This semester, I am taking an online course for the first time in my college career. My online course’s accessible platform through eCollege has offered me the tools to succeed in a virtual classroom: there is a textbook to read, a forum for professor-student discussion, and a grading book in which I can keep track of my own scores and grades. Personally, I am enjoying my online course – and it is teaching me lessons outside of its subject [which happens to be music].
At my own pace, taking an online course is challenging me to become more self-disciplined, self-aware, tech-savvy, and independent. I must ensure that I am getting my homework/assignments complete on time without the physical reminder from an instructor in a physical setting. I must also ensure that I am absorbing the material, taking advantage of the resources provided through eCollege. I must keep in touch with my fellow classmates and my professor on a forum and I am responsible for these types of interactions and connections. There is a list of responsibilities that come with taking an online course, but these responsibilities are shaping me to become a better academic student and self-sufficient individual who can manage my learning at my own pace (while still appropriately reaching due dates or deadlines).
Taking an online course can impact time management skills positively (if done correctly), but most obviously, taking an online course can ease one’s schedule or travel time. For commuting students or students whose schedules are hectic and demanding, taking an online course is incredibly beneficial. During weekends, I am able to access my course and continue my work when planned. If I am up late on particular nights, I can pick up on a chapter and begin or continue homework for a unit. Oppositely, if I am up early in the morning, I can access my online course and continue the same activities.
Taking an online course is a decision that every student faces, especially if there is clear reason to take an online course. For students who are working full-time/part-time, commuting, or simply desire to sharpen his or her time management skills and independence as an academic learner, then taking an online course (interspersed with physical courses) is an excellent addition to one’s schedule. It is a diverse and different form of learning that benefits non-traditional (and traditional) students who wish to take this opportunity as an advantage to develop and grow at Rutgers University.