It's no secret that UCF loves its online courses. Semester to semester, more online-exclusive courses are offered.
One particular course that I am enrolled in has sold me on the positives. The perk for students is simple: convenience.
This course takes convenience to a new level, however. It allows students to meet deadlines throughout the semester, but students can also work as far ahead as they want. For example, I have assignments right now that are due by Dec. 5, but in the grand scheme of things, I could have done them in September.
To me, that's a game changer.
Like most students, I'm really busy. I work five days per week, I have classes and I spend a lot of free time writing stories and conducting interviews. Some weeks are busier than others, and it can be easy for assignments to slip through the cracks. While I think I am busy, I know there are some of you out there who are busier than me.
Some of you have a family to worry about. Some of you have to work 40 hours per week and take classes full time. What if your classes could be done from the comfort of your home, and rather than having to meet weekly deadlines, you had a month to complete a bulk of assignments?
I think that is a far more attractive option for students.
Excuses are thrown out the window when you can submit assignments whenever you want. The excuse of being sick for a week is gone. The excuse of going out of town for a few days is gone. The excuse of work is gone.
The current system of online courses isn't broken — far from it in reality — but this simple switch could take the experience up a notch.
If UCF wants more students to take online courses, then why not promote them as a convenient option for the busy student? The workload is the same as any other class, but it's just spaced out to be a little bit more convenient.
Not all students are traditional. Some are older and some are part time. Also, some might be scared off because of their busy schedules. Online courses might be the future of the university experience. UCF could speed up the process, boost its convenience and increase student interest with a simple switch to this format.