Online Learning

How do I know if I will like online graduate courses?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I fairly comfortable using computers and the Internet?
  • Do I have a good Internet connection at home and a quiet place to work?
  • Do I enjoy working at my own pace?
  • Am I interested in the subject and internally motivated to learn more?
  • Can I usually learn about something by reading about it on my own?
  • Can I read carefully and critically and then synthesize this learning in my writing?
  • Do I like to communicate online?
  • Do I work responsibly, spreading out my workload instead of putting it off until just before it is due?
  • Would I feel comfortable never meeting my instructor or fellow students face-to-face?
  • Am I comfortable using e-mail and a word processor?
  • Do I have the time to devote to a graduate class (9-12 hours per week for each fall and spring semester class and 27-36 hours per week for each 5-week summer session class)?

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, then you will probably do just fine.

The Web site www.elearneradvisor.com offers a more detailed list of questions that may be helpful as you decide if online learning is right for you.

How much time does an online graduate course take?

During the 15-week fall and spring semesters, a typical student should expect to devote 9-12 hours per week to each 3-credit hour graduate online course. Those who are new to graduate study or who have difficulties with critical reading and writing or who have technical difficulties may find it necessary to devote more than 12 hours per week. Those with a background in the subject area and strong academic skills might average near the lower side of this estimate.

Shorter semesters require more time per week. A 3-credit hour course in a 5-week summer session, for example, is presented in one-third the time. Therefore, the class would likely take 27- 36 hours per week for those 5 weeks.