For some college students, there may come a time in their education when they might want to try taking an online course or two. Perhaps they are unable to get out of the house to take necessary courses. Or maybe certain classes are only available online. Now, there are a few different ways you can do online courses.
You may take all of your classes online because you’re also working a full-time job and don’t have the time to go to a campus every day. Or perhaps the school where you’d like to study is too far away.
You could also be an ordinary college student who simply wants to take one or two courses online to help finish up your education faster and/or more conveniently. But regardless, let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of taking courses online.
When I attended Rutgers University, I took one online course to help complete my major. And even though doing that may have helped me in the long run, it was a bit of a struggle getting there.
One major problem I noticed is that you miss the face-to-face interactions with your professor and the other students. You don’t have that personal connection with anyone. You’ll mostly communicate through email or online message boards.
Now, while I was struggling with this class, I had a few conversations with my professor over the phone. This helped me out, but it still wasn’t the same. It’s nice to sit there with everyone in a classroom and talk to people one-on-one. Without this, it’s difficult to get the work done and to get help from your professor.
What Do Other People Say?
But that’s just based on my own personal experience. What do others say about online classes? Well, according to a 2011 survey from Pew Research Center, only 29 percent of the public say online courses are as good as in-classroom courses. Although, 51 percent of college presidents surveyed say they are just as good.
The same survey also brings up a few other interesting statistics. For instance, the amount of people taking online classes is rising. A total of 23 percent of college graduates say they have taken an online course at some point. However, among the people who graduated college within the 10 years before they published the article, the percentage was 46.
Also, according to a more recent survey from Gallup, only 19 percent of college faculty members say that online classes and in-person classes are equally valuable. 26 percent say they are neutral about the issue and 55 percent say that they are not equally valuable.
So what can we take from all of this? Well, I don’t think it would be completely unreasonable to say that online courses have a number of significant drawbacks when you compare them to typical courses. Despite the fact that they are necessary in some situations, it seems that you might not get the best educational experience from them.
Having said that, I think online courses are something that can improve in the future. Computer and internet technology are changing all the time. New technology like video chatting could easily make some great improvements to online classes. And someday, they could easily be just as effective as in-person courses.