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How Do College Classes Work

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How Do Online Classes Work? is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Online Classes At Gcu

At Grand Canyon University, we are on the leading edge of online learning. With fully trained faculty and technical support available to all students, there are plenty of resources to help ensure success in online learning. Our interactive online courses are designed to foster connection and communication through discussion boards and projects. General technical requirements include a desktop or laptop with Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.9 and an internet browser equivalent or greater than Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome 48, Apple Safari 9, Microsoft Edge 13 or Mozilla Firefox 43. Using our Learning Management System, students also have access to a variety of web-enhancing learning tools such as eBooks, forums and calendar reminders that help keep learners on track.

Grand Canyon University offers online classes and full online degree programs in many subjects. If you are new to online classes, join us at GCU to see how online learning can make a difference in your academic journey. Learn more by clicking the Request Info button on this page or visiting our website.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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Pros & Cons Of Hybrid Courses

With a computer and internet access, online classes are available. But take special care to follow requirements. Online instructors generally provide audio or video lectures and supplemental material, but frequently add communication requirements. To excel, communicate with your instructors and heed the online communication or participation requirements. Online quizzes and exams can be timed or structured to ensure understanding. Online classes are convenient, but require your dedication.

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Can Online Students Get Financial Aid

As long as you choose an accredited college or university, you will be eligible to receive the same financial aid as a student attending classes on campus. This includes grants, scholarships and low-interest loans.

The first step to receiving this aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid , which you can do starting October 1st each year.

Its important to submit the FAFSA, even if you dont believe you will qualify for need-based aid. According to NerdWallet, in 2017 36% of high school graduates didnt complete the FAFSA, and $2.3 billion in federal grant money went unused! Most students who apply for aid through the FAFSA receive some assistance.

In addition to the FAFSA, you can find scholarship opportunities through search sites such as If you currently attend school, check with your school counselor or financial aid office to see about local scholarships or other financial aid opportunities. If you are employed, check to see if your employer offers a tuition assistance program.

How Online College Classes Work

Students from PLU and Tacomas Lincoln High School work together to ...

Online learning can come in the form of an asynchronous learning experience, not a synchronous one. Asynchronous means that students are not typically required to attend a lecture or training at a specific time and date. Instead, youll likely receive a notification that new classes and course materials are ready for your perusal. Assignments may not be due or need to be viewed for perhaps several days.

Just as they are for in-person classes, instructors and classmates are available to help or to build up a network of people in your field. The only difference is, the interaction is through chat boxes or other platforms. You have the power to choose whether you communicate with them at the same time or on a cadence that fits your schedule.

Another feature of many online universities is a lifestyle-friendly pace. Several online universities, for example, offer one-at-a-time course options for students working toward a certificate or bachelors degree. This can make it that much easier to balance school, work and family.

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Be Careful Not To Overload

In your first year of college, youll be going through a lot of transitions, both personally and academically. Each college recommends a certain number of classes and credit hours, and it is best to stick within that limit. While you may feel the temptation to take more classes in order to graduate earlier, you could easily overload yourself and not do well in one or two classes. Take enough classes to challenge yourself, but dont overload. After your first year, youll be better able to judge how much you can take on, but be circumspect at first. Find your balance first.

How Long Is A College Semester Online

Online classes for college can vary widely depending on the university. Colleges offering online programs tend to tailor their calendars to meet the needs of students. For example, one of the main reasons for going to school online is to complete classwork faster and graduate sooner.

This is why there is a growing trend among colleges to offer accelerated programs for online learners.

There are some colleges that follow the 16-week standard for their online programs. However, it is increasingly more common to find programs in which semesters are divided into two eight-week terms.

Doing so takes advantage of the online students flexibility to complete coursework more quickly.

The two terms per semester model is what makes it possible to graduate in less time than it would take to complete a similar program on campus. Even better, its not unusual for professors to upload all the coursework at the beginning of the year. Students may then be able to complete and submit their work as quickly as possible.

This combination of shorter terms and immediately available work is really the key to accelerated classes. Students capable of handling a heavier workload can get through their programs at a faster pace.

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Tips For Success In Online Classes

by Jessenia Rivera

Its no secret that a sudden shift to online instruction may leave many students feeling overwhelmed about their academic success.

Learning from home has its challenges, but here are some tips and strategies recommended by USF Instructional Technology faculty members James Hatten, PhD, and Sanghoon Park, PhD, to help you successfully navigate the transition to online learning.

Set Yourself Up for Success from the Beginning

1. Establish a productive learning environmentWorking on assignments from a slouched position and streaming Netflix at the same time is not ideal if you aim to be productive. Dr. Hatten, who specializes in online teaching and learning, recommends that students choose an area in their homes thats free from common distractions.The couch is probably not the best place to be at, Dr. Hatten says. Get up and go to a place in your house that you can make your workplace.

Along with the time you set aside to complete assignments, its also suggested to have a set time to look over the tasks for every one of your classes so that you can set up an agenda for each week. In doing this, you wont mistakenly forget to turn something in.

3. Seek virtual interactions with your peers

4. Use the chunking strategy to section out tasks

Find Ways to Stay Motivated

Dr. Park encourages individuals to firstly recognize when their motivation is low and then determine the reason why. Below are a few strategies he advises students to use.

What Is A Course

How do online classes work?

A course is a series of classes. These classes are all in one area of study. Therefore, when choosing a major, you will take courses geared towards that major. Courses are assigned credits. Colleges dictate how many credits you need to take to graduate.

Sometimes, there will be lower division courses and upper division courses.

In general, lower division courses focus on general education and occur in the beginning of college. Once students earn enough course credits, they move up into upper division courses. These courses are major-specific. Therefore, they may be more in-depth and often provide more of a challenge because they are specialized.

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Working While In School

If your goal involves paying for college tuition without loans, work-study programs or freelancing during school could help cover the costs of college and likely should be a top option after exhausting scholarships, available savings and family contributions.

Federal work-study programs might be an option for undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are attending school full-time or part-time and who have financial needs. Jobs through federal work-study programs often involve doing work related to your studies or community service work, which makes these jobs a great way to earn money for tuition while also building your resume.

However, youll need to make sure your school participates in the federal work-study program by checking with the financial aid office, and youll need to both qualify for a work-study job and be able to find a job.

When your school provides information on your financial aid package, youll be offered a federal work-study award if you are eligible based on financial need. You can find out a lot more about federal work-study programs by reading our guide.

There are also a number of side hustles you could do while attending school, and with careful budgeting, working during school might make college affordable without loans especially if the school offers a flexible or monthly payment plan.

Determine If All Your Credits Will Transfer

Each university and college has its own rules about which credits are transferable. Usually, students can determine what credits will transfer by talking to their new schools admissions or registrars office. Additionally, suppose you were already assigned an academic advisor. In that case, you can ask them if the classes that you took at another institution are transferable.

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You Can Transfer To Another College Or University In A Few Easy Steps:

  • Identify why you want to transfer
  • Discuss your plans with your colleges academic advisor
  • Determine if all your credits are transferable
  • Start the college search
  • Figure out the financial implications of going to another school
  • Gather all required information for your new college application
  • Apply
  • Confirm your spot

What To Expect From Hybrid Classes

How Do Online Classes Work? [2020 Guide]

How does this really work? Consider these hybrid learning components from the associate degree nursing program at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Alabama:

  • You must view lectures online. The lectures include high-volume and graphic content. Thats a lot of material to load, so you must have access to fast DSL.
  • You must complete quizzes online by assigned deadlines. However, they do not impact your course grade.
  • You must schedule tests on campus during morning or evening hours. You may be able to schedule tests on different days or nights each week.
  • Labs are scheduled in person during the day. You must complete the required labs hours before beginning your clinical assignments.
  • Clinical assignments also require that you be available during the day and they must be completed in person. You may be able to schedule some clinical assignments in the evening or on the weekend, but those time slots are not guaranteed.

Heres another example of a hybrid vs an in-person lesson from Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, lecturer and career coach at the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business:

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Tests In Hybrid Courses

Hybrid or blended learning may require you to come to the campus at a specific time to take an exam. If youre far from campus, you may need to make arrangements to have someone at another school or location act as your proctor. Another option: You can be watched taking your test via webcams or special software like ProctorU. An even more flexible option: Your college may use technology similar to that of a mobile phone that can keep track of whether youre looking at the test on the screen or not. A webcam and microphone can tell if youre likely sneaking a peek at your notes or books.

How Does Ap Credit Work At Colleges

Whether you already have five AP classes under your belt, or if you’re just considering whether to take AP classes at all, you may be wondering how exactly getting AP college credit works.

This article will go over how different colleges grant credit for AP, and what you can do to maximize the amount of AP credit you earn. We will explore some different ways colleges grant AP credit, using specific universities as case studies.

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How Does A College Class Schedule Differ From A High School One

In high school, students are typically on a four-year track taking many pre-determined classes with little to no flexibility. Class schedules remain the same day-to-day throughout school operating hours. On average, students attend six classes every day in the same building. While some classes such as electives only last for a fall or spring semester, other classes like English or math last the entire academic year. Classes like these depend heavily on each institution’s curriculum.

A college course schedule, on the other hand, provides more freedom and flexibility. Instead of having a set quarter or semester schedule, college students can tailor their classes and class times to what works best for them. Depending on the times of classes offered, students can choose from attending classes in the morning, afternoon, and even in the evening. If available, they can also choose which days of the week to attend a class, whether that is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Summer class is often offered for students who want to take college level courses. Summer semester enrollment can be different for different colleges and universities but they are a great way to take core classes or classes specific to your degree plan. Taking classes during the summer semester will lighten your course load and free up time to take different classes or participate in extracurricular activities.

How To Sign Up For Ap Classes And Tests

How Online Classes Work | Champlain College Online

You can sign up for an AP course through your normal high school registration process. Keep in mind that some schools have prerequisite courses you have to take before you can sign up for an AP class. Track down your guidance counselor if you have any questions about this.

You’ll sign up for AP tests through your school, which will have a designated AP coordinator to help with the process. If you’re homeschooled or want to take an AP test for a class your school doesn’t offer, contact your local school’s AP coordinator.

AP tests cost $94 each. Some schools offer subsidies, and the College Board has financial aid in the form of a $32 fee reduction.

Remember that if you pass the AP exam, you can exchange your score for college credit once you get to college. So even though that $94 fee is steep, it’s a bargain compared with the cost of taking that same class for a semester in college!

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Attendance Mandatory Vs Attendance Optional

In high school, teachers were probably required to take your attendance every day and during every class. In most college classes, the professors dont care whether you are in class or not, and it is up to you to decide whether you want to attend class or not.

Though we at CollegeVine always encourage you to attend class, many college students feel like they can learn the material on their own and never attend a lecture. This strategy sometimes backfires on them when they end up missing a concept that was only discussed in lecture.

It is worth noting that some college classes do take attendance, especially the smaller upper division courses with around 25-30 students. Attendance can even be made a fraction of your overall grade if the professor so chooses.

Can Grades Really Be Distributed

Now, you might be thinking that there are plenty of instances where this doesnt happen and there are more students who fail or pass and youre correct. But, lets put it into an example. Lets say Ms. Halsey finished grading her class exam and found that most of the students got Cs, fewer Bs and Ds, and only one or two As and Fs. Using these statistics, she knows the tests she designed did its job and was just the right amount of difficulty for her class level.

But what happens if this distribution changes? Lets say that Ms. Halseys class mostly got As and Bs. Assuming no one cheated, the test did not fulfill its purpose because it wasnt challenging enough. Maybe its because Ms. Halseys questions were too easy, or her class is the special class for honor students, so they need to be challenged according to their level. On the other hand, if most of the grades were on the lower end of the curve, then she knows she made the test too difficult.

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Keep Up Your Grades Up

Its crucial to maintain good academic standing while you wait for your college acceptance letter. Even if you know youre transferring, its vital to keep your grades up. Your transcript will play an essential role in your application process. Therefore we need your classes to reflect your best effort.

How Many Credit Hours Should I Take A Semester

Will Letter Grades Survive?

Aside from being knowledgeable of the common question what do credits mean in college?, its important to understand how to plan each semester accordingly to ensure you graduate on time. When it comes to choosing how many credit hours to take in a semester, there are various factors to consider. An important factor is a student’s availability. When entering college, a newfound opportunity or need for a job can ultimately affect a student’s schedule. A student’s major or minor can also impact this decision, depending on how much room the program grants.

College Express shares advice stating, “Many colleges recommend taking around 15 credits per semester, which totals 120 credits after four years. Most bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits to graduate.” By taking this amount, students can feel confident that they are on the right track to graduation. However, attending college is a big step, and it is more than understandable for a student to take fewer classes in the first semester to minimize feeling overwhelmed. After the first semester, students can adjust the number of hours based on what works best.

Whatever that amount is, it is essential to keep in mind that to be considered a full-time student, 12 credit hours are needed. This amount enables students to receive financial aid and indicates how long a student’s college career will be.

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