The Pros and Cons of Online Classes

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Many colleges and universities offer online classes for a variety of degree programs.

While they are typically geared toward busy students, online classes are great for those looking for a little more freedom in their school lives.

However, online classes aren’t ideal for some students. Whereas in-person classes allow students to develop a routine, online classes can be easier to forget and neglect.

If you’ve ever considered taking an online class, here are some pros and cons you should consider before you make your decision.

Pro: More flexibility.

Online classes are undoubtedly more flexible than in-person classes. With online classes, you can log on to your course website any time, and you can watch video lectures and other tasks all at once or in bits and pieces, depending on your schedule.

If you’re working full-time and can’t fit an in-person class into your schedule, an online class will give you the education you need in a format that is easier to manage.

Pro: More opportunities to work ahead.

Assignments for many online classes are posted at the beginning of the semester. This allows students to work at their own speeds, leading some students to finish the coursework several weeks early.

If you have some free time on a particular day, but you know your schedule will get busier in the future, online classes allow you to utilize your free time to go over the material and complete your assignments early, without the waiting hassle of an in-person class.

Con: No personal connection.

With many online classes, there are no opportunities to develop personal connections with classmates or the professor. You can likely see their names on the class list, but you won’t be able to have face-to-face conversations unless you set up meetings with them.

While this may not be a big deal for some students, others like to develop connections with classmates for homework help and study group purposes.

Developing relationships with professors is also important. Not only will they be more willing to help you if they know you personally, but they could also serve as references in your future job search.

Con: More personal responsibility.

Because there is no professor to occasionally remind you of assignments in person, it can be more difficult to keep track of all your tasks in an online class.

Your success in an online class will depend largely on your ability to be organized and self-disciplined. If this is a struggle for you, use your online class experience to develop these skills, as they will come in handy in a variety of other situations.

Though no two online classes are exactly the same, these positives and negatives can be applied to most all online classes. If you decide to take an online class next semester, good luck!

Profile photo of Holly Nelms
Holly Nelms studies Mass Communications at East Tennessee State University. She loves writing and hopes to become a journalist after graduation.

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