are popular for those seeking a training or information technology career.

Microsoft offers the MCSE, which stands for the Microsoft service engineer certification which means that the person that completes the training and passes the exam is recognized with this distinction and often earns substantially more provided that they also have experience in the field and are not entry level.

They also offer this program for Microsoft trainers or those aspiring to train users on various Microsoft products like Word, Excel and Power Point. You would be surprised at how many people need help navigating these programs.

By sneakers41 — On Oct 20, 2010

SauteePan-It is important when you are seeking online classes for degrees that you consider if the site offers accredited online classes.

If the school does not show that an educational body accredits it, then you are throwing your money away with pursing an education with that school.

Employers only recognize degrees from accredited schools and this is a period that takes a few years, so if you see a new school offering programs, they may not have obtained their proper credentials yet.

Also, accredited schools guarantee that the curriculum will adequately prepare you for licensure, if your career requires it.

This is especially important for those seeking nursing degrees. The best thing to do is to check with Department of Education under higher education accreditations.

They will list all of the possible accreditation boards available for university online classes for the school.

By SauteePan — On Oct 20, 2010

There are all sorts of online classes offered. Many community colleges offer online training classes in vocational fields for immediate employment.

Often these courses are considered continuing education courses that allow a student to continue with the course of study, but it will not lead to a college degree.

These online classes offered include courses for real estate licensing, real estate appraisal, CDA licensing which is a child care certification to name a few.

You can find online classes by simply going to the college catalog and view virtual courses. They even offer driver improvement education courses online, for those that have gotten a ticket.

I did this and it was only like $35 for four hours. You can take the course at your own pace, but some states do have a deadline for completion, so you might want to ask about that.

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