10 Myths About Online Learning

Myth 1: I can do assignments anytime.

Watch video. Students can complete assignments day or night, but coursework must be submitted by the assignment deadline. Check the class syllabus for the schedule of assignments and deadlines.

Myth 2: Online courses do not follow the regular semester.

Watch video. Online courses follow the same semester calendar as on-campus courses. Payment, scheduling, policies for withdrawing and other procedures are the same for online courses.

Myth 3: I can "hide" and remain anonymous in an online class.

Watch video. There are a lot of required discussions and other activities between students and instructors in an online course. This allows for an opportunity for students to engage in a dialogue. Since these interactions are not face-to-face, it allows shy individuals to participate in a non-threatening environment.

Myth 4: Personal attention does not exist in an online class.

Watch video. In most cases, students will have a great deal of interaction with instructors and classmates—sometimes more than a traditional classroom setting. Some online courses have required “log-on” times or mandatory participation in chat rooms and on discussion boards. This helps to create a sense of community in the online class environment. Remember, students can still contact instructors. Online classes create an important community of learners.

Myth 5: Online classes are easier.

Watch video. Online courses are not easier compared to traditional courses. Online courses tend to be more demanding and require more time. Extensive reading requirements and time management for assignment deadlines are required for student success in an online class.

Do NOT underestimate the time commitment; pace yourself and ensure you fulfill the demands of an online course! If possible, ask someone about their experience with online courses.

Myth 6: Broken computers are acceptable excuses.

Watch video. A broken computer is NOT an acceptable excuse for a missed deadline. There are many options available to back up assignments and computer work. Most online instructors will not accept the excuse that a computer was broken.

A motivated and committed student can always find a computer to turn in assignments on time. The College computer lab and public library are both locations where a computer is generally available. Upfront planning and critical thinking is required in an online class, and that extends to making sure you have access to a working computer and Internet connection when it's time to complete your assignments.

Myth 7: The College will provide me with a computer for class.

Watch video. HFC does NOT provide students with computers. Students must have access to a computer.

Myth 8: I will receive computer instruction as part of my online class.

Watch video. Instructors do NOT provide technical support or demonstrate computer usage in addition to the classroom subject. If the course requires use of specialized software, the instructor will make sure students receive instruction on how to use that specialized software. Students should have computer skills prior to beginning an online course.

Myth 9: Procrastination is okay in online classes.

Watch video. Procrastination is NOT okay. Procrastination in online courses can cause more problems for students than procrastination in a traditional course. Online students need to be independent, motivated and self-starters. Students must be able to set and follow their own schedules. Students need to be able to manage the flexibility of an online course.

Myth 10: I can cram all my work into one login session.

Watch video. It is difficult for students to be successful in a course when they only log in once every week or two. Most students learn best when they have an opportunity to learn smaller amounts of material, then reflect on that material before learning more.

Additionally, many instructors require regular participation in online discussion. Not only does this discussion help student understand new concepts, in some cases grade points are awarded for regular class participation. Grades can suffer in many ways if students only log in once every week or two.