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Colleges Should or Should Not Offer Online Classes

Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. On the other hand, approximately 15 million students take all of their classes in a physical classroom. (Adkins) What do these number say about an online education? Well, they mean that there are both positive aspects and negative aspects to taking online courses.

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It turns out that there are many examples of both positive and negative reasons to enroll in or to not to enroll in an online class.Firstly, there are many advantages or reasons why someone would want to take an online course. One of the main reasons people take an online course is for flexibility of time. Flexibility of time corresponds to the online classes being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, usually. This allows for one to plan their classes around their schedule, rather than their schedule around their classes. For this reason, it is often popular for people who need to work but still want to get a college education. It is also popular for parents who are working or have small children they need to take care of.Another example would be someone who has difficulty waking up for morning classes. Online can be arranged so that you can work at your convenience of time. Another major contributing factor to a positive outlook on online classes is that there are virtually no geographical restrictions. As long as you can put yourself somewhere with Internet access, you can take the course. Along with the ability to be anywhere you want, you can also go nowhere and simply take the class from home. This means the student can save a multitude of time and gas money.A good example of someone who would utilize this would be someone who lives far away from a college, and still wanted to get a degree without having to commute back and forth many miles everyday. Online courses also give a student a larger variety of courses to choose from. If you attend a physical college, a course you might want to take may not be available. With online classes, all you have to do it some online research to find the course you are looking for. In addition to opportunity of a class being offered, there is also the opportunity of getting into a class.With online classes, the spaces offered may be greater because there are no physical limitations of space that may have limited the physical class. In addition to these obvious examples, there are a few subtle things that people may no realize at first about the advantages of online classes. One, for example, is participation. Some students may find it difficult to participate in class and therefore feel less intimidated in an online environment. Equally important for some, perhaps, is that there is no dress code. Unless there is a web cam involved, a student could be in their pajamas or even naked if they wanted to be.On the other hand, there are quite a few disadvantages to taking an online course. One of the main reasons that many people struggle with is the discipline and time management skills. There are usually a few deadlines, but besides that, the students are fully responsible for keeping up with their work and staying to a schedule. Procrastination can be a detrimental factor to failure for some. Self- motivation tends to be a key that some do not possess. Another main problem some students experience is a social problem. In this style of education there is no direct interaction with a professor in person.Some students may be okay with this but many progress and learn better from face-to-face interactions and attention from the teacher. Together with the professor are the fellow pupils that are in the class. Where as some students completely enjoy relaxing and taking a class alone, some find it very lonely and depressing. Classrooms are meant to have a welcoming environment. This environment can often be particularly difficult to replicate online. An important academic reason to perhaps not take an online class is the issue of transferring credits. Some institutions will not take online credit hours.This could obviously make your time spent on taking these courses completely worthless. For this reason, many people do not risk online courses and stick to physical classrooms with a definite reliable credit transfer capability. Finally, along with all of these examples, comes perhaps the most obvious one of all. To take an online course you need to have a computer. This means that the student has to actually be capable of using that computer too. Online courses are designed for ones own pace usually, but the majority of time spent on the task should not be figuring out how to work the computer.A student does not need to be a computer expert, but needs to be computer literate and relatively comfortable with the technology they will be using. The functioning of the computer not only depends on the student’s knowledge and skill, but also depends on the reliability of the computer. The computer is going to need to have at least a decent setup and also probably have a high-speed connection. For most even considering an online education this is usually doable, but it is not always the case.To sum it all up, online courses are a preferential decision based on an individual students research and the college’s interest in such a technique of learning. There are many positive and negative factors a college should consider before deciding to offer or not to offer online classes. The same can said for students deciding whether or not to take online classes. Online classes are a slowly increasing popular way of learning and teaching. The only way that one can decide to provide or take these courses is by looking at the research done and the facts known.