There are many advantages of taking online college classes. It is less expensive than taking classes through the traditional college campus. Individuals who are introverts find it more comfortable to get involved in classroom discussions. It takes a shorter amount of time to get a college education. However, while there are advantages, there are also disadvantages with taking online college classes.
1. There is a lack of group interaction.
You do not get the opportunity to meet your classmates and teacher on a face-to-face basis. While some individuals will not find a problem with this, some feel that they are missing out on the college life experience. They want to share stories of things that went on during their college years. You have to decide if you want to go to college to get an education or to have a fun time.
Each online college has different requirements. Sometimes you may have to log in several times a week and post to the different discussion boards. Other times there may be no attendance requirements. Most online classes have a course syllabus of what assignments and papers are due each week. Still, it is very easy to put off these assignments. If you are going to take online college classes, you are going to need to make a commitment so you do not fall behind in your classes. As with the traditional classes you need to effectively manage your time.
3. It is easier to cheat on exams
Each online college does something different when it comes to exams. Some college campuses, such as University of Phoenix, do not have exams. The administrators believe that the students gain a better education by being involved in classroom discussion and group activities rather than trying to study and retain information. Other campuses require students to take exams. Unless if you are required to have an individual supervise you while you are taking a test, there is no way to know if you are cheating by looking at your notes. The question that you have to ask yourself is how much are you willing to learn if you take online college classes?
4. You will need a computer and know how to use different programs
The biggest requirement you will need is a computer with high speed Internet access. If you have a computer that is several years old, you will have to consider getting a newer one; the older ones will not be updated enough to access all parts of the online campus. The main software requirement is the latest version of Microsoft Office. Your papers will be written using the Word Program. You will also be required to do presentations using MS PowerPoint. If you do not have a computer and cannot afford to get a new one, you can use one at your local library or rent one at an Internet Cafe. However, these are only open at specific times. This will not work if you want to work on a paper during the night. With the limited amount of computers at these places you may not find one that is available at a time that is convenient for you.
5. Computer issues
Computers are known to crash. This is especially true when you are in the middle of writing a paper. Imagine the frustration of having a paper that is near completion one second and totally wiped from your computer’s memory the next. Always make backup copies of your papers to prevent you from losing your work.
6. Each online college is different from the other.
You need to research several different online campuses to find one that will suit your needs. Look for a school that is accredited. If you already have college credits, find out which ones accept them.
7. Difficult to complete group projects
Most online campuses require you to be involved in several group activities throughout the course of the class. It is almost impossible for the members of a group to be online at the same times each day. It is difficult to get a project done if there is a lack of communication between the team members.
8. Expect to spend a lot of time online
Expect to spend twenty to twenty-five hours a week online. This is different than the traditional campus where you go to class three hours a week per class. If you are planning to be a full-time student in the online setting, you will be spending a majority of your free time online. Some online campuses, such as University of Phoenix, have programs on a one-class-at-a-time basis. The way this works is you take one class for six weeks. When you are done with that class, you start the next class. This is an excellent method where you are not overwhelmed.
With these disadvantages, you will know if you have what it needs to take online college classes. If you are self-motivated and can set goals for each of your classes, you are on your way to an enriching college experience.