Tips

Online courses use the same learning objectives as face to face courses; they are just presented differently. In an online class, learning is more independent, offering the convenience of learning from home rather than traveling to the campus for class meetings.

Please consider the following before enrolling in an online course:

  • Online courses are done entirely in writing. If you are not comfortable writing, consider taking a writing course, visit the Student Success Center for tutoring, or choose a class that offers a more traditional environment.
  • Reading is an important element in online courses because it is the primary source of directions and information. If you find reading undesirable, an online class may not be right for you. Note: Students who are enrolled in Reading 097, 098, and 099 or English 097, 098, and 099 are not eligible to register in online courses.
  • Many of your assignments will be submitted directly through D2L. Some class assignments will use a word processing program like Microsoft Word. If you are not comfortable using a word processor, you may want to consider taking a course like Intro to Computers before enrolling in an online course.
  • You might have to configure your computer to best use the features available in the online classroom. You may have to configure audio or video settings or install browser plug-ins in order to view or hear course materials. Guidelines will be presented at the mandatory orientation at the beginning of the classes.
  • The standard formula for determining work time necessary to complete a college course is 2 hours of work outside of class per credit hour. Therefore, a face to face 3 credit hour class would require at least 6 hours of work per week outside of class. To account for classroom time, a typical 3 credit hour online course requires at least 9 hours per week to complete course work.
  • Online courses offer increased flexibility, but also require students to carefully manage their time. You need to be prepared and dedicated to using your time efficiently.
  • The standard formula for determining work time necessary to complete a college course is 2 hours of work outside of class per credit hour. So, a face-to-face 3 credit hour class would require at least 6 hours of work per week outside of class. Since online courses do not meet physically, you should expect to spend the time you would have spent physically in the classroom working in your online classroom. A typical 3 credit hour online course requires at least 9 hours per week to complete course work.
  • You need not own a computer with reliable Internet access, but you must be able to use one regularly. If you do not own a computer with reliable Internet access or have regular access to one, Prairie State College has a state of the art computer lab available for student use. If you are unable to connect to the Internet regularly, an online course may not be a good option.