The college experience has been reinvented through the introduction of online college campuses. With the arrival of online colleges, students are no longer required to relocate to the physical campus at which they are attending. There are colleges that provide both physical campuses and online courses, but there are also colleges that are exclusively online campuses. Online classroom platforms vary from school to school, but there are aspects of theses campuses that remain the same, resembling the way a physical campus is organized.
To access online courses, you must log-in with the student identification number you were assigned. So, instead of commuting to school and opening the doors you are able to log-in and access the entire campus from your computer. An online campus is made up of a bookstore, an academic library, a classroom, grade book and much more, depending on the campus you are considering. You will have access to a list of courses you are currently taking. Each course will have its’ own virtual classroom. Professors are able to create announcements and respond to questions through messages and e-mails. You are also encouraged and required to interact as a class in forums each week, this mimics the classroom setting.
Student attendance is kept track of while attending online college campuses. The campus keeps logs each time you log-in. It keeps track of what areas you visit while logged in. There are two ways that books for online courses are distributed. First books are ordered online and are then shipped to your home from the book vendor of the online school. Another approach taken by online campuses is to provide electronic versions of the books for class. Even though they offer electronic versions, you also have the option of ordering a physical copy of the required textbooks.
You, the student, are able to access the virtual academic library through the online campus navigation. Assignments are able to be submitted online and once it is graded the professor is able to provide feedback on that particular item. This is also how tests and quizzes will be submitted. Tests, quizzes and finals often have a time limit set on them. Each school week starts on Monday at 12:01AM and ends Sunday night. Online grade books are accessible to students online in the classrooms and are updated weekly. The financial aid office is accessible online. Important documents are viewable and even able to be signed online. Courses that require labs are too available online through various lab simulations.
Even though the way an online campus is accessed is different than the traditional campus it is still an actual academic environment. New opportunities have been made available to prospective students with the option to attend online colleges. The college experience is now easily accessible for those who work, are disabled, do not have transportation, and for those who have children and want to be able to spend the most time with them as possible. Online campuses now give students the freedom to live their day to day lives all while getting the degree they have always thought about, but never had the time or means to pursue. Online college courses are not for everyone. You must be self-motivated, disciplined, and follow the material being taught every week.