The internet has made education accessible for anyone with a computer and a connection to the worldwide web. Students everywhere can get the education they want no matter where they are, and New Zealand students are a large part of that distance learning group. However, online education has different problems than traditional classes. Here are a few differences and hints on what to do about them.
1. One of the biggest differences between online education and traditional class is the lack of face-to-face meetings. While this is a benefit to those who don’t have time to go to classrooms, it can make completing a course difficult for those who don’t work well at home.
Solutions: Try creating space that is used only for your coursework. Make rules for yourself that you would have in a classroom: no cell phones, no internet except your virtual classroom, and no food. In other words, allow no distractions. Some New Zealand students also go to nearby coffee shops to get away from a distracting home atmosphere, and others like libraries.
2. Another problem is absence. Many online classes have specific times to meet, like regular class meetings. Those who don’t allow for this end up with poor attendance and always seem to be behind.
Solutions: Always check with an online instructor before registering for the class. Also, see if you can get a syllabus before registration so you don’t have conflicts with presentations, projects, or other requirements.
3. A big complaint about online education is that students sometimes don’t take these classes as seriously as traditional students. While the reasons for this are many, there is only one result: poor grades.
Solutions: Attitude is everything, and you are responsible for yours. Online education is as serious as traditional education, and those who take courses by computer must have more self-motivation. Become one of the highly motivated, a self-starter who will find work in your field because you had the drive to succeed in difficult circumstances.
4. Spotty internet service is often a problem for online education. In New Zealand there are a large number of choices for service, and sometimes it’s hard to choose what’s best for your money. However, reliability is critical, and often teachers of online classes don’t accept lack of internet access as a good excuse for late assignments.
Solutions: If you have to sacrifice a little speed for a reliable connection, it’s worth it. Compare prices and reviews online, and make your choice from there. Also, always have a backup plan if you lose your connection. Often employers let employees use the company internet for classes. Don’t forget libraries and coffeehouses.
These are just a few of the stumbling blocks of online education in New Zealand. However, as you can see, the solutions are easy and workable. A little preparation, planning, and maintaining a good attitude will help you achieve your dream of a college degree.