The article gives guidelines on How to choose an Internet University. The decision to return to school and get a degree online is the first of many decisions. You will also need to decide what you are going to study and where. The choice of an internet university can be difficult because there are a lot of options available. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages and you will need to decide what is important to you in an internet university.
The first factor that you are going to want to consider when choosing an internet university is going to be how the program is structured and how the courses are offered. A lot of online schools still use the semester system, which means that you have to start class on a specific date, assignments must be submitted at a certain time and you will need to write exams on certain dates. This offers the advantage of keeping the program structured and helps you to schedule your studies and keep yourself disciplined.
The downside is that it’s not very convenient. The other option that is offered by a lot of online universities these days are self paced courses. These are courses that you register in at any time of the year, you can start whenever you want. You are given a deadline for completion, usually six months and beyond that can work through the course at your own pace. This offers the advantage of flexibility but it also requires more discipline. The right choice will depend on you.
Another factor that you will need to consider is how the course is presented, some courses are paper based in which you will do most of your studying out of a book. Others are completely interactive in which you and your classmates will have online discussions with your professor. Another popular approach is to offer video lectures over the internet. Different schools do this differently and each approach has it’s advantages and disadvantages.
As a general rule the more interactive a class is the less flexible it will be schedule wise. If you need to participate in online discussions you will need to be available at the specified time. The advantage is that a lot of people find that they learn better in an interactive environment. Again the right school will depend on how you like to learn.
An often overlooked detail in choosing an internet university is the exams. Pretty much all online universities require exams and this can be a problem for some students. If you live near the school you will normally be expected to take your exams there, some times they are scheduled as set times, some times you can schedule them for a time that is convenient for you, this depends on the school.
The bigger problem comes if you don’t live near the school, in this case you may have to make other arrangements. Some of the bigger schools offer testing centres in multiple locations, some even nationwide. If there is no testing centre near your home you will need to arrange for somebody to administer the exam, this can be a pain since the schools are usually pretty picky about who can do this.