If the following statements accurately describe you, then you may find semester-based online courses a good fit. If not, you should consider self-paced online study instead and speak with an adviser before enrolling in an online course at the University of Missouri.

  • I work well in a group. For example, I am an active communicator in a group, I contribute my fair share in a group, etc.
  • I am comfortable responding to other people's ideas.
  • I give constructive and proactive feedback to others even when I disagree.

Semester-based versus Self-paced Learning

Knowing the difference between semester-based courses and self-paced courses can help you make a more informed enrollment decision. Consider your preference for the following features:

Online interaction with others.

Semester-based courses are "virtual classrooms" that allow for interactive discussions with your instructor and classmates in discussion forums and chat rooms. They follow a traditional university calendar with set due dates for assignments and exams. Self-paced courses do not offer discussion forums or chats, although you can contact your instructor during the course with any questions you may have.

Ability to work at your own pace.

Self-paced courses do not follow a traditional calendar. You can enroll in a self-paced course year-round and take up to six months (or as little as six weeks) to complete that course. Also, you will not interact with any other students. In contrast, semester-based courses have a specified start date and end date with assignments due at specific times throughout the semester and allow student-to-student interaction.