Every fourth student now takes online courses – either as part of a completely online program or joins classes on campus. The benefits of participating in online classes are many. They offer additional flexibility for busy students, especially those who balance school with work and family. They can attract professionals looking for career advancement, parents wanting to better support their families, and returning students who want to pick up where they left off. In addition, many courses allow you to work comfortably in your own direction. Are online classes easier?
Online classes are not an easy way
One of the most frequently asked questions on this subject is: “Is online classes easier?” Simply put, the answer is “no”.
Choosing online instead of traditional courses is not an easy path to education. It is true that online courses offer the flexibility of learning in your own time and space, but this does not change the amount of work you put in. You still have the same amount of work – only without a formal class setting.
The flexibility of online classes can be extremely helpful for busy students, but the same freedom also creates additional pressure on enrolled students. The ball is on your pitch – which means you must avoid distractions and stay on track.
Danger of delaying
In the classroom, instructors often participate, and the personal presence of both the instructor and other students can serve as a motivator and prevent students from delaying. For an online course, although tasks may be due weekly, they can easily be left behind. Flexibility does not mean that students can give up work at any time. Without strengthening the class, which meets every day or several times a week, it can easily become unmotivated and put off work until the student is so far behind that catching up is almost impossible. A student in an online class has a much greater challenge in avoiding delay than a student in a regular class.
Universities and colleges want students to be successful. Therefore, they explain what types of technical resources a student must have easy access to before registering for an online class. And yet students often register for these classes when they know that they do not have access to reliable Internet or when they cannot afford the specific computer program necessary for the class. If you are thinking about online classes, carefully read the university’s materials regarding technical requirements. If you don’t have access to some of the necessary programs, can you afford to buy them before starting the online class? What will you do if your Internet stops working and you have the right job? After accessing the class, find out what popular programs, such as Adobe and Flash, are needed to access classroom materials, and then don’t wait for them to be downloaded. Install everything you need for a semester before it’s really busy. This way you will be prepared. “Plan B” is always necessary when we are dealing with technology and online classes are not different.
A word for last
Online courses can be great educational opportunities for students whose schedules or situations do not allow them to attend classrooms. However, they are usually not easier than personal activities and are often more difficult. The compromise is not only the flexibility of online courses, but also the opportunity to develop better time management and self-discipline skills that will serve students in every area of life.