Online college physics classes are good choices for students who work full-time who may find it difficult to attend traditional classroom courses. It can also be a good choice for high school seniors who want to get ahead with college coursework. If you want to succeed in an online physics class you should of course be comfortable with using computers. You should also be the type of person who takes the initiative to do the work and who has good time management skills. Strong reading comprehension skills are also necessary to succeed in online physics classes.
Lectures and Recitations
Most online physics courses consist of lectures and recitations just like traditional classroom courses. The difference is that the lectures are recorded so that you can view them according to your schedule. Recitation is an interactive virtual classroom experience that occurs on a fixed schedule. Recitations are recorded as well so that you can view at another time if the fixed time conflicts with your schedule. If you are able to “attend” recitations when they are scheduled, however, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, so it’s a good idea to attend these sessions when they are scheduled if possible. After you have registered for your class, you will probably be given an access code that you use online so that your work can be submitted and graded.
Some college physics classes include laboratory experiments and some do not. If your online physics course does include a laboratory requirement, you will probably order a lab kit specified by your instructor so that you can complete the laboratory assignments on your own. All your assignments, laboratory and otherwise, have firm deadlines and are submitted using your school’s web based system. Every week you will be assigned reading and problems to work.
Topic Usually Covered in Elementary Physics Classes
Some college physics classes are algebra based while others are calculus based. Algebra based physics courses are usually used to satisfy science requirements for non-engineering and other majors where more advanced physics classes are not required. Calculus based physics courses are taken by engineering majors, physics majors, and those in fields of study where more advanced knowledge of physics is a requirement. In most introductory college physics classes you will cover basic fluid flow, mechanics, sound, wave motion, magnetism, electricity, light, heat, resonance, and perhaps basic optics including interference and diffraction. Even if you take algebra based physics, a good grounding in trigonometry is an advantage.
Exams for Online College Physics
Exams are sometimes offered online, but in some cases you will take proctored exams on-campus. There may be a fee for taking proctored exams, so check before you register whether this is the case. You will most likely be responsible for making test arrangements. If you have not been to the test site before, you should find it well before your exam date so you will know how much travel time to allow. As soon as you find out your exam schedule, you should start making arrangements to be off work if necessary, because you may not get another chance to take the exam depending on your school’s policy.
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