There are critics of both online classes and campus classes for college education. There are also advantages and disadvantages to both learning choices. No matter which educational medium you choose, both options can give you a sound education. If you are deciding between taking online classes or sticking strictly to attending campus classes think about the following pros and cons when making your decision.
Attending campus classes means you are required to follow the schedule the school gives you. You have no choice on when to attend classes or work on assignments. You may have a few class time choices, but overall you will need to arrange your personal schedule around school. Early classes have you rising before the sun, and late classes interfere with personal time and takes time away from spouses and kids. Other times, the only class scheduled falls during a time you must work. This means you either skip taking the class or ask your employer for the time off. Skipping the class means you increase the amount of time you need to stay in school. On the other hand, employers are not too keen on giving employees time off for an extended period of time.
Online classes do not have a scheduled time so you can access them whenever you have free time at home. You do not need to take time off work or miss class because you are sick. Online classes give you the freedom to work at your own pace as long as assignments are turned in by the due date. There is no commute to and from the class unless you count walking from your couch to your computer.
Campus classes do offer social interaction that is lacking with online classes. You will get to hear other theories and opinions from fellow students on class topics. Your professor will be able to relay even more theories to you during lectures. Group projects help you practice group management skills and feed off others ideas. You also have a greater chance of making friends and possible important acquaintances. It is also easier to ask for references from professors who have met you first-hand and know who you are.
Online classes are isolated, with the only interaction being on discussion boards and email. You still hear ideas and theories, but they do not have the same impact as hearing them from the person. It is also harder to sense emotion on a typed discussion board. If students begin debating a topic, the chance of people getting upset or offended is increased because you cannot tell the emotion behind the words. You also have to consider computer problems when taking online classes. Internet connections are not always stable and if you happen to hit the submit button at the wrong time you may jeopardize your grade.
Make a pro-con list when deciding between online and campus classes. Mull over the advantages and disadvantages of each type. If you still struggle with the decision, try taking one online class to see how you like it.