Scholarship Myths about Distance Learning

10 Myths about Distance Learning

Myth #1 – Online courses are easier.
Online courses are not easier than traditional courses. Online classes, like traditional classes, have reading assignments, homework, tests and papers, along with deadlines. In fact, some people feel that online courses are more difficult because they require excellent time management skills and dedication.

Myth #2 – I can complete my assignments anytime.
Online students can complete their coursework anytime, day or night, but all online courses have deadlines and due dates. It may not matter what time of day you complete the assignment as long as it is turned in on time. Some online schools may give you eight weeks to complete a course. You may not have specific due dates for each assignment, but you must have all of the assignments for that course completed within that eight weeks or you could be penalized.

Myth #3 – It is ok to procrastinate.
While taking an online course, it may be tempting to put off studying when your schedule gets too busy, but doing this will hurt you in the long run. Not only will you get behind, but you will have to scramble to complete assignments before they are due. Online learners need to be motivated, self-starters. To stay on track, you should create a schedule and stick with it.

Myth #4 – There is no interaction with instructors or other students.
With online learning, you may not have face to face interaction with your instructors and fellow students, but you may communicate with them by e-mail, over the phone, and in course-related chat rooms.

Myth #5 – I can handle more courses at once.
Many people have the impression that they can take more courses if they are all online. After all, you can complete the coursework anytime, anyplace, right? Wrong. What most people don’t realize is that online courses require as much if not more study time than traditional classes. Yes, the flexibility you gain with online courses is nice, but you still have to work hard. For each 3 credit course, expect to spend about 9 – 12 hours per week studying and completing assignments.

Myth #6 – Cheating is easy.
Yes, with information at your finger tips, the Internet does make it easy to plagiarize. Don’t be tempted. Most online schools use sophisticated tools that can detect plagiarism. Always cite your sources.

Myth #7 – Online schools aren’t as good as traditional schools.
There are many quality online degree programs that are equal to traditional school programs, you just need to do your homework and choose the right one. Make sure that the school you attend is both accredited and recognized by the US Department of Education. Also, with more than 2 million people enrolled in online programs, many employers now accept online degrees.

Myth #8 – All online programs are equal.
There are many different types of online learning. For example, programs of study may be asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous learning basically means, learning at your own pace. Not all students are required to participate at the same time. Rather, students may choose their own instructional time frame and gather learning materials according to their schedules. With synchronous learning, students are learning at the same time, while their instructor is in a different location. For example, students may be required to login at a certain time to watch a video or listen to an online lecture as a group. It is important to choose the type of learning that is right for you.

Myth #9 – Online learning is only for people who aren’t close to a school.
While online learning may be a convenient choice for someone living in a remote location, they aren’t the only ones enrolling in online courses. Online schools are becoming more and more popular in today’s fast paced society. It is a great option for a working adult with a family because their coursework can be completed anytime. Students can study early in the morning, on their lunch break or after they tuck their kids into bed. Online learning has also become popular with the military because of its flexibility and portability.

Myth #10 – Anyone can learn online.
Technically, yes, anyone can take an online class, but that doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for you. Online learners need to be highly motivated individuals that are capable of sticking with a strict schedule. If you are by nature a procrastinator, then online learning may not be the right choice for you.

(Courtesy of Grantham University Online)