What an Online Class Entails

If you are undertaking an online course, we have covered all the details of what an online course will entail and all resources required.




Last Updated: January 8th, 2021

What an Online Class Entails
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Evolving web technology has made it possible for graduates to take their classes online especially in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and others to earn a degree and graduate from their respective colleges without ever sitting in a lecture hall. Some universities teach undergraduate courses both on-ground and also online. Some students prefer to take their undergraduate classes online. These online classes have a lot of similarities with on ground courses but there are also some differences.

During your online college classes depending on your lecturer they may decide that your online class to entail synchronous or asynchronous elements. Synchronous elements require all students to log in at the same time. Your lecturer may send your class a link where you are required to join using the link and use your webcam or they might hold a chat session for entire class. Asynchronous elements is the opposite of synchronous elements where you are not required to log in at the same time. In this element you will be asked to submit an essay or other assignments, post to bulletin boards, or participate with other class members on a group assignment.

How to Ace an Online Course

Communication in an online course with your instructor mainly occurs through:

  • Email - Your instructor may send you what they are going to cover in the next lessons via email. You may also submit your assignments via email.
  • Bulletin boards - You may be required to post in a bulletin board.
  • Chat rooms - Depending on the chat room your instructor prefers, you can ask your instructor questions or even submit assignments.
  • Telephone - Your lecturer may decide to give your class representative their phone number so as to contact them when there is something your class needs.
  • Instant message
  • Video conference (like Skype)

Lectures are taught through:

  • Recorded lectures - This is very common in many universities and a lot of students like this method. If your lecturer covers complicated material and new material which might be hard to grasp at first, the student will look at it again and understands much more better. Also it helps in:-
    • Revision
    • Students who may have trouble in taking notes
    • Students not speaking English natively as they may find it difficult to interpret an online class at the first time.
  • Web conferences - This is also very common in teaching students because it supports interactive learning or student-centered teaching and team learning in a virtual environment. You can screen share in maybe group activities and also web sessions can be recorded.
  • Typed lectures
  • Teleconferences
  • Bulletin boards
  • Text chat
  • Streaming audio

Course participation and assignments include:

  • Essay assignments - This is very common where your lecturer may tell you to write an essay about a certain research topic and submit it on the due date.
  • Tests (conducted online) - Your university may conduct exams online, where you will sit for the exam online
  • Discussion board posts
  • Constructing web pages
  • Creating blogs
  • Collaborating on wiki pages

What you need

  • A computer, mobile phone or laptop capable of surfing the internet, streaming video and multitasking.
  • High-speed internet that will help you have video calls, download course content and surf the internet.
  • Printer
  • Basic computer skills such as surfing the internet
  • Self-discipline and motivation
  • Regular blocks of time

Before you start your online classes either due to Corona Virus or you are enrolling for an online course, most universities offers demonstrations for online courses on their website which will allow you to preview the experience beforehand. Either through orientation or in those demonstrations, you will learn about the technology used and what tools you need to get started. You may also learn what resources are available for online students such as library facilities.


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