So you have finally decided that the course you want to take in college is psychology. But you need to be a working student since your parents cannot cope with paying the tuition on their own. Distance learning is both accessible and convenient and it has made online courses in psychology very popular among students, particularly those who cannot attend classes in a physical university due to distance and/or financial reasons. But the question that needs to be answered is if earning an online psychology degree right for you?
Before you enroll in the course introduction to psychology online there are a few factors that need to be considered such as your own learning needs, the cost of attendance, the type of degree available and the school’s accreditation status.
Does the school pass the key concerns of a quality distance education course/program? As per the American Psychological Association, these concerns are access, the learning community, faculty support, student support, curriculum and instruction, evaluation and assessment, institutional context and commitment, facilities and finance and library and learning resources.
Your own learning needs – are you good at time management? Or do you procrastinate? Can you handle the course requirements without reminders from your instructor? Your being able to balance work, personal life and coursework is key for your success as an online student. Can you set aside a fixed time daily for study regardless of the demands at work and at home? Or will you just cram when the end of the course is near? While you can always consult with your instructor via chat or email, are you OK without the benefit of classmates who you can discuss lessons and ideas with.
Is the school properly accredited? It is important to earn an online psychology degree from an accredited educational institution in order to ensure that your degree will be recognized by other schools as well as future employers. Depending on the country you are from there should be a regulatory body which monitors the online schools.
Are you comfortable with technology? Are you capable of surfing the net, sending emails? Are you familiar with the usage of podcasts, streaming video etc.?
Is taking the course online aligned with your academic goals? Does the online program offer more than just behavioral psychology courses? What is the range of courses offered? Will your graduate schools of choice accept your online courses as pre-requisites for admission?
Obviously there is more to deciding to study psychology online than was initially thought of.