10 Myths About Online Learning

Myth 1: I can do assignments anytime.

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

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

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

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

There are a lot of required discussions and other activities between students and instructors in an online class. 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.

In most cases, students will have a great deal of interaction with instructors and classmates—sometimes more than a traditional classroom setting. Some online classes 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.

Online classes are not easier compared to traditional classes. Online classes 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 class! If possible, ask someone about their experience with online classes.

Myth 6: Broken computers are acceptable excuses.

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.

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.

Instructors do NOT provide technical support or demonstrate computer usage in addition to the classroom subject. If the class 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 class.

Myth 9: Procrastination is okay in online classes.

Procrastination is NOT okay. Procrastination in online class can cause more problems for students than procrastination in a traditional class. 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 class.

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

It is difficult for students to be successful in a class 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.