jtom

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2009
382
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Pre-Veterinary
I am taking online biochemistry next semester. I have not taken an online class and had a few concerns:

-this depends on the professor but I like to get a feel for what professors will test you on, how specific you need to know something, what you dont need to know etc. I feel with this course I will not be able to do that to a level that I would be able to in an in-class setting.
-with biochem I will not be able to ask any questions revolving around math (Ive heard there is alot of math in biochem) or chemical structures as email will make it difficult.

I am not sure how biochem stacks up against organic but I would usually ask questions after each organic lecture so I am concerned with email restrictions and whether the professor responds to emails etc, that I might be at a disadvantage. I have looked at the syllabus and there is no mention of a whiteboard/recorded lectures or any other helpful applications involved in the course.

I would appreciate any advice.

Thank you
 

laitmanvet

c/o 2015 - now interning it
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Jan 7, 2010
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I took an animal nutrition class online. While I like the material and I think its really interesting, I wish I had taken it in a classroom. I didn't have the classroom option though, it wasn't offered anywhere near to where I live.
My professor was very responsive to emails, she even set up online chats where we could ask questions and discuss material. I never needed to call her, but I'm sure she would have arranged a phone convo. about the material.
We had a textbook for readings and a CD with extra material esp pertaining to the course on it (It was made by the university esp for this course). We had access to everyones email in the class....for discussions, questions, etc. Our first assignment was to write a small blurb about ourselves so we could "meet" our classmates. Our exams were written exams which we had 3-4 days to complete and then email back to the prof.
Still, I think I missed being in a classroom. I like lectures. I learn very well with a professor right there explaining the material and I can ask question at the time the material is being discussed. It was hard for me to to learn with just a textbook to read.

I think it really depends on your learning style. Honestly, if you have the opportunity to take the class in a classroom (not online) I would do it.
 

SocialStigma

OVC c/o 2015
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Dec 24, 2009
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I took genetics online because it was the only way I could fulfill the genetics prereq in time to apply to vet school this year. The lectures were prerecorded and posted all at once at the beginning of the semester, so basically you could go at your own pace. We had weekly assignments due, forum discussions (for participation marks), a midterm and then a final (they weren't online, I wrote it at my university and they were proctored by someone).

There was also an optional textbook that helped. Whenever I did have trouble, I either posted it in the online forum or I emailed the prof (she always got back to me the next business day at the latest). I actually enjoyed having the online course because it meant I could watch the lectures at my own leisure..usually during weekend mornings, and I could also work ahead if I felt like it.

The biochem course that I took had no math in it, most of the focus was on protein folding/structure, cell metabolism pathways, signal transduction etc and I found it a lot easier than orgo. I'm sure this will depend on what your biochem course is like but I wouldn't have minded taking biochem online.
 

sumstorm

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FWIW, I like well-run online courses. I have taken a couple of behavior and nutrition courses, biochem, genetics, and several econ and business courses.

There are as many styles of online courses as there are in person courses, and the biggest issue is how much the professor cares. I try to avoid professors who are roped into online courses and an adjunct to their already hectic schedules. I also try to avoid courses where the course is essentially a recording of an in-person class and/or the professor does not have decent English (which happens a lot.)

A few emails back and forth with the professor can help solve this. Ask about the course, the requirements, the interaction, and how the coures developed. I have found some courses that started because there wasn't enough interest at the school, but the professor has a real passion for the topic. In those situations, the courses tend to be pretty amazing.

You have to be fairly self motivated. I personally do NOT learn well in a lecture environment. I prefer to learn in a lab/practical environment or by reading. If lectures are integral, I prefer to be able to play them at the speed I chose, pausing when I want to. I also have a strong preference to listen to lectures while running, walking, or any other activity that has me moving.

I would take an online course from a passionate professor > an in person course from someone who is externally compelled to teach any day. I think that is probably as important as how you learn best.
 

Savethewhales

Western U c/o 2015
Sep 28, 2010
221
2
California
Status
Pre-Veterinary
My advice for biochem would be to take it in the classroom is possible. However, if online is the only option, then you have to do what you need to in order to complete it. Many school have extensions course where you can attend and I have seen biochem offered at a few community colleges. I spent a lot of time in office hours talking through pathways so that I really understood them. Its an important subject (not that the rest aren't)..... If you have the opportunity to take it in person and are just looking into online for convenience, I would suggest classroom for this one. I think micro or nutrition would be good candidates for online classes. Good luck with whichever you choose!
 

VeganSoprano

Queen of Spayeds
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I'm taking biochem online from Oregon State University this term. I actually like it a lot. The professor is very accessible by email and lectures are available in multiple formats - mp3, mp4, and streaming video. Everything is posted at the beginning of the term so you can work ahead if you want, or watch an entire week's lectures at once, or skip an entire week and make it up the following week (as long as you take the tests on time), or whatever works for you. The class I'm taking requires only a little math, though I'm sure each prof does things a little differently.
 
OP
jtom

jtom

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2009
382
1
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Pre-Veterinary
I'm taking biochem online from Oregon State University this term. I actually like it a lot. The professor is very accessible by email and lectures are available in multiple formats - mp3, mp4, and streaming video. Everything is posted at the beginning of the term so you can work ahead if you want, or watch an entire week's lectures at once, or skip an entire week and make it up the following week (as long as you take the tests on time), or whatever works for you. The class I'm taking requires only a little math, though I'm sure each prof does things a little differently.
I was actually looking at oregon states course it appears that the online biochem is 8 weeks (winter semester) or the course ends too late (spring semester-mid June).

Thanks!
 
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turquoisewolves

c/o 2015
Jan 9, 2010
149
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Pre-Veterinary
I think sumstorm did a great job of explaining the benefits of well-ran online courses.

You might want to look into K-State's biochem course. I took it online a couple of years ago.
 

milkmaid

Class of 2015!
Jun 20, 2010
70
0
Wherever the wind blows
Status
Pre-Veterinary
The University of Wyoming also has a good online biochem course with a passionate instructor, online whiteboard, and regular online office hours. Starts mid June and goes through the first week of August.

I've taken a couple online classes - I'd recommend them as long as you are somewhat self motivated. :p
 
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jtom

jtom

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Jun 27, 2009
382
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I have to take the course spring semester as I applied for this cycle. I did read the syllabus over again and it did say "telecom." Not sure what that means exactly.


K-State I am waiting for an email back from the professor.
 

VeganSoprano

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Oregon State's normal term is only 10 weeks so it probably won't be all that different if the term is shortened by 2 weeks. Google "BB 450" and you will find a link to the classroom version's class schedule with lecture links and the like. This will give you a good way to see what the prof's style is all about. The main difference with the online version is that the lectures are the ones he gave in the classroom the previous year.

The only downside is that the exams are *hard*. They're multiple choice where the choices are normally something like A, B, C, A and C only, all of the above, none of the above. So if tricky multiple choice tests tend to trip you up, that might be tough.
 
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smilin1590

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Feb 23, 2009
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I kind of was looking into online Biochem too, my school offers it but everyone (including very smart people I know) have trouble even getting a C and much of the grade is based off of labs too which are graded harshly... and lab isn't a requirement for biochem for most vet school right? I just want some input on which is the best university to take it from online.
 
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jtom

jtom

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Jun 27, 2009
382
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Pre-Veterinary
I looked at BB 450 and it appears it is part of a two sequence course, I needed a one semester course and it has to be finished by the end of the spring term.

I did see BB 350 listed as well, I was not sure if your not taking that as it didnt meet vet schools admission requirements but it does have an organic chem pre-req.
 

VeganSoprano

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BB 350 does not meet OrSU's vet school's requirements, so I opted against it since BB 450 and 451 should be good enough for any school. But 350 might meet some schools' requirements. You'd have to ask the schools individually.