How to Make the Most of Your Online Statistics Course

6/6/2014

Somewhere between math and science lies an area of study known as statistics. While people gather statistics of their favorite ball player's batting average or analyze how many people in a neighborhood are of a certain income level, there is much more to statistics academically. It goes beyond merely collecting the data to analyzing and using that data for future predictions. 

Much of statistics is based on probability. If that sounds too complicated, perhaps you remember flipping a coin at one time or another? You have already used probability to your advantage.

It may seem that statistics is a course reserved for elite research scientists in a faraway lab. The fact is many occupations require knowledge of data analysis, and a large number of companies depend upon this study to predict business outcomes. The fields of science, business, school and government all employ statisticians.

Because it is necessary to so many fields, chances are you are required to take an online statistics course. Taking classes online is increasingly popular due to the ease and convenience they provide. Online classes also present a variety of options not available in the general classroom setting. 

 

Statistics problems

Perhaps you are a bit apprehensive about taking a course you barely understand. Here are a few guidelines to assist you in your online education in statistics:

Find the right online statistics course for you


While there are many statistics courses online, they will not all meet your needs. Each individual is unique and will want different things out of a class. There are several factors to consider when choosing the best one to take. 

First, you must decide if you can afford the classes. Some courses are very expensive. Have a budget in mind as you search for a course to help you narrow it down. 

While some courses are expensive, you may encounter a class in online statistics which is free. Some of these may be advantageous, but with many of them you get back what you put into them. Make sure the class you take is a quality course worth your time. If you learn nothing, it was a waste of time even if no money was spent. 

Connect with the best statistics online course instructor


One of the most critical considerations when choosing a statistics class online is the teacher. If a site does not provide the educational background of the instructor, take this as a red flag of warning. Reputable sites will be happy to list the qualifications of their tutors. 

Since statistics is a difficult class, you may consider an instructor from a highly recognized school. Acadsoc, an online academy, is one example of a school which connects students with teachers from the Ivy League schools and the top 20 American universities.

Finding the best statistics course online teacher may require a bit of trial and error. Not all tutors, no matter what their educational background, can clearly explain a concept. Some students connect better with some teachers and find it difficult to communicate with others. A few sites offer information on the teaching style of the tutor. This is something to consider if you learn in a certain way.



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Determine the best time to learn online


Another thing to consider when taking a statistics online course is the best time to take it. One of the freedoms of an online class is choosing the time slot that best suits your schedule. While the teacher's schedule must also be considered, it is possible to take the class at a time of day not otherwise available. If you are working a full-time job, you could still fit the course in during the evening or weekend hours. 

Give your best effort in your online statistics class


Some people mistakenly assume that an online course is not as valid as a statistics class in a classroom setting. While they may put in a lot of study time and effort in traditional schooling, they pull back a bit online. This is unfortunate because the online class is just as essential as a brick and mortar class would be. 

Arrive for class on time just as you would in a school building. This is even more important if you are the only student. It shows consideration for your teacher and demonstrates your willingness to learn. 

If something is unclear, take advantage of the one-on-one opportunity to ask questions. Even if there are others in the e-classroom, do not let them stop you from being clear on class material. Search a little deeper so you can internalize the lesson rather than just remember facts for a test. Do whatever it takes to understand the subject matter fully.

Even though you are in your home environment which is more relaxed than a classroom, treat the class and teacher with proper respect. If the teacher can see you via video, make sure you have a neat and presentable appearance. Speak clearly and avoid eating, drinking or chewing gum during class time. 

Be sure to take notes and study outside of class just as you would if you were in a regular classroom. Learning statistics online is a wonderful opportunity, but it still requires work on your part. If your teacher assigns homework, do your neatest and best work. Remember, most likely you are paying for this class so make your best effort to get your money's worth. 

One advantage of online classes is the ability to record classes for later. If you feel you did not understand clearly enough the first time around, you can always watch the class again later. Make the most of this advantage. There is no excuse for falling asleep in class when you can replay the class. 

If you do careful research and take the time to find the right course, teacher and time, you will find the statistics of an improved grade and understanding go up exponentially. Statistics is not a course for the faint of heart, so finding adequate information and support is crucial. Technology provides a wonderful opportunity for real learning in real time using virtual means.


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