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How does Online work?

Wondering exactly how an online learning course works? 

In a traditional classroom, you often learn by listening. Online courses are different. Instead of learning by listening, you will learn by doing; by reading, writing, and performing other activities specially designed by your instructor.

In online courses, students "attend" class by visiting the class web pages and completing assignments according to the class schedule. Students communicate regularly with the instructor and classmates using e-mail and online discussion forums. 

This class format is very flexible for busy schedules. Students can often log on to the course at any time of the day (or night). However, certain computer skills and a degree of determination are necessary to be successful. It comes as a big surprise to many online students that they actually have more contact with their fellow students online than they would in the regular classroom. This is because there are many ways for students to interact online: discussion boards, email, group activities, etc. It can be fun to meet students, and it can also be a great way to broaden your learning experience.

Many online courses also give more opportunities for personal feedback than you would receive in a traditional classroom. You will receive grades in your online course, but you might also encounter other kinds of feedback. For example, your fellow students might be reading and responding to your work. And you might receive more comments than usual (both formal and informal) from your instructor.