It seems like online education is the next step in the evolution of school. Online classes can be taken through online schools, virtual learning programs, and online universities. Students are able to take online courses at their own pace; meaning they don’t have to wait at home for class to start or speed up/slow down for other students in the same online class. The online education movement has been picking up speed over the last decade, becoming more and more common with high school students, college students, and adult learners.
Like anything else online, there are both positive aspects of online education as well as negative aspects. This article will explore each aspect in-depth. So, what are the pros and cons of online education?
– No more boring lectures; online classes can feature online lectures, videos, online tutors (in person or online), online textbooks/materials/notes, online homework help (tutoring services like Tutor.com), online discussion boards, and anything else students can think of online.
– Ability to take online classes at their own pace; meaning students can go back and rewatch online lectures or read online textbooks/materials/notes over again, watch online lectures multiple times if they need to, complete online homework whenever they need to (and re-do it again later), speed up the learning process online to catch up with online classes, and take online classes at their own pace.
– Online education programs can be more affordable than traditional colleges or online high schools since online learning means that the school doesn’t have to pay for physical classroom utilities (chairs, desks, white boards, books/notes/materials for students to use).
– Ability to work online and take online classes. This is helpful for online high school students who may work part-time while they’re still in school and online college students who also hold a job (and online graduate students).
– Distance learning; meaning online education programs can be taken from across the world, allowing people access to education regardless of where they live. This also means online education can be accessible to people with disabilities/people who live in remote areas/people whose schedules conflict with online courses at traditional online high schools or online colleges.
– Online college students may have access to online tutoring services, online homework help, online discussion boards, online online lectures, online videos to watch online, online textbooks/materials/notes to read online, and other online materials.
– Online learning also means less distractions in the classroom. The online student can focus on online classwork without worrying about other students in the same online class who may distract them when they’re taking an online test or when they’re online working on online classwork.
– Ability to communicate online with other online students, online teachers/professors/TAs who may answer online questions, online tutors (in person or online), online discussion boards for students to post their thoughts/comments on forums other students are posting in, research papers, etc.
– More classes are becoming available online than ever before. This means students have more online classes to choose from and online classrooms/online learning communities for students to join online.
– Some students learn better by watching videos/listening to lectures instead of reading written material, which is why there’s an increase in online education programs and online online courses online.
– Some high school students go to online schools for homeschooling purposes online, which is why online education programs/classes are becoming more common online.
– Many adults who want to go back to school take online classes since they’re the most convenient and the cheapest (can be free or very cheap compared to other types of schools).
– Many college students choose online classes because they may not live near an online school and travel to an online school would be a hassle (or too expensive).
– Not all online schools courses are free or cheap. Some online colleges charge a lot for tuition.
– It can be difficult to find an online class that fits into your schedule since many online classes have time requirements.
– Not all online schools offer online courses with a specific major. This means you may be forced to search for an online course that fits into your schedule and also has the same major as you want.
– Not all online schools have homework help, textbooks, notes or other materials that you may need to access.
– The teacher/professor/TA of the online course may not be available when you have questions about class work.
– Online courses have limited resources for students to use since they’re virtual classrooms. This means students may not have access to certain resources (library, laboratories, etc.) that other students who attend traditional online schools or brick and mortar online schools have.
– You may not know what you’re getting yourself into when you sign up for an online course since they’re virtual classrooms. This means some courses may be more difficult than others and the coursework may be more difficult than you thought it would be (which means more time and effort on your part).
– You must make sure an online school is accredited or ask if they’re nationally recognized before signing up for classes. Not all online schools are reputable and some don’t offer programs that can help students succeed in the workforce/be successful after college. This means you must research an online school to make sure it’s accredited and offers programs/courses that will help you succeed.
– There may be limited communication between students in the same online class since they’re virtual classrooms. This means some online students may get lost or confused about certain assignments or get frustrated because they can’t ask questions about their work.
– Not all online courses have a set schedule or a set duration. Some online classes start and end at different times of the year and some may last indefinitely (meaning students can sign up for an indefinite amount of time). This means you must pay attention to when certain online courses are offered so you can sign up for them since it’s up to you when you want to take the course.
– Not all online courses offer after class support, such as homework help and tutoring. This means you must rely on your own self to learn material and do well in an online course since there’s no one who can help you with the coursework or provide additional help outside of school hours (unless the professor/TA is available to do so).
– It can be difficult to find an online college that you feel comfortable with since it’s virtual. This means you must research information about an online college before signing up for classes, which is time consuming and may take a long time (especially if you’re looking for reviews about the school).
– You may not know what to do if you fail an online school course since there are no other students to ask for help or the professor/TA may not be available.