Taking online courses is a rising trend that is not going to slow down anytime soon. According to the Babson Survey Research Group, over 30 percent of students in higher education were taking at least one online education course. It has become a great option for those wanting to further their education!
There are great opportunities in online courses. First, you get to interact with people from different regions of the country and different parts of the world. The ideas from others in different areas were eye-opening and helped to stretch my own thinking. Second, I could do my coursework or even watch the video lesson on my own time. Our meetings were held on Tuesday which worked well for me. However, one night of class coincided with a parent information night on my campus. Instead of missing the content and trying to get with a friend from class about the notes, I was able to watch the recorded class and email my professor questions as needed. Third, online courses really allow for freedom of independent studies. The limits of my course were only marked be the limits of my imagination. I could take my ideas and project in any direction that I felt would best help my campus.
There are also challenges that are faced with online courses. First, there is a lack of connectivity between students. In a regular college environment, you may find a friend to sit with in class. This helps to build connection with others and ties you to the campus. Second, one really must be a good manager of time. Online courses give you a week’s worth of work and there is no check-in point. There were a couple students in my classes that posted that they were up into the wee hours of the last day finishing the work because time had slipped by and the assignment was nearly due. Third, it’s not always easy to find a quiet space. Many people who work towards their master’s degree are working full time. Once they get home there are demands from family for things like dinner and soccer practice, and yet there is still schoolwork that must be completed.
Personally, most of the cons I have experienced while taking online classes have helped me be a better student. I no longer wait until the last minute to accomplish my assignments, because I am aware that if I run into a problem it may take a bit to resolve the issue. I also had to find ways to stay motivated, which included joining online support groups. These groups helped me stay accountable and ended up being a great resource. I may not have found these groups if I was not looking for ways to motivate myself.
In conclusion, taking online classes are becoming a popular option for students looking to continue their education, whether it be taking a single course or obtaining an entire degree. The pros include having the option to do your class anywhere with internet access and not being limited to a specific time or place. It also means you are free to review lectures and materials at your own pace! This leads to the cons of students needing to be self-motivated to find time to finish classwork and the process to contact professors is lengthier if you have questions or concerns. Overall, online classes are a great option for most students looking for a flexible way to continue their education.