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Article: Beginner's Guide to Online Education

With the age of technology taking a foothold in education, earning your degree online has become an exciting and accessible way to improve your life. Before this technology boom, students wishing to earn their degree were limited to a campus existence. Along with the campus came long lines to register, overcrowded bookstores, and counselling personnel who were difficult to access. Fortunately, those are things of the past. Online education has eliminated many of the headaches associated with the traditional campus route. Now it is possible to earn your online education, attending classes when it is convenient for you and in the privacy of your own home or office. This advancement has made a quality education accessible to many students who would not have considered completing their education in the past due to a variety of factors. Perhaps the biggest advantage to earning an online education is the enhanced communication factor you will share between faculty and fellow students. This benefit ensures that you will have helpful assistance from a variety of individuals as you complete your online program. We will examine the full list of advantages to earning your degree online along with a typical day in the life of an online student.

The online education experience centers on the ever increasing presence of technology in our lives. Because you will not be attending classes on the traditional campus, colleges and universities that offer online programs have created a virtual classroom that delivers nearly all aspects of the campus to your computer via the World Wide Web. Your online education will rely primarily on Internet technologies such as e-mail, chat rooms, and forum-type discussions that allow you to interact with professors and fellow students as required. Professors will set up a class home page that contains all of the links and information you need to complete your class requirements. This is similar to a "home base" for your class. You will log into this home page on a daily basis for class announcements and updates. On your home page will be the required assignments that you will be responsible for throughout the semester. You will download your tests from this point as well. Research paper information is another important aspect of your online classroom home page. All correspondence with your professors and classmates will take place through this portal. This communication is important as it will ensure that you have all of the support that you need to complete your online education.

The typical day in the life of an online student begins when you want it to begin. Since the Internet and your class home page are running all of the time, you can access your class information morning, noon and night. The first thing you will want to do when beginning a session is to open your class home page. Download any class notes or assignments, noting the day and time they are due. Then you might proceed to the class forum to read any postings on lesson ideas that your classmates might have posted. This information will be beneficial as you complete your assignments. If you have questions, send your professor an e-mail (remember, no waiting for office hours online!). Then it is on to your assignments. Maybe you have a test that day. Complete your work at your own pace and then send the completed assignment or test to your professor through the e-mail system. Many classroom systems have an online calendar that will help you keep track of due dates and discussion times. As you can see, an online education has a host of advantages over the traditional campus-based programs. Investigate the varieties of online programs available to you. You will find that it is easier than you think to earn your online education.


-Kelly Robison