Ready for Distance Education?

Facts To Consider About Distance Education.

If you are considering taking an online or hybrid course, you need to be ready for the different style of learning that takes place through distance education. The requirements and time commitments for distance education courses are no less than that of any face-to-face course and for some students, may require more time.  Distance education is a flexible alternative that makes earning college credit possible for students who have difficulty attending on-campus courses. 

The following are some common myths and facts about courses offered through distance education that you should consider:

  • Myth: Distance education courses are easier than face-to-face courses.
    • Fact: Online or hybrid courses may be more difficult for some students because it requires commitment and responsibility.
  • Myth: Online courses at Southern Union are self-paced.
    • Fact: Students are required to complete assigned course work by the due dates indicated within the course.  While assignments can be completed at almost anytime day or evening, there is a published deadline for submission of work.
  • Myth: Online and hybrid courses require no particular skills or knowledge of a computer.
    • Fact: You need to know basic computer skills for using the tools for online course work and communication. 
  • Myth: A smartphone or tablet is sufficient to complete any online coursework.
    • Fact: You will need a computer (not a smartphone or tablet) that meets the basic technical requirements and reliable internet access.  Some computer programs used in online coursework are not supported on mobile devices and may not work correctly.
  • Myth: Online students who do not take time to read the assignments and work online independently can just email questions to the instructor.
    • Fact: Instructors are available to answer questions but cannot "teach" online students individually. Online students must be able to work independently without the benefit of face-to-face interaction with an instructor and peers.
  • Myth: Online coursework can be completed in less time than that required of face-to-face courses.
    • Fact: You must be willing and able to commit your time – approximately 5-7 hours of work and study time per week, per course.
  • Myth:  Online or hybrid courses do not require reading skills.
    • Fact: Reading and comprehension (aside from motivation) are the most important skills required of an online student. Online coursework requires the student to thoroughly read and follow directions for completing course requirements.