The constant growth of web technology has made it possible for every student to take a distance learning degree from a major online school without attending the on-campus classes. Some students take online courses as part of traditional degree programs. For example, there are traditional schools where teachers are lecturing courses as both traditional on-ground classes and online courses. Online courses share some similarities with traditional classes but there are also many differences.
Depending on the online school, program, and the instructor you choose, your distance learning program may contain synchronous and asynchronous elements. Synchronous elements refer to the fact that all students must log in at the same time. An instructor might lecture the distance learning degree using a webcam or might hold a chat session for the whole class.
Asynchronous elements represent the opposite. During the degree programs, you do not have to login in at the same time as other students or your instructor. You might be assigned to post to bulletin boards, submit your papers for the chosen degree programs, or participate with your colleagues on a group assignment.
Online education comes with different tools from the traditional one so, you will have to use the following:
- Bulletin boards
- Chat rooms
- Instant message
- Video conference (like Skype)
- Telephone (sometimes)
There is nothing new, so you do not have to worry that you will be left aside. At least once in your life you have used Skype, e-mails, chat rooms and so one. Be prepared for the technological requirements established by your online school.
Also, lectures are taught through:
- Web conferences
- Typed lectures
- Bulletin boards
- Text chat
- Streaming audio
- Recorded lectures
In case you are not familiar with one or more of the above through which your lectures will be taught, feel free to consult Google or ask directly the university. Online education is not something you could grasp overnight.
Most online universities offer demonstrations for online degree programs on their websites, fact that allows you to preview the virtual learning experience provided through online education. You will also have the chance to learn so that you could be comfortable with the technology used and all the communication tools.