What Are Elective Courses and How Can They Help Students?
Posted on July 30 2019
But even though every student has some similar needs, everyone is different, too, with different interests, ambitions, and aptitudes — and that’s why elective courses are so important to a well-rounded education.
It’s also why, whether you’re learning in a traditional school setting or in an online school, it’s important to have access to plenty of elective choices.
CHOOSING ELECTIVES FROM COURSE CATALOG
Most schools offer students (and prospective students) a course catalog, and most catalogs are separated into core (required) and elective classes.
Course descriptions — usually a few sentences about each course — help learners understand if a course will be a good fit.
“In this class, students will learn the history, science and art of creating images through recorded light or other electromagnetic radiation. Through assigned readings and class lectures, students will come to better understand and appreciate the role of photography in modern life.”
Both of these descriptions could be for a class called “Photography,” but these two elective classes, as described by their course descriptions, might appeal to very different students.
MORE IS MERRIER, BUT QUALITY IS KEY
If you want to know what kind of experience you’ll have, especially when taking elective classes in a new school, the course description might not be enough. How engaged is the teacher? Does the teacher have training and experience in the subject? What do other students say about the course? These are the sorts of questions that it can be helpful to ask when choosing elective courses.
WHEN IT COMES TIME TO CHOOSE ELECTIVES COURSES, CHOOSE WISELY
“Creative Writing” might sound like fun. But if your goal is to become an agent for professional athletes, perhaps “Sports and Entertainment Marketing” might be a better fit. Likewise, “Foundations of Firefighting,” “Introduction to Early Childhood Education,” and “Astronomy” might all be great courses that you’ll enjoy, but if you can only put one on your schedule, your career ambitions are likely the best deciding factor.