Common Assignments in Online Courses

No doubt, taking online classes comes with many benefits. One of them is doing coursework during the most convenient time for us. Plus, we do not need to travel to and from campus, and we can earn a degree that is not within our vicinity.

On the other hand, I have noticed that many people hesitate to sign up for online courses because they are clueless about what to expect, including assignments and homework. Yes, each online class is different. However, most assignments given fall into the same categories.

In this post, allow me to share to you the common assignments you can expect in online classes. Let’s start!

  1. Visuals 

My online class instructors share visuals like charts and videos to us. Then, we are asked to analyze what we see. The goal here is to see that we are taking the information provided in the given format. Then, we will extract data.

As a visual learner, this type of assignment provided me a lot of value. I find it easy to understand new concepts or ideas by looking at or watching the visuals instead of reading a material.

  1. Research Papers 

Research papers are a popular assignment type in traditional face-to-face classes. However, I also encounter them online. In creating a formal research paper, writing skill is critical no matter the degree is. That is especially true in graduate degrees since it gauges the student’s expertise with regard to disciplines.

I recommend that despite being an online learner, it is still an advantage to have remote access to the college or university library resources. Believe me; it helped me write a successful research paper.

  1. Group Projects 

I was sometimes required to complete several group projects. I may exert a little more time since I have to work with other students with different schedules, but this type of assignment offers valuable purpose.

For example, group projects help me build teamwork since I need to collaborate with other group members. It also teaches me to express my ideas and listen to other member’s opinions.

In most cases, my group mates come from different backgrounds with different experiences. So, group projects made me realize that students can interact with the world in their own unique ways. The more experiences and interactions I get, the better I solve problems and get more satisfying outcomes.

  1. Discussion Boards

The first time I encountered discussion boards, they were intended for supplementing the coursework performed per week. Later on, they become a platform used to replace the class discussion.

With the discussion board, I respond to several questions and even discuss questions with other students. In some cases, the meetings require us to put in our responses before seeing what other members wrote.

  1. Exams 

The word “exam” tends to be dreadful for most students. However, tests and quizzes are very common in online courses. Depending on the institution type a student is in, expect some differences in the testing rules and environment. For instance, some institutions use online services to monitor the students, while others prefer verifying the questions themselves.

  1. Journals 

I also encounter journals in my online classes. This type of assignment is a private way to communicate with the instructors. In some instances, the topics for journals are formal and prescribed. However, I have noticed that these assignments enable me to express my concerns, questions, opinions, and ideas regarding the course materials.

  1. Blogs

If the instructors want us to constantly run dialogue of ideas and thoughts on a given topic, we are given blogs as assignments. Blogs allow me to add insights or new reviews while I continue learning my course.

One of the things I like about blogs is that they give an excellent opportunity to provide comments or feedback. These assignments enable me to reflect on my life, experiences, and unspoken thoughts.


Most people who plan to take online courses worry about the assignments they will have while studying. That is especially true if they are used to face-to-face education. However, there is nothing to worry about the types of assignments that await because they serve as tools to improve our learning process. Plus, they offer a new, fresh way to discover something. Happy learning!