Ten Reasons Why You Need to Take an Online Class

Student reading on her laptop.
Rebecca A. Eckland

While TMCC offers a plethora of in-person and hybrid classes at our four locations, we also offer plenty of online classes each semester through our WebCollege department.  So far, nearly 1,400 TMCC students are enrolled in at least one online class for the 2020 Spring semester.  While there are some expectations and requirements for students who take online classes at TMCC (please read the informed consent for online classes), it’s a pretty straightforward process that enables you to continue your education no matter where you are.

So, before you say “no” to taking a college class this semester (stick to those 2020 New Year’s Resolutions and keep working toward that certificate or degree) here are ten reasons why an online class might be just the ticket for your entre into your academic journey.  

Ten Reasons to Take an Online Class this Semester:

  1. You can keep your day job.  If you have an 8–5 career or some other full-time commitment, taking an online class could enable you to continue your education while you meet your current obligations. While there are required assignments, tests and due dates for TMCC’s online classes, what time of day you complete these tasks are entirely up to you.
  2. Commuting to campus isn’t possible. If travel is a barrier that’s preventing you from pursuing your educational goals, online classes might be the answer you’ve been waiting for. All you need to access an online class is a compatible web browser and an internet connection. Some aspects of your online class can also be accessed on your smartphone (see reason #8 for more details on the Canvas app). 
  3. You’re a night owl. If your moments of genius occur after midnight, an online class enables you to not only write those brilliant papers in the dark hours of early morning but to complete discussion tasks, tests and other classroom work during this time, too. Unlike an in-person class with scheduled meetings, when you access your class is entirely up to you. Just keep in mind that, no matter when you do your best thinking, most successful students access their online class no less than three times a week.  
  4. Your time management skills need sharpening. If you tend to learn by doing, then an online class is probably the perfect way to work on keeping yourself accountable and meeting deadlines. While your instructor has the ability to post assignment reminders and course deadlines, it’s ultimately up to you to structure your days in order to meet the requirements of the class. If you’re not sure if you’re quite ready for this much time management yet, maybe try one of TMCC’s hybrid classes where some portion of the in-person class is hosted online.
  5. You’re on a tight budget. If your New Year’s resolution was to budget better in the new year, taking an online class can help you do exactly that. You’ll save on gas (no need to commute to class), and you can keep your current work schedule in place because online classes can be accessed anytime, anyplace. And although textbooks vary from class to class, many online classes use web-based resources, which tend to be free as well. 
  6. You want to hone your tech-savvy skills. If the extent of your online savvy is placing a book order from Amazon, you can work on developing more skills by taking an online class. Through WebCollege, you could be required to participate in discussion boards, online chats, watch virtual lectures and to complete exams. If you have no idea how to do any of this (or you need some brushing up from the last online class you took), online tutorials are available. Additionally, you can configure how you are notified of changes and updates to your online class. In other words, you can learn about the class subject matter and become tech-savvy at the same time. Now, that’s a win-win.
  7. You’re introverted and you’d like to stay that way. Although we’re sure that someone, at some point, told you that you need to get over being introverted by putting yourself in social situations like an in-person class, there is something to be said for fostering what you’re good at. The online environment is ideal for focusing on readings and other course materials for as long as you want (deadlines notwithstanding.) You can also take your time when formulating your discussion responses, and an online class might help to keep your focus on what you’re learning and not on in-class distractions like worrying about whether or not you should raise your hand and answer the instructor’s question. 
  8. You thrive in online environments. If you type faster than you can write, you prefer to read books on a kindle, iPad or on anything other than an actual book and if given a choice, you’ll “find an app for that,” we can guarantee you’ll love taking online classes. Recently, WebCollege has incorporated a feature called “ReadSpeaker”, a text-to-speech technology that will read content aloud to you.  And, we weren’t kidding about an app... there really is one! Download the Canvas Student App to access your online class on your phone. 
  9. You love having information at your fingertips. If you get frustrated at the volume of papers you receive during the course of an in-person class (or you tend to misplace those papers rather quickly) an online class keeps all your information electronically in one spot. This guarantees you’ll never lose the course syllabus, discussion questions or your responses to them, the assignments you turned in, your grades or any other material associated with the course.
  10. You’re curious. If you’ve never taken an online class and the details outlined above haven’t dissuaded you, we think 2020 should be your year to try an online class at TMCC.  And who knows? If you like the experience, you might want to learn more about entire degree programs that you can complete online. 

For more information about WebCollege, contact the department at 775-673-7814.