Online Education

Online courses have been increasingly popular for college students.  You may have seen television advertisements encouraging them to enroll in online classes.  One of the common reasons online courses are ideal for learning is that you can “attend” classes in the comfort of your home; doing the assignments and then submit them online.  Still, online education may not be for everyone.  You got to have a computer with good Internet access.  Another drawback is not being able to communicate with your professors face to face.  So apparently, online education does have its share of ups and downs.

Advantages

*Ease of access

Many people enroll for online classes simply because they can learn at home without going to campus.  Signing up for your courses is relatively simple, and there are many residential colleges that let students register for online courses at home.  You choose the courses you want, pay your tuition and books, and that’s it.  You are then free to look at your syllabus, set up days you want to submit coursework, take exams, participate in discussion boards – all online.

*No commuting required

You don’t have to commute to the campus for your online education.  This is another plus for college students.  There’s a college or university that offers programs you’re interested in, but it may be so far away.  So you would have to travel such a distance to attend it.  That’s not necessary with the online learning.  You don’t have to commute through bad weather on the road.  In the meantime, think about the gas money you’ll be saving just by staying put at home.

*Convenient for busy students

Online courses are ideal for students who are busy outside of school.  They have jobs, family priorities, or personal issues that seem to always get in their way.  With all the extra time you have with online classes, you can still go to work, take care of your family, and so on. 

Disadvantages

*Unable to visit professors

When you’re taking an online course, you probably won’t be able to see your professor.  Sure, you can e-mail the instructor questions or concerns you might have, but suppose you want a one-on-one conversation by mouth?  To do that, you would need to travel to the campus, even if it takes all day.  It might be worth the time anyway, once you have the problems solved.

*Little time to complete coursework

Some online courses have different timeframes.  This means the number of months (or weeks) you have to finish your classwork.  If you choose to enroll in an online class for ten weeks, all the assignments, quizzes and exams must be completed by the end of the tenth week.  That isn’t very long, and it could be stressful to some students.  Be sure you carefully choose a course that won’t have you rush through work before it ends.

*Computer problems

Unless you rely on a library for Internet access, you need a computer with a fast Internet connection.  Expect the unexpected; computer glitches are nothing unheard of to many students who tried to submit their assignments online.  There may be a power outage caused by a thunderstorm, and then the connection fails.  How will you do your work online now?  Make sure you have a good computer and Internet service handy.

Online education has its advantages and disadvantages, and it must be observed carefully.  If you’re a student who likes to stay at home and turn in assignments on your computer, this program is for you.  Taking online classes can be a thrilling experience, but it’s a good idea to learn the basics first.