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What Are Online Classes Like : Are Online Schools Easy to Join?

Updated on July 18, 2015

What Are Online Schools Like?

Online schools are educational organizations that offer training and teaching by mostly using the internet as their main channel of imparting knowledge to students.

The teaching could be done either entirely online or on a partial online basis. The online schools are designed with the working professional in mind.

As you would imagine, there are people who are already working and have started families or are serving in the military who do not want to move from their settled locations but would want to improve their academic qualifications to better their skills, change career paths or simply take up more responsible positions in management as they climb up the career ladder.

In most cases for such people whose lifestyle does not allow them to take traditional classes, online schools are a great option for them. The categories of people who take online course normally have tight schedules that would not accommodate traditional brick and mortar classroom schooling.

What are Online Classes Like?

The way online classes are taught among best online schools really varies according to institutions. However, ideally most schools admit students in a cohort. Though you might not meet your fellow students in person, lecturers/ teachers tend to arrange virtual discussion groups or employ other means of differentiated forums to inject some form of class engagement.

Once you enroll as an online student, you are given login details. When you log in, you will access your course work material either as downloads or links on the internet. Download these materials and use them to complete the coursework requirements.

Through your login details you will also be able to access the university online library. Here you can access academic journals from top academic sites that you can download for your study. Most communication will be done through emails. You will also have access to video/audio lectures. Other forms of interaction like web-conferencing are also used to improve student interaction.

In some cases you could receive learning material through correspondence. Here the students’ work through the schooling packs at their own rate. Completed assignments are sent by email to the teaching instructor. You will have access to many forms of communication including phone to enable you get help from your teachers in case you need to engage with them.

How Do Online Classes Work

What kind of online schooling are you interested in?

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How does the cost of online schools like compared to that of traditional schools?

On a general note, online school tuition fee is commonly more or less the same as for that in traditional on-site tuition fees. In some cases the online tuition fees could even topple that of normal schools.

This indicates that online schooling is not necessarily cheap compared to university based schooling. As already mentioned, online schools have become very popular due to the flexibility they afford students who are already working professionals.

When calculating the relative cost of your online schools, beware of those schools that tend to increase their fees regularly because this might impact greatly on your overall cost.

Why Take Online Classes?

The fundamentals of online schooling are significantly different from home schooling. Online school is an education offered by recognized and in most cases accredited institutions. Online schools operate on a set curriculum and standardized exams.

The only difference as mentioned above is that most of these structured academic curriculums are offered online as opposed to you sitting in a class among other students with a teacher/lecturer in front of you.

Meanwhile in home schooling, one does not necessarily follow a strict curriculum. Home schooling students read at their own pace, mostly learning what they or their guardians consider to be good educational material. In the home schooling arrangement, you could literally learn at your own pace with targets you set by yourself.

Most people who do home schooling tend to have guardians e.g. parents who “look after them” to signpost them in the direction they want their education to take. Those in home schooling who want to take university courses or do certification course recognized by employers normally arrange to do a standardized exam.

Home schooling needs high levels of discipline and focus to avoid complacency or just laying about since no one really checks on you and the learning tends to be somehow random if you do not inject some form of structure into it.

What is online school like?

What is online school like?
What is online school like? | Source

Is online course content the same as a traditional course?

Though coursework material may differ depending on the school, ideally online school course content is more or less similar to the one provided on campus. The universities are accredited to reputable bodies. These highly regarded bodies set conditions on the standard of training universities have to adhere to in courses they offer that lead to respective university qualifications.

On account of these, most online schools have placed a high premium on organization of their curriculum delivery to adhere with regulations set by accrediting bodies. This therefore means that courses are planned in a way that ultimately both online students and traditional students will receive similar qualifications. The university will not want to compromise its reputation by giving online students a different training since both online and traditional on campus students finally receive the same degree.

If you follow all the set tasks on your online study, you will receive as good training as anyone in a brick and mortar educational setting. You therefore need to be self motivated and focused if you want to reap the maximum from your course.

How will I get my online classes?


As a standard way of operating, you will be given login details to the university portal once you are registered. When you are logged in, you will be able to access your course material. With the proliferation of internet software applications, different universities use different software like Moodle in their online program.

It is however common to receive your study material and coursework through download links, where you click on a link and download written material, a videoed lecture or any other form of media the coursework may have been relayed to you

How do I get the right course to enroll in?

Before you embark on online study, you will of course have your own reasons for deciding to undertake an online study. Plunge yourself into the internet and do some due diligence research.

Be sure to select those university courses that are a close match to your lifestyle and desire. Once this is accomplished, contact the university admission department of your chosen school. The admission people will take you through the steps you need to complete before you are admitted as an online student in their school and voila! you are now an online student.

Will I have to do some lessons in a traditional class in order to enroll for online classes?

The whole idea of online classes is to enable students with inflexible working lifestyle to learn in times convenient to them, especially after work and on weekends.

This means that a huge chunk of the study will be internet based such that there is no need to be physically present in classes. However there are some universities that require some on site visits especially in more practical oriented courses.

If attending day on campus classes for a week or two will not fit your plan, it is wise to search for university online study programs that do not require on site visits.

Can I waive some classes once enrolled?

If the classes you want to have waived have been covered in your previous study, ideally you can waive them. However there are some universities that do not allow waiver of classes, you therefore need to check such information before you enroll for online classes.

In case you want to withdraw from your course make reference with the online school policies to ensure that you are within the guidelines given.

How do I find my school advisor?

Many reputable universities offer all online students an academic advisor so that you never have to feel lost or alone. Establish a relationship with the course advisor you are allocated and feel free to ask him/her whatever questions that concern your study.

If the university does not allocate you an advisor, identify one of your professors and just shoot questions to him. From my experience, I have noticed that most educators tend to be nice to students, so don’t be afraid of approaching your lecturer because of their title or anything, you will be surprised that many university teachers are quite friendly and approachable in spite of their big titles.

Once you identify and establish a relationship with a lecturer you can ask them questions. They will respond to you or direct you to someone more suited to provide advice on your study.

When can I register?

Most universities have a set admission calendar window in the summer, spring and fall terms. Check out for those dates and send in your application before the deadline date.

Will I finish my classes faster if I do them online?

Completing your classes early will entirely depend on how hard you are ready to work. By hard work here I mean, you should register for as many credits as you are allowed to register for.

If you take the maximum number of credits you are allowed to register for, you will finish quicker compared to someone who may take the minimum credits required per semester.

How will I tell when my on-line-school classes begin?

Normally the start date of your online classes will stated clearly in your admission package. In addition to this your professor will email you when the course commences and tell you what is expected of you. In some cases login information are deactivated until the online classes commence officially

How do I add or remove online classes once registered

Most procedures for adding or removing a course will be outlined in the policies you were handed when you received your admission package.

Follow the laid down procedures. Beware though that in some universities when you drop courses you end up losing the tuition fees paid for that course. Check this so that you do not lose money.

What happens in case I under-perform ?

The straight answer to this question is in-case you under-achieve your online classes; you will have to retake the classes.

You should therefore set out to give your best and pass the course on the first instance. This way you will not only save you time and money but also have a transcript that you can be proud to show to your prospective employers.

How do I follow on-line-school classes updates and activities?

Online school classes updates and activities will be conveyed to you mainly through interactive student discussion boards, the student web mail or any other forums which you will have been notified of.

How long are the online classes?

How long are the online schooling classes takes depends on the school you enroll in. You can also fast track your study by taking the maximum credits per semester. This way you can cut the time your classes takes by three to four months in a two year program.

What are online classes like?

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