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When you hear the term “online learning,” what thoughts come to mind?

The list below outlines some of the common myths, and facts, associated with online learning.

Myth: Online courses are self-paced.


Online courses follow a course schedule with regular due dates and deadlines. Although the anytime/anywhere access of online courses provides more flexibility than the scheduled classroom sessions of traditional courses, you can expect regular assignments and deadlines that will require you to stay up to date every week.

Myth: Online courses are “easier” than face-to-face courses.


Online courses are challenging and hold to the same academic standards as traditional face-to-face courses. You may even find that online courses are more challenging because you must depend on yourself to stay motivated, engaged and active in the course. Avoid the common “out of sight, out of mind” pitfall through regular participation.

Myth: Online courses do not take as much time as face-to-face courses.


Students should expect to devote a minimum of three hours each week for every registered credit. For example, for a 3-credit course students can expect to spend at least 9 hours each week on coursework. Instead of physically going to a classroom for a set amount of time each week, you will spend that time participating in online activities, reading course materials, and working on assignments that can be submitted online.

Myth: Online courses are not as engaging as face-to-face courses.


Online courses can be just as engaging as traditional face-to-face courses — but in different ways. Online instructors have a variety of tools to foster and support online engagement. They may create voice-over PowerPoint presentations or videos to deliver a lecture, facilitate a discussion using an online forum or encourage group projects through a wiki site; the possibilities are endless. But just as with face-to-face courses, online courses require active participation to gain the most out of the experience.

Myth: Online courses are perfect for all students.


Online courses are not a good fit for everyone. The first question you should ask yourself before considering an online class is this: “Why am I registering for this online course?” It can be challenging for some students to stay engaged and motivated in an online class. Understanding the reason why you are registering for online courses will help keep you motivated and increase your chances for a positive experience.

Myth: Online courses are all the same.


Just like a traditional face-to-face class, online classes vary by instructor, subject, and program. You may notice some elements are the same, the discussion board, the way you turn in assignments, how you take an exam, but the content and delivery will vary slightly from course to course, and instructor to instructor. What is the same, however, is the standard to which all online classes are held.

Learn More About Online Learning

Self-Assessment Survey

Assess your time management style, communication skills and comfort with technology in this Self-Assessment Survey to see is eCampus is right for you.

Introduction to eLearning

Learn more about eLearning through Boise State eCampus in this free, self-paced online tutorial. Or enroll in a 1-credit course facilitated by an instructor.