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How to Research Great Online University Courses?

Written by K Fisher on December 12, 2021

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The internet is a vast world where pretty much anything can be typed in and an expected search result amount will pop up. But the downside is being able to shift through the real and non-spam related content. This also concerns real great online university courses that can be taken. So, where does an at home student search or let alone what universities actually have online courses worth taking?

To begin researching great online university courses the best way to start is by identifying which websites are universities and which websites are just known online database courses.

 

Step-By-Step Searching

Start off by listing out top university names:

  • Yale University
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Princeton University
  • Brown College
  • Oregon State University
  • Bay Atlantic University
  • University of Minnesota Crookston
  • Arizona State University
  • UMass University
  • Florida State University
  • Strayer University

A lot of people don’t know that ivy league schools offer free lectures and a few free courses depending of the school year season. As of right now, Harvard University offers:

There are over 120 free online courses on Harvard Universities website. These available and intriguing free courses can even come with a certificate but that itself will need to be paid for by the student. However, free knowledge is being given out by top ivy league universities and this is still an unheard-of idea. Students would easily benefit from taking a free course before even starting an online university course officially.

Even Princeton has online courses available for students:

There are more courses from Princeton available online but above is just a preview of the type of subjects they have available.

The determination to work as a student who attends online courses still has a bit of taboo structure attached to it. Maybe it’s even seen as impossible but as the world caters to more work-at-home opportunities, individuals are taking advantage of what it means to have a flexible schedule but a determined outlook to complete an online certificate course.

Other than known universities to look at to find online courses. Let’s check out well known sites dedicated to online studies.

  • SkillShare – which has now become a wide renowned site that demonstrates and has celebrities, world known chefs, directors, authors and teachers give lesson online.
  • ALLISON – Is mostly a free course website who dedicates their web page to a range of different individuals whether they are an expert to an amateur in the subject given.
  • UDemy – a online learning and teaching marketplace with over 183,000 courses and 40 million students. Learn programming, marketing, data science and more.

These are considered the top 3 websites and there is more online course dedicated sites that may focus on one type of course. Such as HubSpot Academy that only caters to digital marketing and everything that is involved with that world.

Let’s look at the benefits online courses can bring to someone. What is the goo values associated with online courses?

Saves Students Money

The huge number one factor based on why online courses are so sought after is that a student pays for the course, not the tuition that has hidden fees. Such as living on campus, textbooks, and excess cafeteria fees.

In the long run a student just has to pay for the course being taught and the certificate that waits for them at the end of the course. This advantage allows a better idea to the student about if they are determined about the course subject or not. If not and the student wishes to change their mind on the selected career path change, they can. By changing majors, a student will save money and will most likely be able to be refunded.

Clear and Easy Timelines

Intensity and timing can crowd the thoughts of students who can’t seem to focus on their school work. A big benefit to online courses is that they lay out a few different timelines about taking a month, or two, or a year… when it comes to taking time to finish the course. Because there is such a flexible outlet to online courses, this allows anyone with a difficult schedule to create a base around that.

Less Stress

An impact from online courses was that students have less stress. Not only is there no need to be on time in the traditional stuck in traffic sense. Without worrying about what to wear the next day, or let along where to eat. Students can very well work on a course while wearing pajamas and just eat what is already available at home. Saving more money and allowing the student to stay on a strict budget if needed.

Less stress will allow the student to work harder and actually enjoy the course they are taking. The option for burn out is far less than attending an on-campus university. A few studies have suggested that students who take online courses not only enjoy their classes, but finish faster, and take on more work.

Transferring Credits Has Never Been So Easy

It’s not talked about a lot but the fact that online courses have such an easy switch over credits policy it’s a bit ridiculous. Because online credits are usually and easily transferable, the needed class online can be taken at another university and then transfer the credit to the current attended university. The solution is fairly perfect when a student is trying to move through school quick or needs to make up for lost time. Depending on the situation, students can find ways to adjust easier and without too much hassle.

Focus on Location

The whole play of location, location, location is no joke. The best thing for student is to either keep a strict budget, stay home to save money, or simply they need to stay home to focus better. In this way, focus on location is a strategy students should start with first when searching for online courses. What fits into their schedule if the student happens to be a single parent, an adult returning to school, or someone that just needs to be home more than someone who attends a physical university.

However, Let’s Address the Downside of Online Schooling

Zoom Fatigue

Everyone has discovered Zoom (online meetings) and it may be safe to say that no one cares for it all that much anymore. Zoom fatigue is real and it’s highly recommended that everything can be down over email then do so.

If You Procrastinate, Then Online Courses May Not Be for You

The fact of the matter is, it’s hard for anyone to not procrastinate, however, that means more time to dwell on course work. Online courses have such a flexible time schedule that procrastination could run rapid. Since the time schedule has to be set by the student, this could be a recipe for disaster. Students who prefer time schedules to be created for them would benefit from attending an on-campus university.

Isolation

This was a huge debate in early to mid 2021, where students were feeling isolated because they had spent too much time working on their course work online. Instead of being in a classroom with others and socializing. This can be a bad turning point for any student but it’s also about balance. If a student is having a tough time and has symptoms of depression, it may be best to that student to arrange time either with an in-person study group. This can alleviate some of the isolation that any student may feel at any given time.

No Professor Will Hold You Responsible

Now, some people need others to hold them accountable. This is not going to happen with online courses. Yes, teachers are there to help but the student must find themselves accountable for their own actions. This also means students who cannot normally keep themselves on the current tasks handed to them, may not be able to if a teacher is not looking out for them. Unlike in-person universities where teachers will keep their students accountable for their missed work or a failing grade. However, some students do better in school if they are constantly reminded.

Find Your Own Way

Yes, online learning is for the student that already has a crystal-clear vision of who they are and what they want to do. That is not to say, on-campus university students do not. Only those online courses require a student to understand that they are choosing their own path. Instead of being guided when it comes to on-campus living.

Students should heavily consider what works for them, who they know themselves to be and what would work best for themselves. While college is a time to find yourself, some students already know what they want to do 100%. These students would greatly benefit from online courses since they have a somewhat laid out life path that they wish to make a reality.

 

If Your Time Management Is Bad…

Time management should be in the title with “online courses” because otherwise there has been a ton of online courses that are halfway completed while the rest sits in a doomed silence forever. Ultimately, a student may come back around to that course but the reality is, a student who suffers from ill time management needs a bit of adjustment. Meaning that if they themselves cannot get on a schedule surely their schoolwork will suffer as well.

There are ways to battle this and complete an online course but self-motivation and time management needs to be at the forefront.

Online Lesson Miscommunication

When it comes to developing the communicational skills of the students is an area often neglected during online lessons. This neglect comes down to a few things, miscommunication being the primary suspect. If a student is learning a subject for the first time, they will have no one to describe it, right? Well then if a student is trying to convey to a teach via email about what’s going on, it’s very possible the teacher will miscommunicate that information back to the student.

This happens… a lot. Since some students have a hard time communicating about what they are lacking from peer-to-peer help, it’s advised to have a tutor or go-to advisor that can dictate what a student may need help on and in which subject.

Be Sure to Ask Questions

A huge factor is that students may refuse to ask questions they need answered. Whether it’s from by insecure or unsure, asking helps a world of wonder. Asking question will help a student to stop being in the dark about a specific subject or problem that they are struggling on.

Find Other Online Students

A study program or other online students should look towards creating a study group. This will help with so much and allow students to identify certain peer-to-peer questions that maybe they can’t ask a teacher at that moment. Also, peer-to-peer work will allow students to stay on track with their online schooling. This sense of relief that a student can simply attend a group session with other peers can alleviate a lot of worries.

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