By Maddie Sievers
As a graduating senior, I have found that one of the best ways to fit credits into your schedule each semester is by taking eight-week classes. The key is to take a couple semester-long classes, one eight-week class during the first half of the semester, and another eight-week class during the second half of the semester. This way, for example, you can fit 18 credit hours into one semester while really only juggling 15 credit hours at any given time. I have taken a lot of eight-week courses during my time at Illinois, especially online ones, and have some great recommendations that are worth checking out.
CHLH 101: Intro to Community Health
Intro to Community Health is a super easy and interesting eight week class to take. All of the information covered during this course is relevant to everyday life and health, such as how diseases spread, environmental health, and occupational health. I took this course online with Professor Kaplan – who is simply wonderful – and the workload was very reasonable. Each week you are required to take a short quiz, write a discussion post, and respond to a couple other discussion posts. Throughout the eight weeks, there are also two very manageable exams that require almost no studying as well as two very brief written assignments.
CHLH 243: Drug Use and Abuse
Drug Use and Abuse is probably the easiest course I have taken in my college career. I took this course online with Professor Kersh, and every single answer to the weekly quizzes, the midterm, and the final exam can be found by copying and pasting the questions into a search engine. I believe all of the questions come directly from the textbook, and this is apparently a very popular course at other universities, which is why the answers are so easily found. That being said, the only real work required of this course is a weekly discussion post and discussion response, each of which are 200 words or less. However, the ease of this course is reflected by it only being worth two credit hours.
NRES 242: Nature and American Culture
Nature and American Culture is another easy online eight-week course that I enjoyed. As a person who enjoys nature and visiting national and state parks, this was an especially interesting and relevant class. Topics covered include conservation and preservation, the history of American natural resources, and national parks. Similar to the other classes, the homework includes quizzes and discussion posts and responses that primarily revolve around online videos and a novel about the history of American natural resources.
KIN 102/104/107: Bowling, Skating Activities, Aquatic Sport Activities
KIN 102, 104, and 107 are Bowling, Skating Activities, and Aquatic Sport Activities respectively. While these half-semester classes are only worth one credit hour each, they are fun, incorporate regular physical activity into your schedule, and help develop your skills in a common sport – all while giving you course credit. There is no better time than in college to take a class about a hobby you enjoy!
JOUR 360: The Media and You
This eight-week course’s title, “The Media and You,” is incredibly vague, but it’s really just a public relations course under the guise of a journalism course number. I took this course with Professor Tate as an elective for the Public Relations minor, and it was both easy and useful. JOUR 360 gives you a broad overview of different media tactics used in public relations. The final is a group project to create a public relations campaign for a local goal or organization.