Your Online Education Classroom As had been written somewhere, online education might just be one of the new waves of the future. As today’s lifestyle gets faster and more hectic, many things including education might be conducted wholly on the Internet in the future. With the advent of instant communications (phones, the Internet and satellite) linking the world in real-time, actual physical presence sometimes becomes redundant. Today, more than half of the processes in commerce and trade are now conducted electronically. This is also happening in other fields like news and information and entertainment in most instances. And as of this writing, online education is already a success, and this branch in their industry is now rapidly growing beyond everyone’s expectations. For the uninitiated, here is a short walk-through into the virtual online campus. Online classroom Your online classroom is basically a website. (Or, perhaps it may be a large section of the school’s site. This varies from school to school.) In it, one of the first things you will receive is a contact list of your fellow students and your instructor. This list has the individual email addresses of all, their phone numbers (cell phones and land lines) and maybe their Skype user names, too. Lessons Lectures in this classroom come in different forms – in audio or video presentations, in interactive media (PowerPoint) or in audio-visual format. They can all be downloaded and printed in hard copies, if requested. Online discussions are done in virtual discussion boards or email groups. Any student can log on and read them and post replies accordingly. Assignments Assignments are generally outlined in the course syllabus. Sometimes, instructors post them in databases with passwords. (Again, this is dependent on the format or style of instructions in each school.) Required readings are listed in your personal calendar. It is expected that you plan your work accordingly so you will not be overwhelmed when assignment deadlines are due. The number of assignments given to you depends on the level of educational degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Masteral, or Doctoral) you are aiming at. Average time needed for your assignments is around 10 to 20 hours every week. Assignments, like their counterparts in traditional schools, also have their completion due dates. Fortunately, online students can work on theirs according to their personal schedule. Grading your assignments is also done by your instructor the old-fashioned way. Degrees The length of time to earn your degree depends on the program you are enrolled in. (Your academic advisor will fill you in on the details.) However, there may be factors to speed up the process. Some schools sometimes honor the credits you earned at your previous schools, if you had any. Additionally, you can apply and take the CLEP exams to bypass those basic courses you already are proficient. Finally, it is all up to you and your personal schedule that will decide how quickly you can complete your program. Needless to say, you will get your degree faster if you can commit more time to your online education.