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Types of College Courses

by Kate Beck, studioD

When you make the decision to attend college, whether right out of high school or later in life, you need to make a number of decisions. One decision involves the types of courses that will benefit your learning style and your outside commitments such as work and family. Understanding the different types of courses available in college may help you discover new ways of learning that fit with your lifestyle.


Traditional college classes take place in a classroom, often on the main campus or an outlying satellite campus. You will have an instructor who lectures, gives assignments and tests. Some students may prefer the structured environment of a traditional classroom, since you can have discussions and immediate answers to questions on the subject matter. If you tend to procrastinate or avoiding study time, you may find that this type of course will reduce your likelihood of putting off your work.


Classes that take place online require you to do the work on your own. You may decide to form a study group with other classmates, but you have the responsibility of learning the material and completing the assignments. Most schools use a specific program that allows students to view lectures, assignments and related course information. You will have access to your instructor through email, but, if you live nearby, you may also schedule an appointment to discuss the class material with the instructor. When you take an online course, you can study during times you do not have work or family responsibilities.


If your school offers telecourses, the course material will come from DVDs or an online video source. Some schools also televise the videos through local public television, but may still make DVDs available to students for checkout. In this type of course, you will have minimal contact with your instructor, often emailing your assignments.


In a hybrid course, you will meet in the classroom on occasion, but most of your coursework will occur online. The number of times you meet in person will vary by instructor, but these traditional meeting days will give you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss material with your classmates. If you have questions or need to contact your instructor between meeting times, you will do this through email or scheduled appointments.

About the Author

Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.

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