How to Choose Online Classes: A Quick Guide for College Students

Thanks to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, more students than ever are doing online learning for college. Research shows that over half of all students took at least one online course in the 2019-2020 school year, and many have continued with online coursework in the months that followed.

Of course, whether you’re a veteran to online coursework or it’s your first time having to choose online classes, it can be hard to figure out what to add to your schedule.

Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that can help you find the right classes for your needs. Here’s a quick guide.

Consider Your Budget

Depending on where you’re taking classes, you may pay a flat rate for tuition according to a set number of classes, or you may pay course by course. Consider how much money you can spend, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your university to learn more about financial aid.

Know Your Requirements

Look through your department’s website to learn about the course requirements for your major, as you’ll need to make sure you’ve covered these in order to graduate. If necessary, you may also want to reach out to your advisor for assistance.

Decide How You Want to Learn

One of the benefits of online classes is that there are many ways to learn.

Some courses focus on video demonstrations, while others rely more heavily on assigned reading. Some will require students to sit through Zoom lectures on a daily basis, while others may be more self-guided. Think about the learning styles you prefer as you comb through your available online college classes.

In addition, you’ll want to get a feel for the class size. Larger class sizes can make it difficult to get the attention of your teacher when you need it, so look for smaller class sizes where possible.

Consider Courses Outside of Your College

While it can be tempting to limit your online class options to those your university offers, don’t forget that the best class may be one offered by another organization. If you’re hoping to take a specific test or certification, finding an exam prep course that specializes in that test—such as one offering PTA exam practice questions—can help. You’ll need to budget your time wisely if you’re taking this kind of course in addition to university classes, but the focused insights can often be a great help.

Think About Your Daily Class Schedule

If you’re working part-time during college, or if you’re planning to juggle several labor-intensive classes at once, you’ll have to consider your daily schedule. Block out the time you have available to you, and don’t forget to consider the time you’ll need to spend on homework and assignments in addition to your time in class.

Choose Online Courses With Care

The last thing you want to do is find yourself taking a course you don’t need to graduate, or one that doesn’t fit into your career path. Taking the time to consider your coursework in advance, and working with your professors and advisors as you do so, can help you avoid countless future headaches. As you choose online courses, be sure to keep the tips above in mind!

Looking for tips to help you get more out of your education? Be sure to take a look at our other content for additional guides like this one.

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