Pros and Cons of Online Classes

When students register for classes at the beginning of their college education, many are faced with the question, “Should I take any online classes?” To some, this is an immediate yes or no reply, but others may not know or understand the pros and cons of online classes. Online courses generally consist of uploaded lectures from the instructor, written assignments that are submitted online, and the availability for quizzes and exams to be administered through an Internet connection. A strong Internet connection is vital to successfully completing an online course.

Pros

  • Flexibility & freedom

Students are given flexibility and freedom in terms of when and where they complete the requirements for the class. Students can complete the course in the comfort of their home, even while sitting on the couch in their pajamas!

  • Learn at your own pace

Students are able to learn at their own pace. This is an advantage because it allows the student to re-watch lectures and progressively work on assignments.

  • Save time and money from travel expenses

Students will save time and money associated with traveling to on-campus classes.

  • Use of technology

Students will learn new forms of technology. Technology skills are extremely marketable when applying for jobs.

Cons

  • Time management

Students must have good time management skills to succeed.

  • Technology Failures

Technology is not always reliable, so students should be cautious of procrastination. For example, Internet and electricity may be down for some reason in the area, not allowing the student to submit assignments on time. Also, students need to be aware that computers may crash, leaving them with no way to complete the assignments.

  • No face-to-face interaction

Online classes do not allow room for face-to-face interaction with other students or the instructor. However, some instructors offer office hours for one-on-one sessions if necessary. Also, unless a chat room is enabled for the course, there is generally a delayed response when communicating with the instructor, especially if the student and instructor have different schedules.

To sum it up, there are a variety of pros and cons when comparing online classes to traditional on-campus classes. It is important for students to know their learning styles and time management capabilities before committing to taking online courses. To some, online courses could bring relief to their heavy course load, but they could be a heavy burden to those who are technology illiterate and those who lack time management skills.

By Katie Shaffer, Business Major – IUPUC

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