I suspect that some people are drawn to online learning because they think that being in class is a big waste of time. But does that mean that the learning can all take place once a week? Well, according to those who have studied the way we learn, no.
Imagine a college course that meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am-1pm. You go to class three separate times for several hours at a time, with breaks in between to allow the material to sink in. Each Monday you have a test on the week before so maybe you meet with your study group a couple of times to talk over the material. You probably take a few hours over the weekend to study on your own, as well, just to make sure you have everything straight before the test.
Then imagine trying to learn all of that material in one hour on Sunday night.
Your head would explode!
And yet, that’s what some people think they can get away with simply because there are no set class times with online learning.
The fact is, that learning is a brain-changing process. Each new piece of information connects our neurons together that makes new pathways inside our brain. The more times we revisit those pathways, the deeper and more reinforced they get.
In most cases, it would be impossible to take in all the material in a single sitting. It would be even more impossible to expect to retain that material along term. For good reason,most online courses take between 10 and 20 hours a week, and some more intensive programs could be even more demanding. It is important to maintain contact by logging in several times a week, and to spread out all of the materials, lessons and resources so you don’t get overwhelmed.
But if you just make an effort, it pays off big time.