When you take online classes, you cannot access any information about the course until 3 days before school begins. Really, before the class opens you cannot even see whom your professor is going to be.
Do You Need the Book?
With an online class it is a little more difficult to know what textbook you are going to need. You can have three of the same exact courses but they would all have different textbook needs. Now that I am a junior I have figured out that waiting for the first week of school to begin before buying any book over $100 is the best way to go. Sometimes you don�t even need a book for the class and now you have just wasted $350.
What Book do I Need?
When you are on campus it is very easy to just walk into the bookstore to figure out what textbook you need. It is also easy to wait until you know if you are going to use the book, because you have access to copies of the books in the library. I sometimes would only use the library copies instead of purchasing a $400 book that I will only use once every other week.
No Way To Know?
When you take an online class these options are not open to you. The school does have an online bookstore that will tell you what book you need to buy, if any, but sometimes it is not correct. Each trimester the information about the books change online depending on what classes and books change. So, this information may not be correct for your class. This trimester, the online bookstore told me that I did not need any books when in reality, I did. It is not that the bookstore did anything wrong, but each class works differently.
Can I re-do this?
So, as soon as I could, I ordered the textbooks that I needed from online. The only problem with this is that two of my three classes required me to work on homework that came from the textbooks! I had nothing to read from, not even lecture notes. I tried to do the best that I could and hopefully that is enough. The books should be getting here this upcoming week, if not I may need a miracle of some sort!