Sophomore Speaks: Online summer courses through Rider prove to be a convenient way to gain credits

While it is wonderful to be in charge of one’s own collegiate path, that freedom can cause stress if you’re unsure if your choices will ultimately lead you to a timely graduation.
A wonderful way to relieve the stress is to take an online class during the summer session at Rider. With three- and six-week courses offered online, it is a quick way to gain some needed credits in favor of taking on extra classes during the already busy school year.
There is a fairly large selection of classes to take online through Rider. With one more science requirement left to fill, I opted to take Environmental Geology online, and am so glad that I made that choice. I am a double major and I always try to stay on top of which classes I take to be sure my four years at Rider run smoothly.  I decided that taking an online class would be a great way to stay ahead of schedule.
Taking courses from your computer over the summer is far more convenient. Most of the time I was doing my work for the class in the comfort of my own home, wearing pajamas. When I took a trip to Las Vegas, my Environmental Geology class tagged along too, and I was able to finish my assignments in my hotel room after a fun day on the Vegas Strip.
I won’t lie — taking an online class is a lot of work, as it is a regular class squeezed into half the time frame as a course during the fall and spring semesters. As always, the workload depends upon the professor, but it should be expected that there will be many quizzes, reading assignments and essays assigned to students in a short period of time.  In addition, students should be prepared for the occasional technical issue — my class experienced server issues during the scheduled time for our midterm. The professor was understanding and kindly worked out the problems with the class, but there were definitely a few moments of terror as I wondered whether I would be able to finish my midterm on time.
An online class requires responsibility and good time management skills. There will likely be a lot of work squeezed into a very short class, and if the deadline to submit an assignment via email or drop box is missed, there is little room for excuses. In some ways, it may be easy to let yourself fall behind in an online class, as there is no professor around to check in and make sure you’re taking notes. It may be easy to get distracted and go on Facebook instead of doing the online assignment, but it is important to stay on top of the work, or the entire class will just be a waste of time and money.
For anyone who needs credits that they do not have time for during the school year or simply wants to get ahead, an online class is highly suggested. It is a lot of work, but the convenience and mobility are worth the extra effort.
-Casey Gale
Sophomore journalism/American studies

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