Could online classes be for you?

Students at John Wood Community College have many options on how they want to learn. There are traditional classes, blended classes, and online classes.

"I'm sort of independent and I like being able to do things on my own. And I liked being able to not have to worry about other people in the class throwing me off, or distracting me. I'm able to focus sitting in my room at my computer," former JWCC student Julie Porter said.

Porter took online classes at John Wood before transferring to Western Illinois University. Through this option, she was able to focus on class when she wanted to.

"I didn't have to go to class at 8 in the morning still tired, not ready to think for the day," Porter explained.

That's one of the many advantages to taking your classes online. You also don't have to go to campus. You can get your entire Associate's Degree through online courses.

"We have a lot of working adults or students who are doing a lot of volunteer work, or are working to, it allows them to complete the work on their time schedule, versus having to come to class at a particular time," Stephanie Phillips said.

Phillips is the assistant director for online learning at John Wood. She's seen a huge increase in the number of students taking online classes. Since last year, there's been an 11 percent increase ... since 2008, there's been a 50 percent increase.

"People need to be very motivated, and they have to have some basic computer skills," Phillips said.

"I recommend if they think they are self motivated and able to handle those online classes to try it out. You won't know until you try it. If you don't like it, you don't have to take any more in the future," Porter said.

And if you think you'll miss out on social interaction, you can see who's in your class and email them to meet up -- and maybe even find a new study partner.

You also have the option of taking open learning classes. These classes allow you to work at your own pace throughout the semester.