Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ergonomic Pens for Note Taking in College Courses

Taking notes in college courses can be stressful for the nontraditional student. The stress mentioned here is both physical and mental. For many of us, the simple act of using an ink pen or pencil is one we don’t do on a regular basis. When we re-enter the education arena after an extended period of time, hand cramps can result from stress caused by using small muscles in our hands in ways we haven’t used them in a long time. One way to help prevent, or relieve, hand cramps is to use the right writing utensil, an ergonomic pen or pencil.

Years ago, when many of us first started public school, beginning students used a 'fat' pencil. About the second or third grade, we graduated to normal sized number 2 pencils. In recent years, the science of ergonomics has discovered that the larger pencil or pen barrel, especially one with a rubberized grip, is less stressful for the hands.

For students who haven’t used pens and pencils for long periods of time in one sitting, and for students who have arthritic hands, ergonomic pens and pencils are worth the money. The comfort of writing with these pens increases the amount of time that you can take notes without hand cramps. Ergonomic pens for college students, especially nontraditional college students, just makes good sense.
Of all the ergonomic pens available, I have experience with three different ergonomic pens/pencils. The Pilot Dr. Grip, the Paper Mate PhD, and the Pentel R.S.V.P.
  • Pilot Dr. Grip
    • I love the feel of this pen. It is weighted well, and is comfortable to use. The ink is smooth, and ink refills are available. Unfortunately, my experience is that the rubberized section of the barrel starts to break down after six or seven months of use, with small gritty pieces coming off over a period of time.

  • Paper Mate PhD
    • This pen also is weighted well, has refills available, and is comfortable to use. The ink does not skip on the page. The rubberized section of the barrel does not fall apart and stands up well to consistent and long term use. However, after a year of use, the rubberized section gets loose and makes it harder to grip.

  • Pentel R.S.V.P.
    • This is the most economical of the three I have experience with. For $5 to $10 you can pick up a multi-pack in a variety of colors—perfect for visual learners to make notes more memorable. While it is refillable, the price is low enough to purchase a new package, if you can’t find the refills locally. The pens are not weighted as well as the Dr. Grip or the PhD pens, but for an economical ergonomic pen, they are an excellent value. Unlike the other two brands mentioned here, the R.S.V.P. pen comes in a large variety of colors and point styles, including roller ball, ball point, gel, and porous point.

Whether you decide to use one of the above ergonomic pens or choose a different brand and style, an ergonomic pen or pencil will increase your comfort and reduce stress on your hands as you take notes in your courses.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Online Distance Education: Online College Degrees

There has been a change in the way corporations and even brick and mortar education entities view online college degrees. There was a time when an online degree was considered by almost everyone to be a substandard degree. In the past few years, more and more employers not only embrace and approve of online distance education, they offer to help college students pay for their education through work place grants.

The range of online degree programs available continues to grow. At one time, business courses were the most common online degree programs, but now you can get a degree in education, psychology, business administration, criminal justice and much, much more online. If you are considering pursuing your degree online, research the college of your choice to learn if they provide your chosen program online. If not, there are likely others who do.

The great thing about online colleges is that you don't have to apply only to those within your local area. You could live in Florida and attend an online university in California, or even in another country. However, if you chose to attend an out of country university, make sure that the degree will be acceptable where you plan to work. Out of country college degrees in any field that requires certification will probably not transfer to the U.S., and you will not be able to enter that field without additional study.

Online distance education is not quite at the mainstream level, yet, but most colleges are now including the opportunity to take classes online in their course schedules. Online courses are just as rigorous as face-to-face classes, often more so since students are more dependent on themselves to learn material than on the instructor.

If you are interested in learning more about online distance education, contact the state school or online university in which you are interested and ask for the following information:
  • What online degree programs do you have?

  • Are the programs totally online? (Some require at least a few days of face-to-face meetings.)

  • Are classes asynchronous (no specific time set for classes) or do I have to be online at specific days and times?

  • What are the eligibility requirements? Do I have to have a high school degree, an ACT, or SAT?

  • What is the application fee? Will you waive the application fee? (Some do, most won't.)

  • Are the textbooks included in the tuition? (Usually not, but a very few colleges include textbooks in tuition.)

  • Are you a Title IV school? (If not, you may not be able to get loans, and will not be able to get Pell Grants.)

As more and more students, choose online distance education, and as more and more colleges offer online degree programs, online degrees are becoming quite acceptable to most employers. The ability to attend college online provides a real opportunity to those who for personal reasons cannot attend a brick and mortar university. The main thing to remember is to do your due diligence and know everything you can learn about the university and course of study you choose before signing the application.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Save Money When Buying College Textbooks

The next semester is fast approaching, with the need to purchase textbooks. There are several ways students can save money when buying textbooks. Online bookstores often sell used college textbooks. When buying a used textbook, it is important first to know as much as possible about the textbook. The following list of things to know will be helpful, especially to first time students.

You need to know the ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Textbook publishers release new editions of textbooks on a regular schedule. If you purchase the wrong textbook edition, the assignments and projects may not be the same as those the instructor assigns. The ISBN is different for each edition, so this is a must to know.

You need to know if the textbook has a CD or DVD with it. Often, you can find the textbook used at one of the popular online bookstores. If the textbook you need has a CD or other materials that you need, be sure to only purchase the used textbook if the seller specifically states that the ancillary materials are present. In the case of CDs and DVDs, it is best if the seller states that they are unopened. This way you know the original owner has not scratched it beyond use. Also, the CD may have a license that states only the first buyer may use it. It may have a one-time use activation code. Be careful of the descriptions, too. Acceptable usually means that the textbook is written in, highlighted, or is damaged in some way that does not preclude being able to read it. Like new and new descriptions are best.

You need to know the price at the campus bookstore. It does not help you to buy online just to find out that the book sells cheaper at the campus bookstore (though this seldom is the case). What might happen, though, is that the campus bookstore purchases the textbook from the publisher bundled with additional required materials, such as a student version of software used in the textbook. Often the bundled textbook and materials cost less than purchasing a used book and the required materials separately.

When buying college textbooks on the Internet, order your textbooks from online bookstores well before class begins. Most college instructors are not sympathetic when you do not have the textbook you ordered but did not yet receive, especially when the campus bookstore still has copies available.
Do not purchase a used textbook hoping the answers to questions will be written in the book. Quite often, the answers are wrong, which will lower your grade. At any rate, the course does you no good if you do not learn the material. It is difficult to explain to prospective employers why you are not able to do a task if they know you received an A in the class that teaches the task. Using someone else's answers is lazy, unethical, and immoral-and if you are caught doing so, could be grounds for dismissal from the college or university.

If you are interested in buying a used textbook from another student who has just completed the course, be sure you know that the textbook is the same one being used in your class. Even on the same campus, different instructors teaching the same class may use different textbooks. Also, especially in technical classes, the field changes so fast that textbooks seldom last for more than two semesters before being replaced with newer editions or even different textbooks produced by a different publisher.

If you are using Financial Aid to finance your education and purchase your textbooks, you will probably have to purchase your textbooks at the campus bookstore in order to have them in time for the first day of class. Financial Aid refunds are most often given to students far too late to use them to purchase textbooks for the semester in which the refund is received. If you want to purchase textbooks at a lower price, but must use Financial Aid monies, save back a portion of the refund for the following semester's textbooks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Untraditional Or Nontraditional Student - Attending College With Your Children's Peers

Due to the economic downturn, many adults are returning to, or attending for the first time, college campuses to earn new credentials. For many untraditional or nontraditional students, going to college with traditional students can be overwhelming, or even down right embarrassing. After all, they are your children's peers, and we are at a time in our lives when we think we should be long beyond college classes. For some, the idea of attending as a first time college student is frightening, for others it is the answer to a lifelong dream.

Older adult learners attending college share some of the same misgivings and fears. What if I can't learn the material fast enough? What if I feel out of place? What if I get lost on campus? These are just some of the fears normal to older students. If we are honest, most of us, as older adults, will admit that we don't learn as quickly or as easily as we once did. The good news is that we can learn it, and once we do, we have the experience to use what we learn. Too often younger students easily learn material, but do not have the life experience to see how that learning can be applied to their lives and livelihoods.

There are some specific strategies that will help you learn. First, find out what kind of learner you are. Are you a visual learner, auditory learner, kinesthetic learner, or a combination of all three? A quick search online for 'free learning style exam' will help you find a test that will give you the answers. Once you know what kind of learner you are, you will be able to focus your learning to your particular learning style, making it much easier to learn the material.

One instructor stated that learning is nothing more than 'repetition, repetition, repetition!' If all else fails, read the material over and over or read it aloud into a recorder and play it back while you are driving, washing dishes, or going to sleep. If you are a visual learner, building a chart or graph will help you visualize the material at test time. Whatever your learning style, knowing it will save you hours of grief when trying to learn class material.

Feeling out of place or fearing getting lost on campus does not only affect older learners. In any new environment, people are uncomfortable until they learn their way around. A day or two before class begins, go to campus, and visit the student services office. Ask if someone can show you around. If not, ask if they have a campus map and can show you where on the map your classes are located. Then walk the campus until you are comfortable that you can locate your classes.

Many instructors find that having older students in the classroom is helpful. It provides a real world context that is otherwise difficult to present to the class as a whole. As long as you are respectful and let the instructor know that you understand he or she is in charge, your views and comments will be welcome. It can even be fun to attend classes with younger students--even with your own children, if they can stand the embarrassment! Some of the best parent-child bonding can be accomplished by learning together.

Some simple steps to help you through your first semester are:
  • Take your time and learn your way around the campus.
  • Purchase your textbooks early or buy them online for more savings--the bookstores sometimes run out!
  • Introduce yourself to your instructors. Most instructors enjoy talking with their students.
  • Make a list of all your classes, their locations, and their times and dates. Keep it where you can easily refer to it.
  • Make a chart of all your assignments and due dates for each class so that you don't get lost or confused about when to do which assignment.
  • If you don't understand an assignment, try to meet with the instructor or professor as soon as class is over for clarification.
  • If he or she cannot meet with you then, ask for an appointment at a time convenient to you both, but before the assignment is due.
  • If the instructor talks too fast, ask if you can have a copy of the class lecture notes. If the answer is no, ask another student to take notes for you, or purchase and use a small cassette recorder to capture lectures. Student Services can help you if you have hearing issues or other health issues that impact your learning, but you have to contact them and ask--it isn't automatically offered.
  • If life happens, contact your instructor immediately. Some instructors are extremely strict about due dates, but most are understanding and will work with you if they understand that you have a real emergency.

Enjoy yourself! Learning can and should be fun!

For more helpful information for adults attending college, visit

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nontraditional Students and the Freshman 15 - Keeping Your Health and Sanity When Attending College

As nontraditional students, keeping your health and sanity is a must. Every college student learns about the dreaded 'freshman 15.' What no one talks about is how much more likely gaining 15 pounds or more is for those of us who are no longer in our twenties. As we age, our metabolism slows down, making it easier than ever to bring home the freshman 15 and some of his brothers. Once they move in, it is difficult to get them to leave. Spending hours everyday in front of a computer, sitting in classes, or reading books adds to the problem.

There are several ways to help prevent weight gain while attending college.
Walk to your classes. It is very tempting to drive from one campus building to the next, or jump on the campus bus, but unless the next class is too far away to get to in the length of time between classes, walking will give you some exercise. The fresh air will help you think better when you get to the next class, too.
Sign up or join the campus fitness center. Spend at least 30 minutes three times a week using the campus exercise equipment. If you have never used it before, be sure to talk with the fitness center monitor for instructions on using equipment. Also, you might check in with your doctor or the campus nurse to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise.

Take advantage of the campus swimming pool. Swimming is a good all-body workout, and can help you avoid adding those extra pounds, or even help you get rid of a few.
Drink water instead of soda from the machines. Water is calorie free, required for health, and can be carried from home or purchased at the campus bookstore. Don't substitute juices for soda. Most juice has as many or more calories as soda.
Ride a stationery bike while reading your textbooks. Since you don't have to watch where you are going, you can give your attention to what you are learning.
Form a walking group or yoga group with like-minded students. Whether it is because misery loves company, or because it gives you someone to talk to while exercising, a supportive group can help motivate you to stay with your fitness routine.

The most important things you can do for keeping your health and sanity when attending college is to eat right and get enough rest. Take a good multi-vitamin to help you maintain the schedule most college students endure. Many doctors recommend taking extra vitamin C during cold and flu season. This is sound advice for college students, since you will come into contact with a large number of people on campus. Getting enough rest will also help keep your immune system operating at peak capacity.

The freshman 15 is not a foregone conclusion. With the right diet and exercise choices, you can prevent those 15 pounds, feel better, and cope better with the hectic schedule imposed on college students. Get away from the computer. Put the book down. Get outside and get some fresh air. Your body and brain will thank you for it.

Nontraditional students have very specific needs. For helpful information for nontraditional students, visit Student Again.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Buying and Selling Textbooks

Buying and Selling Textbooks at Campus Bookstores

Each semester or quarter, students are required to purchase textbooks for each class. College campuses have bookstores on campus or have affiliations with area bookstores where students are sent to purchase those textbooks. Unfortunately, these bookstores often have higher prices, even on used books, than the prices available at non-college affiliated bookstores. Selling textbooks to campus bookstores is frustrating, since they will seldom offer up to half of the price paid for the book.

Buying and Selling Textbooks Online

So, how does a financially strapped student get the best buy for over priced textbooks? My favorite place to purchase college textbooks is I seldom buy a new textbook, unless it is one I plan to keep. Amazon has a Marketplace where students can buy used books, as well as sell textbooks you no longer need. You set the price, and it will usually sell for more than the college bookstore would give you. For those who are concerned with giving credit card information over the Internet, you might purchase a pre-loaded VISA card, available at most banks and many retailers, for the amount you will need, and use that. Buying and selling textbooks online is simple, and your textbooks arrive at your door.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What You Need to Know When Deciding Whether to Attend an Online University

When I completed my undergraduate degree, I talked with the Chair of my degree program about getting an online college degree (this was in 2001). He knew I was interested in teaching college courses, someday. His response was, "If you go to an online college for your master's, don't come to me for a job."

I was understandably upset, since I had to go to work full-time right out of college, and could not afford the time commitment to attend graduate school full-time in a brick-and-mortar school. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that online graduate school was what I needed. I earned a MS in computer information systems at University of Phoenix. About a year after the MS, I talked with the same Chair about teaching some adjunct classes online. He not only agreed to let me teach for him as an adjunct, when a full-time faculty member quit the week before fall classes started, he called and offered me the full-time teaching position. So, what had changed?

The most important thing that had changed was the attitude of many higher education institutions concerning online colleges. After all, if the online college is accredited by the same body that accredits the university in question, how can they say the online college degree is no good without condemning their own degree programs?

When choosing an online college, it is vital to ensure that they are accredited. Accrediting agencies in the United States include:

If the online college is accredited by one of these Department of Education sanctioned bodies, your degree will be a valid program that will enhance your career opportunities. One caveat: If you plan to teach in higher education and want to teach at a research university, an online education may not get you the opportunity you want. I have been warned about this by other online college graduates, but I have not applied to any of the research universities, so I cannot personally comment on this. I recommend that you contact the Chair or Dean of the department for which you would one day like to teach and ask if an online degree is acceptable for employment in their schools.

Top Online Universities For Distance Learning Programs
By Amit Kothial

Over the past few years, education has undergone a major shift in teaching as well as learning mode. Staring from conventional knowledge-based courses to modern job-oriented courses, education has transformed its facade and now getting popularly known as distance education. In fact today, distance education has achieved new heights and emerging as one of the great way to advance one's qualifications.

Facilitating a student to study from home and set his or her own schedule and pace for learning has made this mode of learning a convenient option. Students from all over the world have started taking up this style of learning so much that it has become an essential part of modern education. Making the best use of modern methods of delivery like video conference, teleconference, and online communications such as, e-mail, chats and pod casts, it is also easily accessible.

These days almost every modern course is available for students through distance learning mode. In fact many working personnel are also opting for distance learning or online education programs. No doubt, if we carefully look at the present scenario the possibilities of obtaining useful knowledge and distance learning degrees are endless but it has become more important to filter those fake institutes and universities that are spread all over. Students must perform initial research to check the authenticity of the diplomas offered from various distance learning universities or else it can hamper student's career, time and effort. However, here are some of the best inline distance learning universities that offer some of best online education programs and learning classes meeting the standards of current education industry:

University of Phoenix- This is one of the best online universities that offer online, on-campus, and hybrid degree programs at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. Each degree is a balanced combination of academic theory and practical application. Every online education program is fully accredited and designed in collaboration with academic and industry professionals to ensure quality. Today, University of Phoenix is one of the largest private universities in North America, with nearly 200 convenient locations, as well as internet delivery in most countries around the world. The university is well known for providing best distance learning service and constantly aim to help students balance education and life in a fast changing world.

Argosy University- It is a private university and well known for providing flexible online programs in business, education and psychology. Argosy University has established campuses and supports one of the largest graduate student communities in the United States. Besides this, the university is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. All online lectures are designed to improve student's practical knowledge. The best highlight of various online education programs provided by Argosy University is it facilitates students take the accelerated online classes at their convenience, during the day or night. Moreover, experienced instructors are always available to provide students individualized attention through online class session.

Capella University- Capella University is yet another famous distance learning university that offers online degrees in information technology, business, psychology, public health and human services. As an online university, the greater part of learning takes place via the Internet. Besides this, its online environment is organized into course-rooms, with each course utilizing its own individual component. These course-rooms are built on the Blackboard Learning System software. Every online course offered by Capella University is taught by industry professionals possessing years of teaching experience. United with the flexibility of having all courses and resources available online, selecting Capella University for attaining a online degree can be a very attractive option.

Kaplan University- Kaplan University also offers various online degrees and distance learning programs in finance, international business or sales and marketing. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), every online degree and certificate programs are taught by experienced instructors. These instructors use hands-on approach to teach and give their students practical exposure with the tools and knowledge of their specific trades. The university also provide interactive learning program that in turn allows students prepare their course schedule as per their convenience.

A degree from a reputed online distance learning university can be regarded as advantage and ambitious students from all the across the globe always crave for it. It not only adds an impressive touch to academic background but also helps student identify his or her core competencies, build new skills, create a portfolio to mark a positive career growth.

Find detailed information on top online distance learning universities providing top online distance learning degree and programs in United States and Canada. Choose the best distance learning programs and universities in your preferred location and earn online degree at the convenience of your home.

Article Source:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nontraditional Students: Avoiding Shoulder and Back Paid

Avoiding shoulder and back pain takes some planning. Heavy textbooks and backpacks are a recipe for shoulder and back pain. Most college instructors expect students to have their textbooks with them in class. On large campuses, where parking is limited and often a long distance from classes, this means you have to carry most of the books you need for the day with you. Unfortunately, this makes it almost impossible to avoid shoulder and back pain, unless you are careful when purchasing bookbags. First, you should never, never use a regular student backpack. While these are the most common method of carrying books, followed by book bags that are similar to laptop bags with handles and shoulder straps, these are the most dangerous to your physical health.

The best answer to this type of shoulder and back pain I have found is to purchase a bookbag/backpack that has wheels and an extention handle. While these rolling backpacks are a pain on stairs, they work well everywhere else, and even dealing the occasional stairs is better than having a constant strain on back and shoulders. The Olympia 19" Rolling Backpack is a good choice, but you can find others that will work just as well in avoiding shoulder and back pain.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Helping Family Understand Your Choice to go to College

Quite often, family will not understand 1) why you want to go to school at this time in your life; 2) what good it will do you; 3) and what you need from them in terms of support.

Many of us did not have the opportunity to go to college as young adults. Others of us have lost jobs, and found we did not have the skill sets employers require today. Still others just want to learn and have time to do so now that the children are grown and moved away. Our reasons for wanting to go to college are as varied as we are. Sometimes, family members, spouses especially, may see our college learning as threatening. And it is, in some ways. After all, once we go to college, things will change--hopefully for the better, but change they will. We won't be the same people we were. We will have new interests, new acquaintances, new insights, and maybe even a new perspective on life. For some spouses, this promotes a sense of insecurity and uncertainty.

Addressing the possibility of these issues (or even the likelihood), can help our spouses understand and may convince them to support our decisions to go back to school. It is important to let your spouse know that you are doing this for both of you, that your education will make you a more interesting person to be around, and will give you the tools to help create a solid financial foundation for your family.
If all else fails, borrow money go to school, anyway, then two semesters down the road let your spouse know that if you quit now, you won't have the skills needed to make the money to pay back your loans. LOL! Just kidding, there! Being sensitive to your spouse's concerns will help the adjustment process.

Include your spouse as much as possible in your new endeavor. If you have a concert to attend for college credit, ask your spouse to go with you. Make a date night of it and enjoy yourselves. Share your successes, but be careful of taking too many problems to him or her. It might make your efforts seem too much trouble. Ask for help with household chores, if necessary. No one can do everything, and homework and study take a good bit of time.

If you still have children at home, make a study time when you can all work at the dining table to complete homework. Having you there as an example will help them get their own homework done. And you never know, they might be able to help you with your homework, too. Some nontraditional students have reported that their children help them learn how to use presentation software, or even how to save a file on the hard drive. It will give your children a sense of participation if you let them help you when they know something you do not.

Last, let your family know what your study and homework schedule is. If they don't know what you have due, they won't know to leave you alone for the time you need. Ask for volunteers for cooking, cleaning, or mowing the lawn. You might have to eat hotdogs or pizza everytime they cook, but children middle school ages and up can be a great help in finding the time to get your homework done.

Today's Sponsor:

TigerDirect Back to School 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Working while Attending College

Nontraditional students often don't have the luxury of not working while attending college classes. I have been working the entire time I have taken graduate classes, and learned some things that might be helpful to other nontraditional students.

Organization is crucial. I use Excel to print out calendar pages (click on the button at the top left corner, then click New and locate calendar templates), one for the entire year at a glance, and one with each month on its own page. Work hours, assignments and other tasks I have to accomplish for the month are penciled in as soon as I know about them. These sheets are clipped into a zipping binder, so that I can take them with me everywhere I go.

I also print out an appointment page for each day, and pencil in more details as needed. For instance, my full page monthly calendar may have Week 2 Assignment 3 on it, but the appointment page for the due date will have the page numbers of books I am to read, and specific information about the assignment.

There never seems to be enough time to read everything required for graduate courses. To help with this issue, I carry at least one textbook everywhere I go, spending 10 minutes at the doctor's office, or 15 minutes at lunch, to read a few pages. Highlighting makes a textbook hard for me to read. Instead, I purchase sticky notes. I write the page number in the top right corner in case it falls out of the textbook, and write whatever notes or comments I have on the sticky note. The note is stuck to the page on which I am commenting, with about 1/4 of the bottom edge sticking out of the book like a tab. This makes it easy to find my notations when I am ready to write my papers.

I am visually oriented. When writing papers, I struggle to create an outline. To get past this, I use some inexpensive (about $65 for students--you need to contact for accurate pricing information) software, Inspiration. You can download a trial version at This software allows me to create a mind map of the topic, using circles with my notes in them. Once I have the overall concept down, I can click one button on the toolbar and Inspiration creates an outline for me. The more detailed the mind map, the more detailed the outline becomes. I plan to use this tool extensively once I begin the dissertation phase of my degree program. Inspiration is the only software I have found that will create the outline for me, so it is one of my most used tools.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Questions and Answers: Online or Face to Face Classes?

It's been a while since I posted. We have moved from one state to another over the past 8 weeks, all while working teaching online college classes and taking two graduate courses. Not easy!

Today's post concerns deciding on which path to go, online or face to face colleges. There are definite advantages to both, as well as disadvantages.

Advantages of online classes include:
  • Taking classes on your own schedule, for instance, after the kiddo's are in bed.

  • Working around other significant events in your life (such as moving across the country!).

  • Classes can be attended from anywhere, even while traveling across country, as long as the hotel has high speed Internet.

  • If your computer crashes, you can use a friend's computer or a library computer to attend your class.

  • Saving gas and time, since you don't have to travel to get to the campus.

Disadvantages of online classes include:
  • Not having the instructor right there to answer questions

  • Computer and technology issues.

  • Have to have a basic knowledge of computers.

  • Have to be able to teach yourself.

Advantages of face to face classes include:
  • More personal interaction with other students.

  • More one on one time with the instructor when you need help.

  • Don't have to teach yourself.

  • More structure for scheduling of class time and assignments.

  • Get away from home and have a specific place to learn.

Disadvantages of face to face classes include:
  • Have to be in class at a set time and place.

  • Can't be tardy.

  • Cost of gasoline and time to attend classes.

  • Have to schedule work and family around class times.

After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each method of taking courses, you need to consider yourself. What are your strengths? Are you able to read material and figure things out without someone explaining things in detail? Do you have the time to attend regular face to face classes? Are the courses or academic program you are interested in offered in the venue you desire?

Each person will come to the answers best for him- or herself. For me, online education was the only way I could attend college, since I worked full-time and was the only breadwinner in my family.

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