About Paul VI Online Courses
We are all familiar with the convenience offered by online courses. No longer are students required to travel long distances, sometimes at night, in order to attend a class. They may fit course work into a schedule tailored around their family and professional life. Still, many people are unfamiliar with the actual course experience. They wonder how students fulfill the requirements of the class and enjoy the benefits of classroom discussion.
Typical Course Requirements
As with any course, requirements differ according to the instructor’s determinations for a particular course. There are still some typical requirements. Online courses frequently have online quizzes which students take at their own convenience by a given due date. For instance, a class may require a weekly quiz that must be completed by Tuesday evening. Some classes require a series of short papers. Others may require a longer paper at the end of the course. Some require entering a discussion board a set number of times in a given week. Most online course instructors employ a variety of these tools.
The most unique aspect of online courses is the discussion board. A discussion board is where students “meet” to have a discussion. As students enter the board, their names and comments are recorded. Fellow students then can enter the discussion at any time, even days later, and respond to any student or comment they choose. These interactions can be quite dynamic and completely distinguishes the online courses from correspondence courses. Some fear they will receive less discussion time with the instructor and fellow classmates in an online class. But with the discussion board, the opposite is true. Question and answer sessions and discussion times are virtually unlimited and very profitable because students have plenty of time to consider their responses. Students do not seem to feel the pressure of being put on the spot, as is the case in the classroom. This encourages them to relax and engage more deeply in the conversation.
Because the online format requires the active participation of students, auditing is not allowed for online courses. Exceptions to this policy require the permission of the instructor.