Students learn most of the material in an online environment by reading tests, lectures, articles, and supplemental materials. Reading and understanding these assignments is crucial to program success. Depending on the scope, some classes will require more reading than others.
Accelerated classes like those at the University of Phoenix, which are only five weeks long, may require reading from one to five chapters from various textbooks along with a couple articles from relative trade journals in any given week. Along with the course material, students must read the posts from other students as a requirement for participation. Class lectures are in written form and there may be preparatory materials assigned by the professor.
When taken as a whole, all this reading combined with other assignments can be a bit overwhelming. Good time-management skills are necessary. Break the reading down into manageable chunks, like one chapter a day and you will survive.
Programs with longer class-lengths, like a full quarter, should have a lighter workload where reading assignments are concerned.