Online Classes & Going Back to School 

Online college student loans can be a life-saver while you're in school, but too much educational debt can sink you later. Be careful when choosing among online education loan programs.  Watch how much you borrow, and from whom. 

GetEducated now about online student loans. Our online college financial aid guide provides tips on how to protect yourself while making your distance degree a reality.  Learn how much you can safely borrow using an education loan program. Safeguard your future by following our advice on whether home-equity and pension based online student loans are wise ways for adult students to borrow. Learn how to work with your online school's financial aid officer to make your online degree or certificate more affordable. And learn how to spot and avoid online education financial aid scams.

 

 

5 Ugly Truths About Taking Classes Online

 

Being unprepared for taking classes online can lead to consequenceseinalem/Flickr

 

There is no doubt about it—online learning is awesome! It provides a world of opportunity for students who otherwise could not easily access a college education. But there are some ugly truths about taking classes online that students need to be aware of before they register.

 

Work Load



In a traditional classroom, students can choose when they wish to participate in discussions. If they feel they have nothing significant to add or, dare I say, they didn’t get through all of the reading for that class period, they can stay silent, yet still learn from what their professor and peers contribute.

 

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Leaders of online group projects build workplace skillsijerf/Flickr

 

Online group projects (OGPs) can be very stressful and students often cite them as one of their top complaints. It’s not so much that your instructor wants to torture you—in fact, as a graduate student, I’ve learned there are great benefits to participating in group projects online. Don’t dread your next group project. Instead, look to OGPs as fertile training grounds to build critical leadership skills you’ll use in the workplace later.

 

3 Lessons on Building Leadership Skills

 

1. Don’t Wait for Anyone to Fix Your Problems

 

Part of the reason online universities assign group projects is to help working students master the art of teamwork. For projects to be successful someone needs to step up and lead the group. Why not you?

 

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Study for an Open Book Test
Posted on  by David Handlos

Studying for an Open Book TestDarice/Flickr

When I first started graduate school as an online student, I remember three words that I thought would make my semester a piece of cake: Open. Book. Test.

 

While many online courses feature proctored exams taken at local test centers, other classes use open book or note exams instead. Terrific! No need to study ahead of time. Open book test means “easy A,” right?

 

Sadly, I found this was NOT the case. Although having my textbooks and notes available during online exams proved helpful, many of my open book tests were just as hard as the in-class tests I had taken during my undergraduate career.

 

If you’re an online student, or looking to become one soon, don’t dismiss an open book exam as easy to ace. Having an open textbook is great, but here are three big reasons why you need to study for an open book test.

 

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The Best MOOCS to Take for Fun
 

The Best MOOCs Take You Right Inside the ClasssroomPrima Vista/Flickr

Remember all those “cool” courses you could never fit into your degree plan? The same ones everyone told you would never lead to a high-paying job or a reliable career?

 

My ideal college major would have been one part political science, two scoops nutrition and a heap of fashion merchandising with a dash of web design. In reality, to graduate on time with a coveted bachelor’s degree, I had to clock most of my hours working on major course requirements.

 

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Competency-Based Learning Requires Focus and Determination|Chris|/Flickr

You may have read the story of Zach Sherman, a 21-year-old janitor in Ohio who earned his competency-based online associate degree in 100 days. Sherman speed-studied his way through two years of college to earn his degree online in about three months as opposed to the traditional two years.

 

Sounds great, eh?

 

Competency-based learning programs promise students faster, cheaper college credentials. But that promise is not always met. Buyers beware: choosing a competency-based degree program can represent a costly step toward college failure.

 

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Find Cheap Textbooks in Used Bookstores and OnlineWesley Fryer/Flickr

Textbooks are not getting cheaper, but resourceful students can still save money on required reads for their online degree.

 

Below are seven easy ways to find cheap textbooks and beat one of the most costly college expenses.

 

7 Ways to Find Cheap College Textbooks

 

1. Used Textbook Stores

Campus bookstores sell used books at reduced prices, but they aren’t the only game in town. Used textbook stores often spring up near colleges. Don’t live near a university? Look online, where numerous retailers also sell used textbooks.

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Jonathan Haber is Using a Laptop to Earn a One Year Degreeillustir (flickr)

I wanted to thank Vicky Phillips for introducing Get Educated readers to my Degree of Freedom One-Year BA project, and thought it would be worth stopping by to describe what I’m doing in more detail (especially since much of it may be relevant to others interested in independent learning).

 

Degree of Freedom is a one-year degree experiment where I try to replicate a four-year liberal arts degree program by using only free online learning tools.

 

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MOOCs, Online Learning and the Broken Promise of a Free College Degree

Take MOOCs for Free College Degree | Free Your Mind Sign TheDarkThing/Flickr

Last week Jonathan Haber, an ed blogger, decided to spend the rest of this year taking MOOCs that correspond to the college courses required to earn a traditional bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

 

Go, Jonathan. Three cheers for low-cost online learning.

 

College equivalency credit for autodidactic learning is not new. In fact, a handful of accredited online colleges are founded on this very idea. The shocking thing is how many people in the media think credit for self-learning is a radical new (and scary) idea.

 

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Time Management Strategies For Online College Students Doesn't Include Watching Cat Videosdoistrakh (flickr)

We are all guilty of it: cyber dawdling. It begins innocently enough, usually with one amusing cat video. Before you know it, you’ve cyberstalked your high school sweetheart, pinned 25 images on Pinterest and have nothing to show for your study break.

 

While it’s natural to take a breather from online coursework, smart students use their out-of-class time to fulfill career or educational goals. Below are five (free!) time management strategies for online college students. Use them to make the most of your out-of-class online time. Each one is guaranteed to offer a longer-term payback than another crazy cat video.

 

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Improve Your Elearning Communication Skills With These 5 Tips
Posted on  by Dr. Liz Hardy

You Might Feel Like You Need a Megaphone to Help With Your Elearning Communication Issues
floeschie (flickr)

If you’re in an elearning environment, you’ve likely faced some tricky communication issues. Elearning communication is rather different from face-to-face interaction and requires a unique approach.

 

Are you ready for more effective online communication? Let’s take a look at how you can solve some of the most common elearning issues and succeed at online education.

 

Top 5 Elearning Communication Problems and Solutions

 

Issue 1:  No Visual Cues

 

Lacking any visual cues is one of the biggest communication issues you’ll encounter in an elearning environment. Without the benefits of body language—a smile, a frown, tone of voice—it can be easy to misinterpret a message from your tutor, professor or other students. And since everyone must communicate without the usual visual cues, other people might get the wrong impression from your messages, too.

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Mobile Learning Apps Make Studying Easier for Online Studentssmokingapples.com (flickr)

It’s only been two years since I took my last online course, but this time around I have a new tool – my smartphone. It’s completely changed how I study on the go, thanks to an arsenal of free or low-cost mobile learning apps.

 

Call me a dinosaur, but when I started taking online classes in 2006, the iPhone didn’t exist. I didn’t even get an Android smartphone until a year AFTER I graduated!

 

This fall, I began my second foray into distance learning with Morehead State University’s online MBA program. This time around, I’m using my smartphone.

 

I didn’t know what I was missing. I’ve found that mobile learning apps make it easier than ever to keep up with coursework, whether I’m at home or rambling down the road. So far, I’ve found five apps to be particularly helpful for mobile learning. Here’s my personal list.

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Editor’s Note:  2011 saw the launch of America’s first gay online high school. In this blog entry, Kim Fountain, PhD., a cultural anthropologist and Executive Director of the RU12 Community Center in Vermont, reviews the history of education for LGBTQ youth and argues in favor of separate safe places for LGBTQ youth to learn. While some may question the need for separate but equal educational spaces for gays, Kim, who was present for the opening of Harvey Milk, the first gay-friendly public high school in NYC in 2003, argues in favor of the benefits of online education  – both online high school and college programs  for queers worldwide.

 

Online Gay High School Offers New Safe Haven for LGBTQ Youth

 

Harvey Milk and the Call for Gay High School Opportunities


soopahgrover/Flickr
LGBTQ Youth Parade | Harvey Milk Gay High School

In 2003, I was part of a welcoming crowd that ushered in America’s first freshman class of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their friends at the opening of the newly accredited Harvey Milk High School in New York City.

 

Many of these youth chose to attend a LGBTQ-affirming high school so that they could focus more mental energy on learning, and less on  dealing with homophobic and trans-phobic bullies.

 

But not everyone wished America’s first gay high school well.

 

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Editor’s Note: This post is an online instructor’s response to an earlier article, 5 Things Students Hate About Online Learning Degrees. Written by online instructor and course designer, Matt Crosslin, this post is part of an ongoing series of conversations between real students and faculty on the quality of online education and learning inside accredited degree programs.

 

If you teach online, or are enrolled in an online learning program, join the conversation about how online colleges are evolving to meet the quality standards and learning needs of both instructors and students.

 

betsyweber (flickr)Rock'em sock'em robots show differing opinions on quality of online education and learning

As I read the top student complaints about quality issues in online education, I saw so much that I could relate to about the state of online learning. As an online instructor, I work the front lines and see where changes can be made in online education. And while it is true that there’s plenty of room for improvement in the online learning sphere, and while many online students’ complaints are accurate and valid, not all complaints are what they seem.

 

After all, there is always another side to a story.

 

Here are my thoughts, as an online instructor, on the common online student complaints against online courses.

 

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teacher at blackboard shows how classes were taught before online discussion boardsVelvettangerine (flickr)

 

It’s been two years since I’ve engaged in online learning, and while some things have changed — newer software, more electronic textbooks,  even the growing popularity of online classes — one thing has remained constant:  the critical role of online discussion boards.

 

Online instructor Marc Hatten explains in his post on Online Teacher Tough Love why participating in online discussions is such a “big deal” — it is one of the only opportunities (outside of submitting papers) for students in online classes to prove that they’ve been reading the material, and that they actually “get it”.

 

Over the years, I’ve developed 5 strategies to keep me on track and to help me ace the required discussion portion of my online classes. This fall, as I start my new program, the Morehead State University Online MBA, I am using all 5 of my own online learning tips.

 

Read on to see my insider’s guide to acing online discussion boards.

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Jeremy Mikkola/flickr

Spoiler Alert: Online learning is not going to be Easy Street

 

 

 

Want to attend an online college? That’s great!

 

You’ve done your research. You know themost common complaints about online learning degrees and you’ve checked your school’s reviews to make sure the program you’ve chosen is a quality one.

 

But before you dive head-first into an online degree program, you should step back, take a deep breath, and take a cold hard look at your preconceptions about online learning.

 

I’ve been an online teacher of college students for almost five years, and the one constant I’ve found is that the majority of students who begin online learning are woefully unprepared for the realities of such a difficult undertaking.

 

Therefore, consider this lesson #1… we’ll call it Tough Love 101, three tips sent to you (with love) from me, a real online teacher, about what it’s really like taking online classes.

 

 

3 Online Learning Tips – What to Expect from Online Classes:

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Rob Boudon/flickrUnicorn | Online College Costs | Cheap Online College

The mythical “cheap online college” is hard to find.

 

Online learning pundits predict that the marriage of educational technology with college learning will result in the birth of a new litter of low-cost or cheap online colleges.

 

I wish this notion were true.

 

I wish online education was destined to lower the cost of attending college while also solving the student debt crisis that plagues America.

 

Instead, surveys show just the opposite – online college costs might actually be higher than residential college costs. The cost of masters degrees, online MBAs especially, are often higher than the equivalent on-campus versions.

 

Don’t get me wrong. Tying technology to education can indeed lower the cost of delivering college courses. Online learning could, in theory, provide what one Forbes business writer has envisioned as a national system of “cheaper education for the masses.”

 

It could, but it isn’t.

 

Real Online College Costs – Not So Cheap

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Glamhag/Wikimedia Commons

Transferring masters programs | Pair of glass slippers

Sometimes the glass slipper just doesn’t fit as well as you’d hoped.

 

You’ve been accepted into an online masters degree program. Congratulations! But what if you start taking courses, only to discover your chosen online school isn’t such a great fit after all? Instead of living happily-ever-after, you might find yourself transferring masters programs.

 

Maybe you chose an online masters that looked really interesting to you only to have your situation change mid-program. Suddenly your chosen major looks to be a poor fit. What then? Do you stick it out and finish? Do you just withdraw from college and forget about it? Do you start all over again from scratch?

 

Or maybe there’s another — and better — option …

 

The Need-to-Know for Transferring Masters Programs

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An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about students cheating in those free online classes called MOOCs ignited a fireball of blogging last week about how online learning will, once again, be the ruination of all higher education.

Cheating in online classes, online education myths, photo of crib notes
Hariadhi/Wikimedia Commons

 

The Chronicle article focused on anecdotal evidence that students enrolled in free massive online courses (MOOCs) are plagiarizing their essays in literature courses.

 

So what’s the problem with online learning this time?

 

It lacks credibility because it encourages people to cheat.

 

 

To which I say: Really?

 

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Online teacher complaints, student asking question about financial aidUC Davis College of Engineering/flickr

 

Online learning students often don’t know where to turn when they have questions, so they end up directing them to their online teachers — whether we teachers are qualified to answer them or not.

 

As a result, I have had students ask me each of the following 8 inappropriate questions in my five years as an online teacher.

 

Editor’s Note: Online students, read on to learn if you’ve been asking the wrong questions of your teachers, and to learn more about the netiquette of corresponding with your online instructors.

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Students have much to say about what they like and don’t like about online learning faculty“[I] had to wait too long for assignments to be graded!” “[The instructor] took two days to respond to my email,” or a common one, the assignment instructions weren’t clear.”

 BlackburnPhoto/flickonline student | online faculty | picture of frusturated bear with hand on headr

 

Sound familiar?

 

But what about online faculty? Surely, there is another side to this story. What complaints do instructors have about online student behavior?

 

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that faculty complain about their students as individuals, or that they dislike teaching online — actually quite the opposite is true. Online instructors care about their students’ learning; they want them to succeed. The things online faculty “wish” their students woulddo are the very habits that would make them, well… better students.

 

I work closely with online faculty, and as on online student myself, I’ve heard complaints from both camps. Online instructors’ gripes about students can usually be very easily solved by only a minimal effort on the student’s part, making both the instructor’s and student’s lives easier.

 

The following recommendations from online instructors have the potential to make everyone a more effective online student and improve the distance learning experience for students and faculty alike.

 

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“I was billed $1,170 for a course in which I have completely taught myself.”

— Disgruntled Online Student

 

Online learning degrees are all the rage – even the Ivy League schools are offering them – but do they honestly live up to all the media hype?

 

Online learning degrees | Broken, smashed laptop

There are some things about online learning that make students want to throw their computer out the window

(Daniel X. O’Neil/flickr)

At GetEducated.com we’ve collected over 1,000 online university reviews from real students taking online classes and the watchful public at large. A recent analysis of all of the 1,000+ reviews reveals that not all online learning degrees are alike.

 

In fact, there are a couple of real skunkers.

 

Read what real students gripe about when it comes to their online learning experiences.

 

Get Educated about what it’s like to be a distance degree student BEFORE you enroll.

 

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Types of Plagiarism | Academic Cheating | Screenshot of cheating and plagiarism in action, copying a wikipedia article

College kids have sticky fingers when it comes to lifting words from the Web.  Far too many believe authoring an academic paper involves one essential step: hitting “Ctrl C” on the keyboard.

 

In fact, simply hitting “Ctrl C” and swiping gobs of content from the net is one of the most common types of plagiarism according to a recent Turnitin report entitled The Plagiarism Spectrum.

 

Turnitin, a software plagiarism company, studied thousands of plagiarism reports and then surveyed educators to create the Spectrum report on the 10 most popular types of plagiarism styles employed by students today.

 

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Picture of Rosie the Riveter with
Michal Hadaassah/flickr

 

Given the exponential growth of online learning over the last decade, I’m surprised to find people who still believe that online education must be less effective than “traditional” classroom methods.

As an online student, I have to say nothing could be further from the truth.

Online learning can be just as challenging – maybe even more so – than conventional classroom learning. There are also several benefits of online learning that will help you acquire valuable career skills that you won’t get from any textbook.

These 4 beneficial skills are essential to succeed in the  workforce; they’re also skills that traditional classroom students often won’t develop until long after they’ve graduated – if ever.

 

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Montage of various famous correspondence degree students

Despite research to the contrary, many people — educators often included — continue to argue that no person of intellectual merit ever learned anything of substance in the history of distance learning.

 

This is my response to that silly prejudicial notice that it takes a lecture hall and a bell tower to make a university. Learning takes place inside your head, not inside a classroom. This helps explain why graduates of distance learning and correspondence degree programs have, for more than a century, gone on to win Nobel prizes, found entrepreneurial empires, and write literature worthy of global acclaim. One need only peer into the history of distance learning to uncover several big-name alumni.

 

Ladies and gents, here’s a little distance learning history from before the Internet came into being, my top 6 nominees for famous hot, brainy homeschooled dudes …

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Editor’s Note: When life takes a nasty turn, and interrupts your college plans, consult this piece from David, our wise student blogger, to learn the secrets for withdrawing from college with a full refund and a healthy GPA.

 

brendan-c/flickr

No matter how well you plan your schedule and manage your time, a major life event could abruptly cause you to drop a class, withdrawal for the entire semester, or to even consider withdrawing from college altogether.
Medical problems, death of a loved one, military deployment…no one can be expected to factor these kind of life events into a study plan.

 

I found that out myself when I was studying for my bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University.


More than halfway into the spring semester of 2002, I had a sports accident that limited my mobility for several months. It prevented me from attending class, or even doing most of my coursework for weeks.

 

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Accelerated programs available. Finish your degree in as little as 18 months!


How many times have you heard something like that? Doesn’t that seem exciting?

 

Accelerated degree turtle

Sometimes slow and steady is the way to go.

Finishing an entire online degree program in less than two years is an impressive, and attractive, pitch to working adults.


What they don’t focus on is that students can graduate in “as little” as 18 months. While graduating in 18 months (or less) is technically possible if your plan of study allows it, life has a way of keeping us busy outside of class. Like it or not, dropping a class will at some point, probably be necessary.

 

Jobs, family, travel, illness, or injury can play a part in affecting our academic plan of study.


Though it may be tough to keep perspective, remember it’s not too late to scale things back mid-semester. And, there are worse things than dropping a class.

 

How to be a Tortoise, Not a Hare, When it Comes to Online Learning

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Clover Autrey/flickrGoing back to college - school ahead street sign

 

What’s the toughest challenge you’ll face as an adult attending college online?

It won’t be finding the tuition money.

It won’t be finding the time.

Get ready for your biggest problem to be your own family – your spouse and your kids.

The ones you love the most may be the noisiest naysayers when it comes to your great back-to-college plans.


Say what? It’s so easy to going back to college online.

Online learning is such a blessing for the returning student who is also a time-strapped parent. Why would someone who loves you oppose your earning a college degree in this great convenient way?


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All you can eat neon buffet sign

New Charter University has a unique, all-you-can-eat style model.

(WCWT Blog)

 

University Now, an educational startup, has put a twist on buying an online education with the for-profit New Charter University, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports today.

Ready for it?

At New Charter University, your tuition costs are just $199 a month for a bachelors degree program. It’s like an Early Bird buffet special, but for classes: Study all you can in four months, for one low price!


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Back in 2002, when Chris Olson was starting his online masters program at Dakota State University, the assistive technology software that was out there left much to be desired.

Christopher Olsen, assistive technology pioneer

Christopher Olsen, Assistive Technology Pioneer

“It was tough, really tough,” recalls Olson, who was stuck typing the coding required for his Master of Science in Information Systems degree using sticks fastened to wrist braces. The year before, a car crash had rendered him quadriplegic, with only the partial mobility of his arms.

“If I hadn’t had any movement of my arms, I couldn’t have have done papers, couldn’t have written codes, I couldn’t have completed exams,” he says.

Olson 34, is now a business and information systems professor at DSU, but says he might not have gotten there if not for that small range of motion. A range that many quadriplegics, amputees, injured veterans or developmentally disabled individuals simply do not have. 

 

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Hariadhi/flickrStudy tips for traveling for online students - open luggage with clothes

 

I used to love road trips, and  always enjoyed the chance to break up my usual routine.

 

Then I started online learning. Quickly, I found out that breaking up my routine, or sloppy learning on the go, could wreck my studies if I wasn’t careful.

 

Instead of risking it, I came up with these study tips to keep myself on track:

 

 

5 Study Tips for Online Learning While Traveling

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog from Dr. Leah Klungness and Rachel Sarah. Dr. Leah has written The Complete Single Mother, and Rachel’s blog is Single Mom Seeking.
 

lego single mom pushing stroller while going back to schoolWe’re really impressed when we hear about single parents in college or returning to school on top of everything else they’re doing!

Getting an education isn’t just important for you — it’s crucial for your kids, too.

Dr. Leah knows what single moms in college face — she returned to school while also parenting two young kids on her own. It was not easy, but this was her dream.

And, of course, these credentials made a critical difference in how she was able to provide financially for herself and her kids.


We often hear from single parents in college who are:

  • Working full-time and going to school at night
  • Completing intensive internships on top of their jobs
  • Returning to school as ‘older’ students to earn or finish a BA
  • Advancing their education to get a Master’s degree — and a PhD!


Bravo to all of you! We know how frantic everyday life can get: working and parenting can be overwhelming.

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Editor’s Note: Online classes often require group projects to complete mid-terms or weekly assignments. Online group learning can make adult students feel uneasy – especially if it means being judged or graded on group projects.

Group project

In person group projects are bad enough, online group work is its own breed of “special”

(Luigi Mengato/flickr)

 

Our student issues blogger, , shares his tips for successful online learning when it comes to group work for students.


For me group projects were one of the toughest parts of my first online classes.  Just like “pop quiz”, the words “group assignment” filled me with dread.

Coordinating hectic schedules, interpreting mixed messages from team members, and a mad scramble to pull everyone together to meet group projects deadlines can make group work online a nightmare.

My first online group project earned a passing grade, but it was the toughest part of class for me, and we all spent far more time on that assignment than expected.

Since then, I’ve learned 5 tips for helping online students succeed:

 

 

How to Make Online Group Projects More Bearable

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Originally published at Absolutely Scott Free.

 

woodleywonderworks/flickr

Good ol’ copy-and-paste plagiarism is actually easier to detect in online classes thanks to software such as Turnitin

 

Before I came to the online world, I spent years as a professor in traditional colleges. There, as here, I believe that the vast majority of students are honest. But I also know that under pressure, people are capable of many things. Some of the more creative cheaters I encountered were students who:

  • Recorded formulas or facts in an .mp3 file, then played that file in a continuous loop on an iPod during the exam.
  • Requested a bathroom break during an exam. In the bathroom was a cheat sheet taped to a stall door.
  • Kept a plastic water bottle on the desk during an exam. On the inside label of the water bottle was written, in tiny script, formulas, etc. that could be seen through the water.

I share these not to give you ideas– trust me, savvy professors have seen it all anyway– but to let you know that we know.

 

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Famous online alumni, Venus Williams, Marcia Cross, and Dr. O'Neal (Shaq)

Online learning is growing in popularity among the glitterati. If you look around, you’ll find famous online alumni among actors, actresses and super athletes.

 

That’s right, your favorite stars are sneaking around and – gasp – attending college online.

 

Scrutinize the back row of online college lecture halls and you’ll spot a handful of celebs in shades scribbling furiously just like the rest of us. But non-traditional learning is nothing new for the “who’s who” of society. Even before the internet came into being, a handful of famous hot, brainy homeschooled dudes were gettin’ their learn on with the help of correspondence degree courses.

 

Why would famous people go to college online? Well, think about it – celebs can’t exactly stroll into algebra class, plop down in the back row, and expect no one to notice. Being a college student is hard if you’re famous. Successful people have hectic lives. Super athletes, for example, travel around like ping pong balls. As a result, few super stars can reliably make it to accounting class every Tuesday night at 6 PM. It’s difficult for the famous to fit their lives into a five hundred square foot classroom. Thank God they no longer have to.

 

I’ve been asked to name names, so here it is, the official Get Educated list of the top 3 “Online Learning Glitterati,” famous online alumni who’ve used distance learning to further their careers.

 

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Find the Best Research Sites for Statistics on Non-Traditional College StudentsNewman University/Flickr

Once upon a time, the majority of American college students were too young to request a credit card in their own name. But, hey, that was a long time ago—back in the pre-Internet days of higher education.

 

Today, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the vast majority of higher ed students—73 percent, in fact—fit under the non-traditional college student umbrella.

 

Non-traditional students have changed the face of higher education. The rise of this new college majority is driving innovation online and on residential campuses. Life experience degrees, corporate universities and prior learning assessment (PLA) all have roots in the market demand for a new type of college—one that is built for and responsive to the adult learner.

 

Below are my favorite sites for statistics, research and news about this emerging college majority. Want to get educated about the demands of non-traditional college students, both on campus and online? Visit these sites.

 

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Online chemistry courses with labs take place at homeWikipedia

If you aim to earn a science degree online—chemistry, biology, anatomy, physics, health sciencesengineering or environmental studies—you’ll need to complete one or more online science courses with labs.

 

In the past any online degree program that offered a lab science major, or an applied science major such as chemical engineering, would require students to take a course on campus, often through a summer residency or weekend study.

 

Today, a new generation of lab science courses are available online, many of them involving home lab kits or virtual simulations. Some online science courses even allow students to access to lab microscopes and machines remotely via an online web browser interface to analyze specimens or program complex machines to test things such as viscosity or surgical techniques.

 

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Tips for Success in Online Courses Include Finding a Private Study Area– Annetta – (flickr)

When adults—especially moms and dads—think about going back to school, many see no way to squeeze college into their hectic routines. But it is possible—and we’re here with tips for success in online courses.

 

Attending college online helps with that time crunch. Not having to commute to a campus saves adult students several hours per week. These stolen hours can then be applied to home study time.

 

Truth is, the average working American has about 30 hours of free time per week.

 

That’s right: 30 hours.

 

The key is learning how to manage your time tightly.

 

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