Taking online courses can be a smart way to streamline the educational process. Online learning typically allows students to move at their own pace while avoiding the hassles of traveling to and from a classroom. It also allows for easier scheduling options. Before enrolling in any online program, you should make sure that the program is a good fit for your educational goals. Here are some key questions to ask before committing to a program.
Is Online Learning Ideal for My Area of Study?
Most mathematics coursework lends itself to online study. Unless you’re pursuing a degree for the sole purpose of teaching, online classes are ideal. Those pursuing teaching credentials might opt for in-person classes that emphasize student-teaching techniques.
There’s also the question of personal preference. Some people much prefer sitting in a classroom and being part of a social group that learns from a teacher. However, most people find that online study is a good alternative for reasons of convenience, scheduling and the lower cost of online tuition. Before enrolling in an online math class or an entire course of study, consider your personal feelings for self-study as opposed to in-class learning.
Does it Meet My Scheduling Needs?
Scheduling is one of the major factors that draw people to online degree programs. In general, online classes allow students to work at their own speed and do coursework whenever it is convenient for them. A student’s current employment hours might mean that a traditional degree program is unworkable. An advantage of online courses is that you can work a full-time job and not have to worry about when the class meets.
Students who want to advance rapidly through an online degree program can do so. Some universities streamline the course load, allowing students to progress faster and transition more quickly into the workforce.
What is the Total Cost of the Degree Program?
Be sure to find out the total cost of an online degree program before signing up. Sometimes, you need to call the school’s office and inquire about the specific prices of individual classes, course packages and entire degree programs. Make sure you factor in extra costs like textbooks and software programs that you might need to purchase. Even with extra costs like this, in most cases, online study is much less costly than in-person options.
Will I Be Able to Take All Tests Online?
Always find out about testing procedures. Online degrees are about evenly split in the way that they deal with examinations. Some of them let students take tests online, while others require you to attend live testing sessions for verification purposes. You’ll need to have one or two forms of photo ID when testing in person. Be fully aware of a school’s policies in this regard so that you won’t be surprised on test day.
Is the Institution Accredited?
Depending on your reasons for pursuing a particular type of education, a school’s accreditation status might be a major factor in your decision to enroll there, according to University Language Services. Virtually every online and traditional educational institution lists its accreditation credentials on the homepage of its website. If you don’t see credentials, call the school and ask whether they are accredited. For prospective teachers and those who plan to enter dozens of other professions, the question of accreditation can be a deal-breaker for choosing a school.
Not everyone is cut out for online learning. It takes a good deal of self-discipline to stick with a rigorous academic program when you don’t have the social support of a live classroom. But, for the most part, the advantages of convenience, low cost, and simple scheduling far outweigh the few negatives of online study. In any case, always research a program and the institution that is offering it before making a financial commitment.
If you’re looking to major in a math-related field, take a look at these math-related college majors that have a great return on investment!