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The pros and cons of taking online classes

OSAU Team

Going to universities or colleges may not be the best fit for everyone - some may have other priorities while others may have no access to desired school or program locally. Online schools or online distance programs offered by colleges and universities are viable alternatives in this situation.

Short courses offered by popular sites such as Coursera have become mainstream for people who want to get a quick understanding of a new discipline or get their professional skills upgraded.  But the idea of completing a degree entirely online is still relatively new compared to doing it on-campus and it is still very much evolving. So here are some of the pros and cons you might want to consider if you’re choosing between an online or campus-based program.


Pros

1. Flexibility

Online schools are known for their flexibility. Regardless of what other obligations you have, you will still have time to earn a degree. Courses are pre-scheduled and the syllabus is usually uploaded ahead of time. You can arrange to fit into your schedule accordingly. Because of the flexibility, online schools are getting more and more attractive to people who need to balance career or family with school.

2. Study anywhere

As all the classes are conducted online, physical presence is not needed for online classes.  Because of this location flexibility, a lot of students outside countries such as the US or UK are able to take classes from the universities and colleges in those countries.All you need is a laptop or computer and fast internet speed.

3. Eliminate commute time!

Students can spend anywhere between 5-12 hours a week commuting. With online classes, all or most of that time can be dedicated toward academia. Think about how much coursework you could get done!

4. Save money

Online schools are usually less costly than on-campus universities as it saves tremendous cost of running a physical campus. Therefore the programs they offer are more affordable to people who cannot afford the high tuition fees of a traditional degree.


Cons

1. Limited interaction with professors and peers

However, online school offer limited to no interaction with your professors or peers. Classes are usually pre-written or pre-recorded, so professors have limited roles in teaching. In fact, professors are there only to guide students. Interaction with your peers is limited as well. You’ll be given a chance to interact with them through online hangouts and chat rooms, but other than that, scheduling to meet up with a group can be a hassle (although not impossible).

2. Limited access to technology

Another limitation to taking online classes is technology. While taking online classes is possible to people with computer and internet access, others who do not have those can't really participate. In some cases, online courses will require you to update your technology to download coursework. If you don’t have the capacity to upgrade or if you don’t have access to technology, taking online classes will be a challenge.

3. You might be enrolling in a non-accredited program

There are hundreds of online degree programs that are not accredited. This is something you need to be aware of and choose carefully the ones that are accredited. What it means by non-credited is that the credits earned are not transferable or accepted by accredited educational institutions. So it is a complete waste of time if students need to start their academic career from scratch again—and end up paying more money for an education.

4. Campus experience

College life means more than academic work. It’s also the campus environment, college clubs, and the camaraderie of school pride that’s developed over the years between students, professors, administrators, and staff that create memorable college experience. Taking online classes will not give you the same experience.

5. For some programs, you can't do it 100% online

There are programs that require lab courses or certain credit hours of clinical work, such as nursing programs. 


Academic Guide


Works as Management Team at Our School and Us