The Pros and Cons of Taking Online Classes

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THE PROS AND CONS OF TAKING ONLINE CLASSES

 

So, you’re thinking of enrolling in an online class and not sure if you should pull the trigger?  While online courses are a great way to catch up on your workload or get ahead for graduation, there are plenty of pros and cons that you should consider before you decide to take the plunge and enroll in one.  Remember, when in doubt, you can always reach out to your guidance counselor to help you figure out what to do.  They are a fantastic resource and will be able to talk you through it!

 

Without further ado, here are our top pros and cons for taking online classes next semester.

 

PRO #1 – THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO ATTEND

Because these classes are online, you don’t need to stress over actually getting to class.  Instead of planning ahead to make sure that you get to campus with enough time to find a parking spot and secure a seat in the lecture hall, you can simply open up your laptop and join in from the comfort of your own home!

 

CON #1 – THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO ATTEND

On the flip side, the fact that online classes are so easy to attend can be detrimental, too.  Many times students drop off in their attendance rate of online classes, since there is little or no accountability in terms of participation and actual attendance.  Because students tend to work at their own pace in online classes, they can fall behind, thinking that they’ll have plenty of time to catch up later.

 

PRO #2 – YOU ARE ABLE TO LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE

Many online classes involve an aspect of being “self-taught” – in other words, you can work at your own pace to teach yourself the material with what resources the professor is offering your class.  Whether it’s watching instructional videos, participating in an online discussion forum, or working on class projects, you can easily work at your own pace and focus on what you need to in order to best learn the material and work to get ahead.

 

CON #2 – YOU HAVE TO LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE

And again – this pro can absolutely be a con.  Rather than being upheld to a strict standard in order to pass the class, such as in an in-person lecture or lab, online courses allow for you to work at your own pace to learn the material.  As soon as you begin to fall behind or don’t understand something, you run the risk of digging yourself a hole that you can’t get out of before the end of the semester.  If you tend to put off work or have difficulties motivating yourself to learn on your own, this could be a trap that you will fall into with online classes.

 

PRO #3 – OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPLORATION

Last on our list of pros definitely involves the opportunity to explore other avenues.  If you’re feeling stuck in your major or minor and are interested in expanding your horizons and learning about something new that you may be very interested in, online classes are a great way to do so.  Majoring in Accounting but really drawn to Astronomy?  Enroll in an online class and see if that’s something that you would be interested in pursuing.  Thinking about switching your major from Law to Psychology?  Test out an online class before you take the plunge.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

All in all, online classes are a great way to help you get ahead on your coursework and supplement what you are already learning.  However, they do have some cons that need to be considered before you take the plunge and enroll in a class.  Always consider what your goals are before making your decision, and reach out to your guidance counselor if you need some good advise before you do.

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OCM Staff
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