Long ago, before the Internet became a common tool in many homes and educational institutions, a person would have to dress up properly and travel to attend classes at an education provider’s premise. Many things had changed since the introduction of the Internet. Today, with the Internet, classes can be conducted online. Some educational providers have already realise the potential of having an online educational class that they have incorporated it as a part of their curriculum or as an optional way of obtaining a quailification. In some places, an online education class is a part of what is known as Open Learning.
Like their traditional counterpart, online classes also have advantages and disadvantages. If you are doing an online course, you may experience the following advantages.
1) You may save time and money from having to travel to attend classes. Before there was such thing as an online education class, a person had to at least walk to the lecture hall or a classroom to attend a class. The time taken to do so depends on the distance required to travel. If the person had to drive, he or she would have to spend some money on fuel. If the class was conducted in a foreign university, the person would have fly to the country and stay there for some time before completing the course. Today, with online education classes, you can go straight to your computer, log on to your Internet and start doing your lessons.
2) You don’t have to worry about what to wear. If you have to attend a class with other people with you, you may be worried about what your classmates will say about the way you dress up. When you at home attending an online class, you can wear anything you want or even be in your pyjamas.
3) You can attend a class at any time. When you attend a traditional class, you have to be on time because the class is only conducted on a specific day and commences at a specific time. You do not want to be late to miss any part of the lecture and this can be a stressful thing especially if you are running late. However, for an online class, where no actual human teacher is required, you can attend the class at any time as long it is available.
4) You may complete the entire course at your own pace. In a traditional setting, you will have to face the pressure of completing your course within a given period of time. If you are doing an online course, you may not be under such pressure as you will have more freedom in selecting the time and day to attend a class.
5) You do not have to be away from home for a long period of time. Before there was such thing as an online educational class, a person would have to travel to a foreign country if the course he or she was pursuing was offered by a foreign educational institution. In some instances, he or she would have to stay for more than a year to complete the course. The cost of education, travel, food, and lodging would be in the thousands and since he or she was an international student, he might have to pay a lot more. In addition to that, the person may have to experience some culture shock. Today, with online education classes, you can stay at home where you will not experience any culture shock and save thousands on education, travel, food and lodging.
6) You do not have to resign from your job. A traditional education system requires you to attend classes in locations that are away from your office. The time you need to travel to attend classes, and to complete your assignment may be so great that you will not have enough time to work. With online education classes, you can work around your schedule and stay in your job. Your employer may allow you to use your office computer to attend your online classes. If the online course is approved by your employer, you may be get at least a partial scholarship from him or her.
Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages that you may encounter while doing an online course. Here are some of the disadvantages.
1) You do not any get one-on-one attention. Sometimes, you may not understand something and therefore, you need someone to explain it to you. Although, you may get someone to explain to you online and and may even see the person via your computer screen, the impact will not be as good as having him or her physically with you to show you what you need to know. There are certain things that cannot be explained just with words and therefore, you will need someone to be next to you to clarify things for you.
2) You will miss the experience of a real college life especially if you have never set foot on any college or university campus before. Walking to lecture halls or classrooms along the paths surrounded by trees, using the library, and eating at the cafeteria can be a rewarding experience.You cannot experience all these when you are doing an online course.
3) For some courses, you are required to work in teams. Having the experience working on an assignment with a group of people may provide you the skills and experience for working with people in a real-life working environment. It may also help you to further develop your interpersonal communication skill which can be essential for your working life. The chances of working in a team is not as great if you choose to do a course online.
4) You may miss some facilities that may be free for students who are pursuing their courses on campus. When you only attending online classes without being at the university or college, you will not be able to enjoy the facilities offered by it.
5) You will miss meeting new friends. When you are attending classes on campus, there is a greater chance for you to meet new people than when you are attending online classes. The new people you meet may one day become your old mates. They may become the people who may provide you with assistance in the future or you may be a person who will be of great help to them.
6) Online education classes may be expensive. Although you do not have to use the facilities on campus most of the time or all the time, an online education course may cost a lot depending on the type of course you are pursuing and you may have to pay thousands of dollars for it.
7) Certain courses cannot be really conducted purely online. Certain courses that require you to perform experiments cannot be conducted online. It has to be conducted in a controlled and safe environment that is available on campus. This applies especially to science and medical related courses.