The Pros And Cons Of Online Classes

Online classes have become more popular with students around the globe. When you consider the benefits online classes offer, things like flexibility and affordability, it’s no surprise. Those benefits are awesome, but some students might miss the face-to-face interaction that you get with in person learning. If you are considering enrolling in virtual learning, understand the pros and cons of online classes that will help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Online LearningCons of Online Learning
FlexibilityLess Social Interaction
AffordabilityLimited Course Availability
IndividualizationRequires High Degree of Self Discipline

The Pros of Online Classes

Pro: Increased Flexibility

This is one of the most common reasons why most people choose to enroll in an online program. You don’t have to show up in classes and attend lectures at a fixed time. You don’t even have to leave your bedroom. In the online learning environment, you can study when and how you want to and often set your class schedule. You can also study from anywhere in the world.
 
This flexibility is great for students who have other personal commitments. Some may have younger children to look after. Others may be juggling work and studies. Regardless of the specific reason, online classes fill a need that traditional classrooms cannot. And online platforms are offered for many associates, bachelors and master’s degree programs.
 
The flexible schedule doesn’t mean the workload is any less for students who enroll in online schools. The course material and workload is on par with traditional schools. The only difference is that online students have more flexibility in where, when, and how they study.

Pro: More Affordable

Affordability is right up there with flexibility when it comes to the increasing popularity of online classes. Attending a brick-and-mortar university can be a fantastic experience. But that experience comes with a huge price tag. Most college students today have to take on huge loans to afford the ever-increasing college fees. By the time they graduate, they are thousands of dollars in debt, which can take years to pay off.

Students who enroll in online classes typically save money and don’t incur nearly as much debt as traditional students. Lower fees translate to thousands of dollars in savings by the time the student graduates. All you need is good internet access, some self-discipline and great attitude.
 
As an online student, you also save on the cost of textbooks, accommodation, food, and transport. This translates to another few thousands of dollars in savings per semester. Most students who study online don’t need to take any loans to cover these low fees.
 
When you consider all the savings, it adds up to a substantial amount.

Pro: Individualized Learning

Individualized learning means you get to study where, when, and how you want.
 
To start with, as an online student you aren’t boxed into a one-size-fit- all learning approach. Being able to attend classes when, how and where it suits you allows you to create a customized schedule that suits your learning style. If you’re a fast learner, you don’t have to wait for the whole class to catch up. If you’re a slow learner, you can take as long as you need without feeling pressure to hurry up. Plus, you still get hands-on experience through virtual group work.
 
The biggest benefit of individualized learning is that it allows you to harness your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. This makes it more conducive to learning. It also boosts self-confidence and self-esteem.

Cons of Online Classes

COn: Lack of Social Interaction

Social interaction is a huge part of the whole university experience. This is the time and place to make new, lifelong friends and learn crucial social skills. Online programs cut out in person group projects. These are projects are often important in developing students’ ability to work together with others. Additionally, it makes it difficult to take part in classroom discussions and gain new perspectives.

CON: Limited Choice of Courses

As online schools are becoming more mainstream, classes are still not available in all fields. You may be able to find plenty of virtual courses related to business, history, economics and languages. But you may find it much more difficult to find courses in chemistry, biology, engineering and other similar subjects. Hands-on laboratory learning is a mandatory requirement in all these courses. This is not yet possible through online learning. If your preferred course requires hands-on learning, this may not be an option for you.

Con: Requires a High Degree of Self Discipline

The extra flexibility and lack of accountability leaves room for students to procrastinate. Some students struggle to stay motivated and on track with studying and completing their assignments. Self-discipline, time management and organization are crucial skills for students taking online classes.

Con: Bad Reputation

Online classes have come a long way since they first started, with learning happening in multi-media formats. Yet, the unfavorable reputation they gained during their nascent years persists. Some organizations perceive applicants with an online education unfavorably as compared to students graduating from traditional universities. It is changing but slowly. This could be the biggest drawback of online classes for a career conscious student.

The Pros and Cons of Online Classes

There are both advantages and disadvantages to studying online. Your personality and learning style and the field you wish to major in are likely the biggest key in determining if online courses are right for you.

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