… pay attention to the details…
Way too many students register for online or hybrid classes and don’t have the work habits necessary to do well. An on-line class isn’t like hanging out on facebook for a grade, it’s a lot of work — and probably much more work for the student (and teacher, but that’s another post), than a traditional class.
The thing is, in an on-line class the students are responsible for more of their own learning. Without regular class times, the professor isn’t there to tell you what the reading is about — you actually have to DO the reading.
There are also more writing assignments (or, there should be) — as well as group activities, exams and discussion posts to write. Many folks teaching online won’t accept late work (I generally don’t), and won’t give extensions on exams or other stuff you may “miss”. I try to be humane about things, but since I usually have a very generous window in which to take a quiz or exam — I tend not to give extensions beyond that time frame.
The thing about online education is that it’s generally NOT a work at your own pace over the course of a semester kind of deal. You need to keep up with the course content like a regular class — and you need to do so while living the rest of your life… just because the time is kind of flexible, doesn’t mean that you can get behind and then get caught up.
In fact, because of the assessment methods generally used in online education, you’re less likely to be able to get behind and then caught up than in a traditional model where you have a couple of exams and a paper.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you are interacting with other students and the professor in the on-line environment. They can answer questions, keep you on track and generally be a good support system for rough assignments.
So, consider your life /work balance, your home environment and your home computer / internet access before enrolling…