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Misconceptions about Online Learning – Part One

Want to learn online, but hesitant about some things you’ve heard through the grape vine? We’ve addressed some of the most popular misconceptions that online learning has acquired throughout its lifetime.

Misconceptions about Online Learning – Part One

5 Misconceptions of Online Learning – A Series 

Want to learn online, but hesitant about some things you’ve heard through the grapevine? We’ve addressed some of the most popular misconceptions that online learning has acquired throughout its lifetime.  


Number 1: It’s online, so it’s easy 

On the contrary, learning online can be a difficult task. It’s on you to make deadlines, read supplemental material and watch lectures. Courses online are just as demanding as in-person classes. You learn the same amount of content from an in-person class, often times in more interesting ways. Learning online can be a beneficial and rewarding experience, especially for individuals with a hefty schedule, but it also requires a higher level of responsibility.  


Number 2: Technology is too confusing 

Online courses are designed to be user-friendly. If you don’t consider yourself a tech-savvy individual, don’t worry. Many of the programs utilized for online courses have tutorials that guide you step-by-step through a particular process or activity. In addition, DESC (Distance Education Service Center) is available for any questions you may have regarding the coursework. They can provide the help you need, or put you in touch with someone who can. Contact DESC at to learn more. 


Number 3: It’s too expensive!   

There’s a reason UF lives by the mantra: “Earn a greater degree, for less.” In terms of your education, learning online is often the least expensive option for several reasons. For one, you’re online, so you don’t need to pack up your things and move to Florida to pay for a new apartment in a college town. There are no commuting costs, and often times associated costs such as course materials, like a textbook, are less expensive or, even better, free online. For a visual representation of the money you save when learning online, check out UF Online's breakdown of Tuition vs. Residential Tuition for Florida Residents and Non-Florida Residents. Other online academic programs, such as master's degrees and Ph.D. programs, often offer similar savings. Students can also save money by choosing online options for their non-credit and continuing education courses.

In addition to cheaper costs, UF offers an abundance of financial aid opportunities for the online learner. Online students at UF are eligible for consideration for a wide range of federal, state and institutional aid as administered by the Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA), which also administers a limited number of privately funded scholarships. You can find more information regarding financial aid opportunities on the Student Financial Affairs website.


Number 4: You’re in it alone 

There’s a plethora of support opportunities offered by DESC and your online professors. Often times, professors are in constant contact with their students. Sending weekly emails and updates, and they encourage students to reach out if they have any questions regarding the coursework. DESC is also here for any support you might need, or any questions you might have. Once admitted, our coordinators continue supporting students through the lifecycle of their program. For programs that run on an academic calendar year, our coordinators connect with students to assist with their course registration or to simply check continue building a relationship and gauge their satisfaction level.    


Number 5: It’s easy to cheat 

Online courses utilize a variety of tools that prevent students from cheating when it comes to tests and examinations of their knowledge. ProctorU and LockDown browsers are just a few examples of resources that online programs use in order for students to perform honorably, and without any help. In addition, UF holds students to high standards of academic integrity. UF does not tolerate plagiarism and academic dishonesty, and will take severe action against any student who violates university academic regulations. Remember, you're here to learn - so don't cheat yourself out of your own education.

Courtney Hancock is a senior public relations student at the University of Florida. She currently works with the UF Distance and Continuing Education Marketing Department as an intern. When she's not writing articles for the News Lounge, she's pursuing her life goals to laugh often & love dogs. 

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