Are Online Courses Ideal for Everyone?
Going back to school is a big decision. Whether you are considering getting a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or a doctoral degree; school involves a lot of hard work and a lot of money. Many students returning to school contemplate attending a traditional campus or enrolling into an online degree program. Some schools offer both. There are some pros and cons to both online and classroom based programs. The student must decide what’s most important to them when looking at different programs. Do they want the most flexible program? Or is cost the main factor they are considering? There are a lot of options out there, so the student must take their time and analyze each.
Online courses are typically more flexible for students than attending a lecture on campus. Most online courses are asynchronous, but have due dates on assignments each week. This is beneficial to most students, but if a student prefers to listen to a live lecture and be able to ask questions then a classroom setting is probably optimal. With that being said, online courses are not for everyone. If the student is a visual learner they would probably prefer on campus classes. Campus based programs require the student to be in a classroom at least once a week. Online courses on the other hand, will not notify you to be online to complete your work. The student is accountable for their own work and logging in the virtual classroom each week.
The content a student learns in a campus program as opposed to an online class can also differ. Most online courses are more reading and writing based. This is perfect for someone who does not like taking exams. But, on the other hand if the online student doesn’t like group work with no face-to-face interaction there is a problem. Group work online is typically done through chat rooms, Skype or email. Students are typically thousands of miles away from each other and meeting in person is not an option. This is definitely a downfall to taking online classes.
Though online courses are becoming more and more popular, there are some negative aspects to them. When deciding what the best program is for you, make sure to take everything into consideration. How flexible is the program? How many hours a week do you have to commit to per class? How fast can you graduate? What is the tuition difference between online courses and on ground courses? These are just a few.