College on the Web: Comparing the Pros and Cons of Online School Reply

Internet technologies have changed education. Via online classrooms, students can study anywhere, anytime. However, online classes and degrees also have drawbacks. If you’re thinking about taking an online degree, it’s best to look at the pros and cons before you do.

Pro: It’s Convenient

One of the big pluses of online education is convenience. You don’t have to commute further than your home office to “attend” class. You log onto class when it’s convenient for you, even if it’s the middle of the night. Many online classes are asynchronous so you don’t have to study at a specific time. For those classes that aren’t, you can use free technologies like Skype and Google Hangouts to meet up with professors and peers.

Pro: Access Majors That Your Home University Doesn’t Offer

It used to be that you had to move out of your house, and sometimes out of your hometown, to study certain majors. While it’s an exciting prospect to study in a different city, that option isn’t always available to people, especially non-traditional students who have families and jobs.

Kristy English of Portland State University expressed how critical an online degree was for her. She looked at a few schools before deciding on Portland State. She felt that her criminal justice degree would help her to help her community. Fortunately, she didn’t need to leave her community or her job since she could study criminology online.

Con: It Can be Hard to Find Quiet Time

Students who need sequestered places to study might find the online environment challenging. Students at traditional universities can go to the library or the study in the quiet of the lounge. Online students often have to work around family, pets, and co-workers to get their work done. This makes it hard to concentrate at times.

Con: An Online Degree Requires Self-Discipline

If you have trouble getting to class at a traditional university, it’ll probably be more challenging when you’re getting an online degree. Classes on campus force you to focus and to set aside specific times for work. Students who lack that kind of self-discipline may falter in an online class. It’s easy to forget about class when you don’t have a set schedule to follow.

Final Thoughts on Online Degrees

Online degree programs have opened up educational opportunities for all sorts of students. They allow people to study when it’s convenient for them. However, they also require a great deal of discipline and don’t offer the quiet spaces a traditional university does. If you’re looking at some online degrees, be sure to be honest about how well you’ll do with the cons as well as the pros before deciding on a program.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

 

How to Be a Highly Successful Online College Student 2

Today, students have multiple opportunities to get higher education and now they don’t even need to move to another country to study at the university of their dreams. Online education diminishes all borders and reveals more opportunities to everyone. However, not all students use this opportunity. Most of them know about online education, but they don’t feel confident enough to study without visiting classes and directly interacting with the professors and other students. That’s why they give preference to classic education.

For many students, interaction with students and professors is of the primary importance. They find inspiration and motivation to study in this interaction. That’s why when they start to study online, they don’t demonstrate good results, as they always lose concentration and the desire to study itself. For these students, online education is not the best option.

However, many students also find this way of getting an education to be one of the most effective ones. The matter is that you may create your own schedule and decide for yourself when you want to study and when you want to have a rest. Of course, online education also has some tricky points. In this article, we’re going to talk about the best methods to become a highly successful online college student and get better results.

Organize your activity

First and foremost, you need to organize how exactly you are going to study. You need to know and remember the syllabus of every class that you need to take. Classes can be held in the form of lectures supported by images and videos, or in the form of webinars. It’s better to write down when exactly you have these classes and determine if you are free to watch the video records of the lectures. It’s even better to note when you should watch them according to your own plan. Also, create a schedule of your assignments and tasks that you need to accomplish to get your grades. It will be a good idea to use special apps for creating schedules. These apps can be installed on nearly all devices with any OS, so just choose the one which is the most suitable for you. Another trick here is to keep all activities in one app as in this way you won’t miss anything.

Visit all online classes

Most online students think that they don’t need to attend classes as they can get all this information somewhere else. They don’t even watch or listen to the records of online classes! Thus, they miss a lot of important information that can help with task accomplishment. If you have decided to become an online student, you need to visit all classes, and if you miss some classes, check the records to get the information. Besides, when a student starts to skip classes, it becomes a habit, and they no longer cares about checking these classes later on. Self-discipline is your main tool to continue online education and succeed in it.

Set study goals

Self-discipline and time management are crucially important for your online education, but they’ll be useless unless you have properly set goals. If you don’t understand why exactly you study online, it’ll be difficult for you to stay persistent with your work. When you know what exactly you want to achieve, you tend to make more effort to get the results. Of course, by setting study goals, you’ll need to follow certain patterns. For example, you need to set smaller goals for every class and some bigger goals that consist of accomplishing those smaller goals. The bigger goals should lead to your main goal.

Communicate with your professor and other students

Communication is important even in online studying. Of course, here communication differs from the communication in real life, as you do not spend the time together with your classmates. Still, all of you have one common goal – the education itself. Most online colleges have special forums and portals where online students may communicate. In addition, they may communicate with professors on these forums. Communication with professors is one of the most important aspects of successful education, and you should always keep that in mind. Every time you feel that you need to get an explanation of some pieces of information, you need to write your professor and ask questions just like you would ask a professor in brick and mortar universities and colleges.

Implement modern technologies

Technologies, including the possibilities of the Internet, enhance the quality of online education. First of all, you need to use technologies to communicate with other students and professors (although the college may have some forum or portal, you can also create group conversations in Facebook or Viber). Social media can really help students study and you should not ignore this way of studying, as it will bring more benefits to you. You may even use social media for your research! For students who study marketing, this can become a perfect platform for trying their own marketing strategies in practice.

Additionally, you may use modern technologies to enhance the quality of your writing. For example, you may use special spell checking programs that help improve the quality of your writing. Also, the Internet is full of resources that you may use to make your essays sound more profound and professional. Besides, after writing your essay, you may immediately check it for plagiarism to make sure that you have followed all the rules.

Online education is the way of getting a degree that does not suit everyone. It has too many tricky points but, in fact, real-time education also has these tricky points and students need to deal with them. Self-organized and disciplined students will feel equally confident both in traditional colleges and on online education portals. So, build your discipline and work on your self-organization to be able to receive an education at the best colleges without the necessity to leave your home!


Sophia Clark graduated from the University in the City of New York with a B.A. in Journalism, 2011. She is a creative writer from New York who loves to share her thoughts with readers. In her free time she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Her big dream is to publish a novel one day. Connect with her on Twitter and Google +.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Top 11 Reasons Why College Students Dropout: Don’t Let it Happen to You Reply

Students drop out for a number of reasons. A lot of time it has to do with money, time, or an unexpected emergency where they become unable to keep attending college or not go in the first place. Here are the top reasons why students drop out of college and what you can do to avoid the pitfalls.

  1. School costs too much

One of the biggests reasons that students drop out of college is because of the lack of funds to keep going. Many students take out school loans, but that isn’t always enough. Between the costs of classes, books, rent, and just trying to survive, students are more and more learning that while worth it in the long run, the cost of education is high. Check with your school’s financial aid office and search online for scholarships and help paying for tuition.

  1. Needed to get a full time job

This goes along with the cost of education. A lot of students find that they need to get a full time job in order to pay their bills, which cuts into being able to attend classes. However, a lot of people find that if they can take even one class a semester it will help them to lighten the load and complete their degree. Graduating from college is a long term commitment, and there is nothing wrong with taking longer if that is what you need to do.

  1. Family issues

Family can be very helpful while going to college, but for a lot of students family can be a huge stressor and burden on their life. Especially if a family emergency happens, you might have to take time off from school. Keep in mind that professors are generally understanding of student’s situations, so often if you let them know of your situation, you can work out a plan to finish your coursework on your own time. Your teachers want to see you succeed.

  1. Too much stress

Going to college is stressful, there is no doubt about it. If you are just graduating high school, then the amount of coursework mixed with the personal life and new sense of independence will get to you. But, the important part is that you learn how to cope and find ways to study. It is OK to have fun, but passing your classes is essential to your success.

  1. Not sure of major

Many students go into college with their major undeclared, which is completely fine. However, as you get farther along in college, you are going to have to eventually declare a major. Don’t let this stress you out so much that you end up dropping out of college over it. Keep taking classes, meet with your professors and advisors, and find something that you are passionate about.

  1. No need to complete a full degree

A lot of students go to college just to obtain the knowledge they need to succeed, and sometimes you don’t need a full degree to succeed in life. Students who need a little bit of education in order to obtain a leg up in their career can find a lot of resources at college.

  1. Unprepared for the work load

Attributing to their overall stress, students who graduate high school and go straight into college find that the workload is more than they expected. Prepare to spend more time on your classes than you did before, but don’t forget to take some time to relax and recharge your brain too.

  1. Personal emergency

Personal emergencies are stressful enough when you are out of college. If something happens where you aren’t able to go to class and finish your homework, speak with your professors so that you can make other plans to finish your coursework, take tests, and make up the time missed in the classroom. As stated above, teachers want to see you succeed.

  1. The college atmosphere wasn’t the right fit

Some people just don’t mesh well with the traditional college atmosphere. And that is OK. If you consider yourself one of these types of people, consider the other alternatives to traditional education. You might find that an online program is a better with for your lifestyle. Or, consider taking classes part time so that you can work while you go to college.

  1. Too much fun outside of class

Don’t let personal freedom take control of your entire life. It is fine to have fun, meet new people, and enjoy your life in college, just be sure to take time to actually study so that you can pass your classes.

  1. Lack of advising

Lack of advising is often a problem in many colleges. A lot of the problem too is students don’t take the time to meet with advisors when they need it the most — don’t let this be you. Meet with your advisors and plan out your goals for college. And if they don’t help you, go to your college professors, mentors, parents, friends, and anybody else that will help you reduce the stress of how to obtain your personal and professional goals.

Keep in mind that just because you drop out of college, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back later to finish. More and more students are taking classes part time or dropping out for a semester and going back later. Graduating college is a very important aspect to being successful, and it is never too late to finish your degree. Time goes by fast, so know that you can finish one class a semester if you have to to lighten the load. Keep in mind these top reasons why most college students drop out to help safeguard yourself from not being able to complete your degree.  

The ABA: Stuck in the 20th Century Reply

There are many online schools that offer law degrees and programs. Such programs can lead to a career as a paralegal and positions in corporations that require extensive legal knowledge. If you have already passed the bar, you can take online Master of Law (LLM) degrees to focus on particular areas of the law. Online programs can boost the career of executive and HR professionals, and provide many other great opportunities. In short, these degrees can take you anywhere you’d like to go… unless you’d like to practice law.

The American Bar Association provides accreditation for law schools that offer a Juris Doctorate (JD) Degree – the degree that allows you to take the bar exam and practice law. Online Juris Doctorate program exists, but as of the time of this article, the ABA has yet to approve any online JD programs. All states except for California require that you have received a JD degree from an ABA approved school before you are allowed to take the exam. So, unless you plan on spending the first several years of your career as a lawyer practicing in California, your only choice for law school is a traditional brick-and-mortar institution.

Since the ABA frequently reviews schools and approves Juris Doctorate programs for schools all over the country, we can only assume that there is a perception in the field that an online education is somehow inadequate for someone who wishes to practice law. To this perception, we have no choice but to say, “we object, your honors!” and ask the ABA to consider the evidence.

  • Exhibit A: Online education works: advancements in technology have provided online environments that allow for a learning experience that equals and sometimes exceeds the traditional classroom. In most cases it is easy to get one-on-one assistance from your professor, attend lectures, find a tutor, and collaborate with other students on group projects. Accredited online degrees exist for most other disciplines, and have existed for quite some time.
  • Exhibit B: The value and quality of online degree programs has been generally accepted in the corporate world. Most employers recognize the validity of online degrees and regularly hire graduates from these programs. State and private universities all over the United States have recognized the quality and rigor of online education and have created their own online degree programs.

We understand that law is the basis of society, and that the profession is one of the oldest and most respected. However, we believe that there is room in the profession for innovation and fresh thinking. It’s time for the American Bar Association to step into the 21st century and seriously examine and consider approving online JD programs.


Tony Hornsby works in the public pension industry and writes in his free time.  He has a BS degree in Business Management and enjoys writing, reading, and martial arts.  Follow Tony on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RoughandRuggedRoad.

Use Online Course to Pick the Right College Major 1

Written by Joseph Rauch, writer at SkilledUp.

Have you decided on your major? If so, great! However, you won’t actually know what it will be like until you take a course.

Only a few years ago, there was no practical way of testing the water before stepping onto campus. Students had to take a somewhat blind leap and hope the courses in their majors would live up to their expectations and fulfill their passion. If they didn’t, oh well. There went a huge chunk of their money and at least a year of their lives.

Students do have the option of entering college with an undeclared major. However, this means they run the risk of wasting time and money by sampling in-person courses in an effort to figure out their major. For example, a student could spend hundreds of dollars and an entire semester on an introductory economics course only to discover the field wasn’t right for them.

Now things are different. Thanks to the rise of Massive Open Online Courses [MOOCs] and their respective providers, incoming college freshman have a way to test drive their major for free online instead of discovering whether they like it after they’ve already registered.

MOOCs attempt to offer as much of the college course experience as possible from the comfort of your home computer. Each one has video lectures, class materials such as slides, quizzes, and assignments, and the option of reaching out to professors and fellow students for feedback and answers to important questions. You can take them on a schedule or sign up for self-paced, archived courses, which will limit your interactivity but still offer the same information.

These courses are a smart way of planning ahead so you don’t end up with the wasted investment in a major that did not live up to your expectations. MOOCs also help high schoolers affirm their interests and prepare for their majors before entering college.

“I’ve always been pretty interested in programming, but I had never had a lot of exposure to it,” said Florida high school senior David Cooney. “Through Coursera and a few entry level programming courses, I was able to get a better understanding of what computer science was like. I’m applying to a few schools in Florida and to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with my intended major being computer science.”

Cooney is one of millions of online course takers who have used Coursera, which people in ed tech often refer to as one of the “Big Three” MOOC providers. There are also older students who take MOOCs and look back on the issue of choosing a college major with a nuanced perspective, wishing they had once enjoyed the option of testing the water with free resources.

“When I decided on my major, I was extending my high school interests, most often created by a teacher who had made an impact,” said Thomas Johnson, an avid MOOC taker in his 50s and Germanic studies scholar, as he described his college years. “Bad mistake. I went all the way through pre-lims and was writing a dissertation before I awoke to my actual interests. My excuse is simple: I was making these decisions before the digital information age.”

Johnson also recommends using Quora, a curated online forum that allows you to pose questions and receive answers from a community.

“So my advice is simple: examine which Quora topics get you interested or intrigued. Then take a free MOOC to see if the academic approach to that topic still works. Then go for it at the very best school you can find to match your skills and abilities,” he said.

Granted, this advice may not be for everyone. If you have no idea what your interests are, college can be a great place to discover that so long as you can afford it.

Still, it’s clear that MOOCs are one way to test drive your major, discover new interests, and perhaps even give yourself an advantage over other freshman. Most of them are free. So, the worst case scenario is that you’ll waste a few hours of your life as opposed to hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on the wrong major.

Joseph Rauch is a Writer who graduated with a degree in psychology and creative writing from NYU. He writes for SkilledUp and has published pieces with The Huffington Post, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, FindSpark, The Halo Group, and many more publications.