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A Review of BYU Independent Study Online

written by: Trent Lorcher•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 9/11/2012
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Online courses might not be your first choice, but don't dismiss them too easily. Here, I share my experiences on taking a BYU independent study course and how it helped me. I'll share the ups and downs, and everything inbetween.

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    Quality

    Rating Average

    Most four year universities now offer courses online. BYU's independent study combines its high academic standards with online convenience to create an outstanding opportunity for those who wish to accrue credits from the comfort of their own home. The courses are rigorous, well put together, and helpful.

    BYU independent study costs less than most universities' online courses. Although they do not offer graduate degree programs solely online, it does offer numerous graduate level and upper division courses for teachers climbing their way up the pay scale.

    Education courses include counseling psychology, special education, elementary education, instructional psychology and technology, and secondary education. In addition to education courses they also offer upper division courses in any subject imaginable.

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    The Human Element

    Rating Average

    Critics of independent study and online education cite a lack of personal service to discourage students from taking online courses. I found the staff and faculty friendly and helpful. I needed a certain course completed by the end of August to qualify for my raise. I finished the course two days before school started. I did not finish it, however, in time to be posted on my summer transcript.

    In a panic, I called their office, explained my situation, and was assured they could send a certified letter to my school district, stating the completion date of the course.

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    User Friendliness

    Rating Average

    There's no need to be intimidated by BYU online education. If you're having trouble, they're not going to send missionaries to your door to teach you. They do provide an online and phone help center, easy to find frequently asked questions, and a troubleshooting guide.

    Before signing up for a course, you can click on the course description and look at the syllabus, broken down by topics and assignments. It's so easy even John McCain could figure it out.