What to Expect from Your Online Degree Program

What to Expect from Your Online Degree Program

Who can earn an online degree? The answer: Everyone. In today’s world, everything is at the touch of a button or a click of a mouse. We work remotely, shop online, and now earning a degree from your home is just as simple as other daily activities. Getting your degree online means you have more flexibility to simultaneously work, care-give, pursue goals, or just avoid a long, stressful commute.

However, not all online programs are created equal. For instance, when COVID hit, many schools added online learning to programs as a quick solution — with real-time scheduled lectures and required meetings that are difficult to attend. However, at the University of Cincinnati Online, we have designed virtual programs exclusive for online learning.

With a history of innovation and more than 20 years of offering online classes, UC Online has developed an approach to remote learning focused on helping students succeed, making it one of the top online colleges in the nation.

You may still be wondering, how do online college classes work? And, are online college classes harder than in-person classes? Let’s dig in.

Your Support Team

At UC Online, we ensure you have support whenever and wherever you need it. You’ll gain access to:

Student Success Coordinators

A student success coordinator’s job is to make sure you succeed. From the time you confirm your spot in a program all the way through to graduation, these coordinators connect you with key resources, help you navigate the online study platform, and show you the ropes on communicating with your professors. They provide tailored support to allow your online learning experience to be enjoyable.

Academic Advisor

Just like a traditional in-person university, you’ll gain access to an academic advisor online, who has specific knowledge of your degree program and can help guide you in the right academic direction. University of Cincinnati’s academic advisors ensure you’re taking all the right classes to meet your goal graduation date, and help you set up a balanced schedule each semester.

Learn on Your Schedule

So, exactly how do online degrees work? When you think about getting an online degree, you may be wondering about your level of flexibility. Will I have to attend live virtual lectures? Do I need to adjust my schedule for tests or quizzes? At UC Online ​​we have crafted our educational process to be more approachable for the modern learner with asynchronous education.

What’s the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?

Asynchronous learning means you can study on your own schedule — you don’t have to log in to class at a certain time frame to get credit. You can access lectures, complete assignments, and review learning materials when it’s convenient, giving you the flexibility to set up your days as you like.

This varies from synchronous online learning, which requires you to log in for virtual lectures at a scheduled time and may also require time commitments for quizzes, meetings, and more.

At UC Online, we embrace flexible learning with nearly every program taking place 100% asynchronously*. Knowing that students live in different time zones, have different obligations, and run on different schedules, is something not every online degree program can say.

What are the benefits of asynchronous classes?

Besides the obvious benefits of flexibility, asynchronous classes are also helpful to:

  • Engage with course materials — Instead of rushing to jot down notes in a lecture, you can listen at your own speed. Pause, slow down, or even speed up the audio to ensure you’re learning at your pace.
  • Practice time management — In the workplace, you’ll have to learn to effectively manage your time and problem-solve on the fly. In this way, asynchronous classes prepare you for the real world, putting the responsibility on you to put in the right amount of effort.
  • Have meaningful discussions — Without the pressure of an in-person, fast-paced environment, you can take the time you need to formulate well-researched discussion answers and fully understand subjects.

Classroom interaction

The actual day-to-day experiences of completing a degree in an “online classroom” are often hard for people to wrap their heads around. But it’s actually quite simple. Here are a few questions we often get about classroom interactions at UC Online:

How does online college work?

While there may not be a physical classroom, we have a virtual space for managing and maintaining typical classroom activities: Canvas. A learning management system, Canvas creates a virtual space for watching lectures, completing and submitting assignments, and checking your grades.

Can you interact with peers in an online college?

In addition to Canvas’ discussion boards and messaging features, many of our programs also have separate online communities where you can chat about topics related to your program or course. We see students from all walks of life, living all over the world, and coming from a variety of backgrounds. Through our classes, you can get to know a community of people you otherwise might not have in a traditional in-person setting.

Who creates online classes?

What makes UC Online’s classroom interactions best-in-class is the staff that puts them together. Online courses are not built by faculty alone. Instead, they collaborate with our Instructional Design team, experts in ensuring courses are user-friendly for students no matter how computer-savvy you consider yourself to be. They focus on consistency within all programs and classes — ensuring each course is easy to follow and easy to use — so you can focus 100 percent on the course material at hand.

Professor Interaction

Our nationally renowned faculty truly care about making sure you get the most out of your education. You can communicate with your professors seamlessly on Canvas, which is easy to use for sending messages, emails, or posting on discussion boards. Additionally, many professors have virtual (as well as in-person) office hours, where you can connect through a phone call or video chat.

Our professors set our students up for success in many ways. In fact, many of our graduates mention the sheer volume of optional networking events set up by professors — online and in-person — that helped them pursue their careers around the world.

Dedicated to Your Success

UC Online has been offering online classes for more than 20 years. With a strategic approach to online learning, we’re focused on helping students succeed from wherever they might be. From a dedicated support team to asynchronous education, we are committed to providing you with the tools you need to connect and thrive in an online learning environment.

Sound interesting? Check out our full set of student resources or learn more about your dedicated success team.

*A few programs at UC Online do require a small amount of synchronous learning. Be sure to check the requirements for your degree of interest.

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Need additional student resources?
Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
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