Many colleges offer online courses for students to take in place of a real, physical classroom. While this may seem enticing to many students of our generation, these courses are not always the right way to go. Before you register for online classes, make sure you take some time to determine if the pros outweigh the cons.
Firstly, choosing an online class should be determined by your level of interest in the course material. If it is a subject that you are highly interested in, then a face-to-face experience is probably the best option for you. While an online class would still cover the same material, a more personal environment is beneficial to those who care deeply about a class.
Now, maybe you're on the other end of the spectrum. Suppose you're a Business major, and the last thing you want to do is go to a 8:00 AM history lecture. If you're not as invested in learning about history, than you might benefit more from an online class. Online classes can be especially helpful for those who have packed schedules or have jobs that take up a good chunk of their time.
Online classes do give students time flexibility, but there still is a time commitment. All of the online classes I've taken renew on a weekly basis, meaning you must complete assignments by the end of each week. That doesn't sound too bad, but letting it stack up until Sunday night can be a bother. So, try to gauge how much work is required per week in the class and plan accordingly.
Online classes also typically have forums where students post and respond to one another, online quizzes, and varying amounts of tests (depending on the class).
Another factor to take into account is keeping up with the class. Without a physically present professor, it can be easy to lose track of assignments and remember to turn in homework and quizzes on time. If you're really good at staying organized, then keeping up with assignments shouldn't be a problem. Even if you aren't as good with organization, professors are usually good about emailing weekly reminders to the class.
Mississippi College has Moodle, a website where students and teachers can interact in a sort of "digital classroom." Moodle makes talking to professors and completing assignments much easier.
Online classes are a great resource for students, but their not the answer to you problems. They definitely aren't the easy way out. These courses still push you to learn new things and grow as a student. If used in the right circumstances, online classes are beneficial to the student because it offers them an alternative that still furthers their education.
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