Online Courses: What to Expect
MYTH: Online courses are easier than face-to-face classes.
Taking an online course at the University of Missouri is just as rigorous as the same face-to-face class. Some students may find that online courses are more demanding and take more time because of the additional reading required. In most courses, the instructor cannot give you auditory directions; you will have to read the directions or explanations of what to do. Don't confuse the convenience of learning online (at home or at your own pace) with ease of learning the content. The content will be just as rigorous and demanding.
MYTH: Online courses require less time than face-to-face classes.
Online courses at the University of Missouri include the same amount of coursework. They include assignments for the time you would be expected to be "in class" and the time you would spend outside of class. Typically, in a face-to-face class many instructors state that for every hour you spend in class, you are expected on average to spend 2 hours outside of class doing assignments. Many factors influence the amount of time necessary to be successful in any course, whether the course is online or face-to-face. These factors include your reading speed, your prior knowledge and skill level of the subject, the level of the course, and the type of content. You should expect to spend between 6 and 12 hours each week completing assignments for a 3-credit online course. Remember to plan your study time so that you don't spend 8 hours the day before a test cramming for it.