Go to School Without Leaving Your Bedroom

Go to School Without Leaving Your Bedroom

By Tasha

Online learning: a great idea, or just an excuse to attend "class" in your sweatpants? Or both?

Hi, I'm a freshman in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) at my school. We're a few days away from finishing the first term. and I have straight A's in all of my classes, including honors, so I'm keeping up pretty well. My French teacher recommends that we might want to try online classes. I want to take a Latin class online (maybe at Florida Virtual School, but I'm not sure yet), but I have no idea if I would like it.

Do you think it's a smart idea? I read about a girl who attended a local high school that took several online courses and raised her GPA to an 8.166--- not that I want to go that extreme, but I really want to try to boost my GPA. So in your opinion, would it be a waste of time, or would there be benefits? Thanks!

I think taking an online class is a great idea. Although I can’t say for sure that the course will raise your GPA, I can tell you that you're bound to run into online classes in college, and it wouldn’t hurt to get acquainted with this increasingly popular way of learning.

As you probably know, more and more teachers and professors are offering online learning communities and designing online courses for their students. In college, lots of professors use BlackBoard to share syllabi, course documents, and discussion boards where students can discuss class assignments and assigned reading. There are even degree programs offered online. By enrolling in an online class, you'll get familiar with the technology and see whether this way of learning works for you.

I have found that taking courses online requires lots of self-motivation and self-discipline—maybe more so than are required in the normal "classroom" class. In many online classes, you have to set deadlines for yourself, learn much of the material your own, and prepare for rigorous tests and exams. Some online courses incorporate occasional online class meetings that allow students to talk to each with headsets, which is helpful. Some online classes even require students to buy webcams so they can see each other as they discuss class assignments. It all depends on how the teacher designs the class.

If you are a diligent and conscientious student (which it sounds like you are)—and if enjoy taking class without having to change out of your pajamas—you may love online learning!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Do you have a question? Shoot Tasha an email at advice@sparknotes.com.

Topics: online classes

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