- Is it true that online courses are EASY?
- Is it true that online courses are HARD?
- Is it true that I can work whenever I want?
- Is it true that it's just me and the computer? (or that I can "hide" and remain anonymous in an online class?)
Online Courses are EASY
- This is like asking, "Are those wings spicy?" For me, jalepeño peppers are often too spicy, but I can take piles of garlic or ginger. You have to ask yourself what makes a course “hard” or “easy” for you.
- Like many college courses, some courses require deeper thinking, more reading or longer writing assignments. Like any subject, some will come to you easily, others may have concepts that you have never heard of or ideas that challenge you.
- All JWU courses – whether online or on campus – are expected to meet the same level of rigor. Any school that promises otherwise is either not truthful or not doing its job to educate you.
- All JWU programs have statements that say “by the end of this program, a student should be able to …”. These statement include the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to enable you to be successful in that field. Each course, then, is responsible for moving you along that path to increased career success as well as showing you opportunities for pursuing lifelong learning. Each class SHOULD challenge you and increase your confidence and abilities. We want to be worth your time and money.
Online Courses are HARD
- Being a skilled online learner can take some practice – you have been practicing to be a skilled on campus learner for decades. This may be new to you – it is not like Facebook or Twitter, it is not like watching TV or reading a book, and it is not like sitting in a classroom. You will build skills around time management, written communication, remote collaboration and self-motivation that will be valuable in your future career (there are virtually no career paths where these skills are NOT needed.)
- Give yourself time to get comfortable with these new ‘dance moves’ of learning. You will figure out a system that works for you. You can always ask your classmates or instructor for ideas.
I can work whenever I want?
- Managing time can be the most significant achievement in a successful online course experience. Do not underestimate the time a course can take. In general, count on undergraduate courses taking 8-12 hours a week and graduate courses a little more. Before getting excited about all the classes you will sign up for, write up a schedule for your week and include everything – walking the dog, bath time for the kids, the hour of Must-See TV, pilates classes, etc. Then plan when in that week you can commit those 10 hours or so. Consider that you will likely need to login 3 or 4 times a week and have one or two longer dedicated times.
- Each course posts a course schedule at the beginning of the course, as well as policies around late work. Generally courses run on a week-by-week schedule with each week’s assignments due on Sundays. As mentioned above, collaboration with peers may be an important part of your class, so some things may need to be scheduled around other people's schedules as well.
It's just me and the computer? (or … I can "hide" and remain anonymous in an online class?)
- Our courses are most meaningful to everyone when ideas, questions and experiences are shared. Many courses have 10-20% of course grades built around encouraging and guiding that peer-to-peer communication. In online classes, many your classmates will have years of industry and career experience from a wide variety of places. Learn from all of it. Share yours.
- Our faculty are all experienced online faculty who know the importance of being an integral part of your class experience. They will provide regular communication and feedback and share their perspective as well.
- Faculty are supported by a staff of instructional and technical experts whose job it is to make each and every course a positive learning experience.
- Our student services staff are available to help you navigate all the aspects of being an online student.