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What is Online College Really Like?

Posted: May 11, 2020 | Author: Grace Thorkelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

What are online classes really like? With the recent changes in the way classes are being administered to college students worldwide, you might wonder what the day-to-day life of an online student is actually like. Although each student's situation will be slightly different than the next, homework, studying, reading, virtual conference calls, and correspondence with professors and peers is bound to be a part of the experience.

Class Format

Online classes can have different class formats. Two common formats are synchronous and asynchronous classes. Many online programs utilize synchronous classes, meaning that there is a specific time scheduled for both the students and the professor to be online. This might take the form of a live lecture from the professor, with interactive questions to help the students stay engaged throughout the learning process. This can be a great way to maintain a more traditional schedule during online courses.

Asynchronous classes take a different approach. There is not a specified time the online class meets and course materials are accessible 24/7. Professors provide the online resources that students need to complete the assignments, projects, and tests by creating modules for each section, topic, or week of the semester. This helps students stay on track, and follow along with the work that they need to be completing before the module concludes. These modules may include pre-recorded lectures, readings, and other materials.

Keeping in Touch with Professors

Communicating with professors varies greatly from professor to professor. Some may have set office hours for questions or simply to discuss the material that is currently being studied or researched. Some professors, on the other hand, respond quicker to an email via Canvas or Google Hangouts. If one approach typically works best for you, let your teacher know, so that you can receive the help necessary for your success. Professors at Southern Utah University care about their students, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a professor at any point during the semester.

Balancing Family and Student Life

Whether a student is a single mother of two young children, or a 19-year-old waiting tables full-time, making time for yourself should be a priority. Do something you love every single day. Whether that is exercising, baking, or reading a book to the kids, don’t forget the value of making time for you. Set aside time for studying, but, don’t beat yourself up if you get interrupted and have to come back to the homework at a later time. Maneuvering through these unprecedented times is new for everyone, and we will figure it out together.

Course Material

The material that is covered in an online course is the same as a traditional on-campus class. Although there may be different ways the material is studied or covered, students will learn the same core information, techniques, and material. Discussion boards are commonly used in online courses to increase student participation and collaboration. Frequently professors will pose a question or post an article that the students should research. Students then write a response and comment on their peers’ posts to give constructive feedback and opinions.

For many students, online college may be a whole new ballgame, while others may be more accustomed to it. Whatever level of comfortability you may feel you are currently at, SUU is here for you every step of the way. Reach out to an advisor, professor, ACE, or a member of the online admissions team if there is something that they can do to help you be successful.


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Tags: SUU Online

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