Online Classes: Don’t Fall For Their Trickery

Online classes. Many new students who are not familiar with the concept of online classes often find themselves victims of their trickery and deceit. Just by looking at the term’s surface, it looks like a dream come true for students who have any issues with structured schedules or just prefer to do things on their own time.

No required time to physically attend classes, being able to complete the assignments whenever or wherever you want and always able to have a Google tab open during your online tests… Wow, what a breeze the class must be!

And that’s where they get you!

Online classes require the most time management skills that even the most experienced college students haven’t mastered. When (or if) you decide you want to sign up for an online class, let me first break down an example online class syllabus and provide some commentary on how the “freedom” of online classes is just a personal test that will make you question yourself as a functional human being.

I am ashamed to admit that I was fooled not once but twice by online class syllabuses. I have had experience in two online classes, both of which were personal struggles. They were both basic, gen-ed courses and each time I thought to myself, “The material will not be difficult, I can do this. Just read a couple articles, write a short response each week and take a quick, easy test every once in a while? Piece of cake.”

I was right; the material in the courses was not that difficult, but the workload that was really needed to complete those assignments was always much larger than the deceitful syllabus let on. What looked like it would only require ten minutes of my time turned into several hours, making it sometimes very difficult to meet the deadlines.

In both of the online classes, the amount of reading required to take the tests was more than any of my regular classes. The tests were difficult and were sometimes even timed. Even though it would be nice to be able to use the Internet for help, the Professors of online classes aren’t that naïve. The questions are typically derived from the relevant articles or readings that cannot be accessed once the test has been started.

College has several distractions. It is incredibly easy for your online class to be put on the backburner when you assume you have work that will only take you ten minutes. Not having a professor or a parent to tell you to do your work every day can make it very difficult to stay on top of the workload. Without that reminder, it is very easy to miss or mix up some of the due dates with all of those college distractions going on around you.

Everyone I know who has also taken an online class agrees… they are very difficult. The work is always larger than expected and it is your responsibility to remember all of the dates and exact times that the work is due. Yes, you can “go to class” in your pajamas, but that freedom hardly makes up for the amount of time and effort you will have to put into the class.

Trust me, the quality of work you are able to provide will be much higher if you just simply go to class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. …and that will make you feel much better about yourself.

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.