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Taking Calculus online?

  1. Jun 3, 2010 #1
    OK so I just need your thoughts or advice on this...please. I have to take calc I w/analytic geometry in the fall and there is one online course, so I have registered to do it online. Some people @ school (not advisors) have advised me not to do it online but to take the class in person because there is a lot of homework and calculus is "hard." I have never had calc before and I don't know how difficult it will be for me, but I know I am good at learning things online and from text....I really can't see any drawbacks with taking it online...if I have any questions the teacher is accessible. And homework...well you do it at home anyways.

    If you have taken calc I w analytic geometry, or any calc I, can you see any drawbacks with taking it online?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2010 #2
    I can't tell how old your post is, because I'm kind of new to posting on this site. I would say that taking math online isn't all that much different than in the classroom (in the sens that you end up teaching yourself mostly) unless you are someone who really needs to see a lecture in action. The one drawback to online math is it can make you a lazy student (using notes for an exam) and you might short change yourself in the long run if you need to go on to further math classes.
  4. Jun 4, 2010 #3
    Thanks so much Shelovesmath! I usually don't need the lecture so much, only on the rare occasion that it covers something outside of the text. When it comes to math, I rely heavily on the text and exercises and do all I can to learn by myself. I appreciate your answer!

    I just posted this yesterday by the way. The dates of the posts are above the usernames to the left.
  5. Jun 4, 2010 #4

    Not quite. I've taken Calculus III, Differential Equations and Physics I through online courses. Online courses are definitely different. Much different than any lecture I've ever been through. There are not any teachers (or TAs) that can answer your questions in person. It is sometimes very difficult to try and express your problems through e-mails (with various turn-around times (mine was sometimes up to three days during my Physics course)), compared to raising a hand in class.

    Don't let this discourage you from taking the class. If you're committed enough to finish the class, rain or shine, go for it. I finished all the courses, and did pretty well in all of them. But it is up to you. No one cares if you finish the class, other than yourself.

    The trick I found is to use your resources. I checked different textbooks out of the library and I looked online for lectures. Many college professors will post their PowerPoints, or lecture notes, especially for a class like Calculus I, on their websites. When all else failed and I was frustrated with the problem (I have almost thrown my DE book into a furnace multiple times :mad:), I came to Physics Forums :biggrin::approve:! If you use the homework section like it is meant to be used, people will gladly help you, especially if you have the mentality of learning, instead of wanting the homework helpers to do the problem for you.

    Whether Calculus is hard or not will likely depend on your personality. Some people love Chemistry, and hate Physics, sometimes it's the opposite. Same thing with Calc (in my experience). You may love it, or hate it.

    Very true. HeLiXe, you really need to be dedicated. It definitely can be done, but once you do commit, you must finish the course.

    Here is a site I've used before, and you might find it useful. It's kind of a central hub of Calculus study material. Otherwise, you can use Google to find lecture notes:


    I hope this helped you out. Good luck with the course!:wink:
  6. Jun 5, 2010 #5
    @ Wellesley

    Yes, I agree one needs to be willing to use various resources to help oneself. My experience is that I don't ask most of my questions in the classroom anyway. I usually just go to see the professor or e-mail them. I use my handy dandy fancy livescribe pen to write my question down and then e-mail it to them, heehee. Damn, I love that pen, and no I don't work for them LOL.

    I think it depends on individual learning style. I'm a kinesthetic learner, so classroom versus online makes no difference for me.
  7. Jun 6, 2010 #6
    :rofl: ^^This really made me LOL lol

    Wellesley thanks a zillion for your response. Very insightful! I also perused the link you gave me and it looks very exhaustive. Thank you so much for the tools!

    I am sure when I am getting frustrated with the course and feeling like quitting, I will hear your imagined voice in my head saying "You must finish the course!"

    Thanks again! I really appreciate it so much.
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