Essay About Online Classes

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The current challenges facing traditional colleges and universities, including higher tuition, budget cuts, and course shortages, have caused many students to search for alternatives. With nearly three million students currently enrolled in fully online degree programs  and six million taking at least one online course as part of their degree program, online education has clearly become one of the most popular higher education alternatives. The continually improving reputation of online learning has also helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism has faltered in the face of evidence that shows that online learning can be just as effective as face-to-face education.

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All of this means that students, from working professionals to recent high school graduates, find many reasons to take all or some of their courses online. Below are 10 advantages to online learning.

  1. Variety of programs and courses: From traditional four-year universities to completely online career colleges, higher education today offers a variety of options for students. This means that no matter what students wish to study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find online the courses or degree programs they need. They can also earn every academic degree online, all the way from a career certificate to a doctorate.
  2. Lower total costs: Online programs can be a more affordable option than traditional colleges. Though not all online degrees have less expensive net tuition prices than traditional colleges (link to OEDB article I wrote about college costs), associated costs are almost always less expensive. For example, there are no commuting costs, and sometimes there is also not any required course materials such as textbooks because those are often available for free online. In addition, many colleges and universities have begun to accept credits earned via free massive open online courses (MOOCs), the most recent advance in online education. Free online courses such as these can help students fulfill general education requirements at little to no cost.
  3. More comfortable learning environment: Commercials that featuring online students studying in the pajamas only skim the surface of one of the primary benefits of online education: there are no physical class sessions. Lectures and other materials are electronically sent to the student, who will then read them and complete assignments. Students will not have to fight traffic, find parking spaces, leave work early to go to class, or miss important family time.
  4. Convenience and flexibility: Online courses give students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work when they are at their peak energy, whether that’s early morning or late at night. Course material is always accessible online, so there’s no need to schedule special trips to a library either. All of this makes online learning a good option for students who need to balance their work and family commitments.
  5. More interaction and greater ability to concentrate: While there is contradictory evidence about the rate of online student participation versus participation in traditional courses, one thing is certain: online courses offer shy or more reticent students the opportunity to participate in class discussions or chats with more ease than face-to-face class sessions. Some students even report that online courses are easier to concentrate in because they are not distracted by other students and classroom activity.
  6. Career advancement: Students can take online courses and even complete entire degrees while working, while in-between jobs, or while taking time to raise a family. This academic work will explain any discontinuity or gaps in a resume as well. Also, earning a degree can show prospective employers that you are ambitious and want to remain informed and prepared for any new challenges.
  7. Continue in your profession: Even if someone wants to complete a degree program, it doesn’t mean that they want to leave their current job. For most students today, college costs mean that it’s necessary to continue working while in school. The previously mentioned flexibility of online degree programs enable students to keep working while also pursuing academic credentials.
  8. Avoid commuting: During snowstorms and thunderstorms, colleges may cancel classes; if they don’t, you run the risk of getting hurt in dangerous driving conditions. Rather than miss important class sessions, students in online courses can always “attend” by participating on discussion boards or in chat sessions, turn in their work on time, and watch lectures or read materials. Many students also find that the amount they save on fuel costs can be substantial if they don’t have to commute to a physical campus in general, no matter what the weather conditions may be.
  9. Improve your technical skills: Even the most basic online course requires the development of new computer skills, as students learn to navigate different learning management systems (LMS) and programs. The skills students learn to participate in their online courses translate to many professions, including creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into your assignments, completing online training sessions, etc.
  10. Transfer credits: For college students who want to attend summer classes, but who live too far from their colleges or have to work summer jobs, taking online classes from an accredited college and transferring the credits to their primary college is a good idea. Students will be able to earn college credit while still enjoying their summer vacation or fulfilling the responsibilities of their seasonal jobs. Similarly, if a college or university is unable to offer enough open sections of a required course, students can take the course online at another college and transfer the credits.

These are just a few of the many advantages of taking online classes. Students in online degree programs are able to manage their time, learn the materials that are presented, and complete assignments on their own schedules.

In our information age, somebody needs to produce that information, and it can’t all be pictures or videos (try as YouTube might). Luckily, there are a variety of free online courses(MOOCs) available for all types of writers and aspiring writers.

Note: Not all of these courses are available. Add a course to MOOC Tracker and we will notify you when the course becomes available. To signup for a course, click on the green ‘Go to Class’ button on the course page.

Basic Writing & Composition

Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge

An Online Skillshare Class by Emily Gould

Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
Internationally acclaimed author Emily Gould walks you through a 10-day creative writing challenge! Filled with inspiring examples, observation prompts, and clever revision tricks, it’s perfect for writers and enthusiasts eager to rekindle creativity in a personal and artful way.
Self Paced

Perfect Tenses and Modals
via University of California, Irvine
In this course, you will learn about important intermediate verb tenses, including present perfect, present perfect progressive, past perfect, and past perfect progressive
Next Session: 26th Mar, 2018

Adjectives and Adjective Clauses
via University of California, Irvine
Being able to adeptly use adjective clauses in speaking and writing is useful for upper level English learners. Adjectives and adjective clauses are very common in English, so students need to be able to understand them when they see them or hear them.
Next Session: 5th Mar, 2018

Tricky English Grammar
via University of California, Irvine
Learning English can be tricky, and in this class you’ll focus on some of those tricky issues. You’ll get clear explanations about the difficult grammar points and practice in using them correctly.
Next Session: 5th Mar, 2018

Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot
via Wesleyan University
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires.
Next Session: 12th Mar, 2018

English Composition I: Achieving Expertise
via Duke University
You will gain a foundation for college-level writing valuable for nearly any field. Students will learn how to read carefully, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, engage with others’ ideas, cite accurately, and craft powerful prose.
Next Session: 26th Mar, 2018

A beginners’ guide to writing in English for university study
via University of Reading
Learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar.
Next Session: 22nd Jan, 2018

Write101x: English Grammar and Style
via University of Queensland
Write101x will enable you to learn how words work so that you can write the concise, lucid, nuanced, and compelling prose that is so valued by readers.
Next Session: 19th Feb, 2018

Adventures in Writing
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
Welcome to Adventures in Writing, a series of graphic-novel style learning modules designed to help you learn more about and practice a range of effective written communication skills. You’ll immerse yourself in the adventures of Maya and Chris, using each module’s interactive exercises to apply what you’ve learned
★★★★★ (1 rating) | Next Session : Self Paced

Scribble: Writing for New Writers
via OpenLearning
This course will take students through the process of writing from simple paragraphs to more complex writing structures and eventually research writing.
★★★★☆ (4 ratings) | Next Session : Self Paced

Thinking Like a Writer
via Michigan State University
This course revolves around the work of revising writing, learning, and engaging with language and community. You will explore who you are as a learner as you write about yourself and your language use, as well as consider who you are as a communicator as you critique texts, persuade audiences, and collaborate with others.
Next Session: 23rd Jun, 2014

Essay Writing

Creative Writing: Using Your Mistakes to Power Your Personal Essays

An Online Skillshare Class by Emily Gould

Creative Writing: Using Your Mistakes to Power Your Personal Essays (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
Ever had a story you couldn’t wait to share? Join author Emily Gould to learn how to write a personal essay that gets read.
Self Paced

Getting Started with Essay Writing
via University of California, Irvine

In this course, you’ll learn all about academic essay writing and, specifically, how to write three types of essays: compare/contrast, cause/effect, and argument.
Next Session: 5th Mar, 2018

How to Write an Essay
via
 University of California, Berkeley
College Writing 2.1x is an introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing.
Next Session: Self paced

English Grammar and Essay Writing
via University of California, Berkeley
College Writing 2.2x is the second part of the academic writing course. In this part, you will focus on proofreading and self-editing; revision vs. editing; common errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling; understanding tone and diction; vocabulary development.
Next Session: Self paced

Journalistic Writing

Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth

An Online Skillshare Class by Eric Siu

Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
Explore how entrepreneur Eric Siu creates content not just for the sake of writing, but for hitting your own goals. In this 80-minute deep dive class, you’ll learn Eric’s step-by-step structure for creating compelling blog content — the same process that has helped him build a seven-figure business, Single Grain and the five-star-rated podcast, Growth Everywhere.
Self Paced

English for Journalism
via University of Pennsylvania
This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in developing the skills needed for a career in modern journalism.
Next Session:12th Mar, 2018

Journalism Skills for Engaged Citizens
University of Melbourne via Coursera
This is a course in basic journalism skills, designed for the many people who are now taking advantage of new media to publish news, views and information
Next Session : 13th Sep, 2016

Introduction to Journalism
via University of Strathclyde
Learn about the key principles and debates in journalism and enact the role of a journalist in the context of an escalating story.
Next Session:28th Mar, 2016

Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media
Cardiff University via FutureLearn
This is a course in basic journalism skills designed for citizens who are using new media to publish news, views and information. We cover writing skills, interviews, ethics, law and accessing public forums and documents. We also introduce basic investigative skills.
★★★★☆ (3 ratings) | Next Session : 8th Feb, 2016

J4SC101x: Journalism for Social Change
University of California, Berkeley via edX
J4SC101 has been designed for students who are interested in the intersection of public policy, journalism and social sciences and who are looking to use their expertise and careers to drive positive social change.
★★★☆☆ (1 rating) | Next Session : Self paced

Writing Fiction

Storytelling Fundamentals: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft

An Online Skillshare Class by Daniel José Older

Storytelling Fundamentals: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
How do you write a story that feels alive? What makes a story different from an anecdote? Join renowned urban fantasy writer Daniel José Older for a 40-minute dive into the fundamentals of narrative storytelling!
Self Paced

Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
via Wesleyan University
Your style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language.
Next Session: 12th Mar, 2018

Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description
via Wesleyan University
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world.
Next Session: 12th Mar, 2018

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest
Commonwealth Education Trust via Coursera
This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers
★★★★★ (12 ratings) | Next Session :  19th Mar, 2018

How Writers Write Fiction
via University of Iowa
An interactive study of the practice of creative writing, How Writers Write presents a curated collection of short, intimate talks created by fifty authors of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and literary translation.
Next Session: 24th Sep, 2015

Start writing fiction
via The Open University
This hands-on course helps you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters.
Next Session: 3rd Sep, 2018

The Future Of Storytelling
via University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
Learn how to analyze, contextualize and create stories and narratives in current media: from understanding storytelling basics to discussing new online tools and formats, this course brings together a network of media researchers, creators, and students.
Next Session: 25th Oct, 2013

How Writers Write Poetry
via University of Iowa
The course presents a curated collection of short, intimate talks on craft by two dozen acclaimed poets writing in English. Craft topics include sketching techniques, appropriation, meter, constraints, sound, mindfulness, and pleasure. The talks are designed for beginning poets just starting to put words on a page as well as for advanced poets looking for new entry points, thoughts about process, or teaching tips.
Next Session: Mar, 2015

Applied Writing Skills

Content Curation: How To Create A Viral Site From Scratch

An Online Skillshare Class by Greg Jeffries

Content Curation: How To Create A Viral Site From Scratch (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
About This Class Ever wonder how those sites like ViralNova or GodVine get so much TRAFFIC and literally blew up overnight? Oh, and did I also mention sites like that generally tend to generate over six figures per month and usually sell for tens of millions?
Self Paced

Advanced Writing
via University of California, Irvine
It will help you raise the level of your writing and make you more aware of the type of writing you can expect in college. You’ll learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid it using correct MLA citations.
Next Session: 5th Mar, 2018

How to Succeed at: Writing Applications
via University of Sheffield
This free three week course will help you produce a perfect CV, application and online profile when applying for a job or course.
Next Session: 12th Mar, 2018

Writing for the Web
Understanding the difference between writing for print versus writing for the web starts with learning about how readers behave differently online. This course brings to light how to accommodate the needs of online readers through web design, writing style, structure and search engine optimisation.
Next Session: 18th Mar, 2018

ColWri2.3x: Academic and Business Writing
via University of California, Berkeley
An introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing.
Next Session: 18th Apr, 2016

Stunt Writing for Personal Growth
The Stunt Writing For Personal Growth class includes prompts, lectures, readings and discussions for writers of any age, at any level. Inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote, “Do one thing every day that scares you,” Stunt Writing For Personal Growth is a process that uses writing as a tool for you to learn about yourself, and gain skills in communicating your own unique story.
Next Session: 20th Jul, 2015

Writing in the Sciences
via Stanford
This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. Students from non-science disciplines can benefit from the training provided in the first four weeks (on general principles of effective writing)
Next Session: Self paced

 

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