|Photo: Jordan Friedman|
|Experts say prospective students should sample a program to see if they have the motivation to complete online courses. |
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But Dowdell, a web application developer living in the Chicago suburbs, wasn't sure whether the online format was suitable for her. Fortunately for Dowdell, Capella offers a free weeklong sample course to give students a taste of what to expect.
"I said, 'OK, let me just take this so I could see what I'm in for,'" says the 51-year-old information technology student. Taking the sample course, she says, would also tell her whether she would be able to successfully manage her time.
Dowdell completed assignments and engaged virtually with classmates and faculty, she says. Ultimately, she decided online learning worked for her.
For prospective online students, sampling an online degree program is key to determine whether the format is right for them and choose a program based on structure and flexibility, many experts say.
These opportunities are often available on a program's website or by contacting an admissions or enrollment counselor.
Online learning requires self-motivation and the ability to communicate with peers and instructors from a distance, experts say. And each program is created differently.
Here are six ways prospective online students might sample online degree programs, depending on what's available at different schools.
Source: U.S. News & World Report