Friday, June 28, 2013

Online Classes at UT Tyler


Students entering their first year of the college lifestyle at UT Tyler will find quickly that core level courses can be a little overwhelming.  Whether it is the change in pace from their high school class experiences, or if they are brave enough to take a full class load in their first semester (generally 15 hours), it can be highly stressful for the first-time college student. 

A solution often suggested by the freshman advising staff is for incoming students to take at least one online course through UT Tyler.  This is a great educational opportunity, as it allows you to work at your own pace within certain parameters, and you can finish all of your assignments and tests from the leisure of your own computer.  Most often for freshman at UT Tyler, the recommended online courses are for topics such as humanities, core history courses, and sometimes even science classes through another university.  This blog post will serve as a primer for new students with online classes, as there are often situations where these classes are more than we originally expect.
 

1) Different format, same principle  
First, keep in mind that just because the class is in an online format, it is no less as important as a class that requires you to meet in person with the professor.  An online course has all of the same expectations as a regular course: due dates for assignments, a textbook for you to study, the student should prepare adequately for tests and projects, etc.  Avoid the temptation of thinking less of the class because it is online.  This will result in a grade you will not expect or appreciate on your transcript.

2) PROCRASTINATION IS THE BANE OF ONLINE CLASSES  
I know this from experience.  The student will put off the work that is required from an online class because the class does not actually meet.  AVOID THIS.  Try to have your assignments and tests finished as soon as possible.  Not only do they pile up quickly, but also they accumulate along with the assignments given from in-person classes, making them seem like a lesser priority.  Treat this class like any other; otherwise, it will not be a cheery experience.

3) The professor is not imaginary  
More often than not, the professor for your online course is a UT Tyler faculty member.  Meaning, the person has a pulse, an office, and an opinion about your work, and is paid and lives to assist you with you studies.  Utilize his privilege, as it is possible for you to get overwhelmed with your class and require assistance or guidance.  You will quickly find that this visit could be the deciding factor between getting a B and earning a well-deserved A for the course.

Visit an advisor today for more info!
If you feel like I am missing something, or there is some other concern, I refer you to my third suggestion.  While you are signing on for your online course, see who is leading/teaching the course and go visit them during their office hours!  They will give clarification to anything that you feel is unclear, or answer any other questions that you might have about the course.  Also, feel free to call the UT Tyler Advising Office on campus if you need any suggestions for what online classes are best for you.  Do not hesitate to make an appointment with a freshman advisor; they want to help you!


If you want to see if one of your core classes is available in an online format, remember to check the core curriculum first for UT Tyler entry students, then reference that list to your advisor to set up your schedule. Online classes are convenient, but they still merit the same responsibility as any other college level course.  Remember this when your advisor recommends that you take one during your next semester of classes!

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