Adventuring into an Online Course
Amidst a desperate search for more college credit hours for this semester, I stumbled upon LIB100: Accessing Information in the 21st Century. While taking a library science course may not appeal to all, what was compelling about this one-hour, half-semester course was that it was being offered online. “This is perfect,” I thought to myself, as I had been facing repeated failure after trying to find a course that I was qualified to take, still had open seats, AND fit my schedule. Registration is so much fun…Alas, without having any idea what I was getting myself into, I registered for the online section of introductory library science.
Throughout the second half of this semester, I learned a great deal more from library science than simply how to conduct an academic search. Here are my top takeaways from having taken an online course:
Time management: Managing our time is quite the phenomena — it’s something that so many people are somehow terrible at. Time management was everything in this course. While it seemed the workload would be light considering it was a half-semester class that would earn me just one credit hour, we were given 12–16 hours of work to complete throughout the week every week. My professor assigned a great deal of homework to ensure that we were getting a comprehensive and thorough understanding of all the course content. The learning curve on time management for these assignments was steep, as it took me several weeks to get into a routine of consistently chipping away at my assignments day by day rather than cramming everything into the last minute. Upon reflection as this online course is coming to a close, I realize the time management skills I have applied to LIB100 have rubbed off onto both the academic and social aspects of my life as well.
Technology: While I may be a millennial by birth, I might as well be a baby boomer when it comes to technology. As one can imagine, taking an online course involves the use of a lot of technology — namely computer functions. Just as with time management, I once again faced a steep learning curve when it came to getting the hang of different functions on my computer. However, I feel that trial and error is a great way to learn how to do something, and I can now say I am no longer as “tech-clueless” as I once was.
Communication: When taking an online course, you may never physically be in the same room as your classmates nor your professor. However, this does not mean your professor is any less available to you as a resource as a professor in a conventional classroom would be. As I struggled to stay on top of due dates and figure out how to complete assignments, I learned that communication with my professor was key. It is important to keep your professor updated on your status as they are always willing to help you figure things out.
All in all, I tried something new by venturing into the world of online classrooms and I learned much more than I would have had I taken this course in a physical classroom.