Online Classes vs. Campus Classes
In the 21st Century, online classes or distance learning has gained popularity among many students around the world. Many colleges are making it easy for students to earn degrees online via computers and internet through various modules such as the e-learning platform. Such students never set foot into a physical lecture hall or had hands-on experience from a tutor, and they just send or receive learning material via email or text messages. As much as the classes are popular, many are skeptical about such programs for some scholars prefer the traditional way of learning in a brick-and-mortar college. The two methods of learning have their pros and cons, but the choice made by an individual is entirely dependent on personal situations (Haynie Web).
Advantages of online learning
The main advantage of distance learning is flexibility. Every student can schedule their own time to take the virtual classes unlike traditional setup where one has to comply with the timetable lest they miss the lesson. Having to attend scheduled classes at a set venue and time will require students to adjust their work schedule or hire a nanny to look after the children in case of working mothers. With this privilege, they can go to work during the day and complete their schoolwork and assignments in the evenings and weekends. The provision of choosing the best time to attend classes in chat rooms gives students the benefit of studying at own time and pace. In addition, a student can finish the online courses required to graduate faster than those having to sit through a class at controlled times normally from Monday to Friday. The online forum allows students to take as many courses as possible, which leads to earlier graduation than those taking classes in brick-and-mortar colleges .
Another benefit that online classes offer to students is minimal cost. Students attending the traditional colleges have to pay for various services and amenities such as library, gym, residence and dining halls. This is unlike an online student who just meets the cost of the online course material and examination fees. Virtual libraries are available online where students can carry out research for their studies; thus, they are not denied the necessary tools required for their success. Although the resources in both setups are different, they both provide quality education that guarantees excellence in one’s field of study. Neither form of learning is superior to the other in terms of quality; students just need to choose the program that best suits their lifestyles, schedules, and convenience.
Online classes offer opportunities to many people in various parts of the world because all one needs is a laptop, internet and access to online resources. For example, one does not have to travel many miles from Asia to Europe to attend classes in order to earn a degree offered by a European University. The student can attend virtual classes, follow the teacher’s instructions, complete assignments and take examinations to graduate with the desired degree. This is in contrast to traditional forms of learning where the student has to travel to the university to earn the degree. This may limit the number of people willing to pursue international degrees because they are restricted by the cost of travel and accommodation in the foreign country.
Quick and free interaction
In terms of socializing and interactions, the traditional form of learning offers the best atmosphere for people to interact. Although online students still interact with other students and professors, they lack the privilege of tangible and face-to-face relationships, which are most preferred. However, some colleges have set up centers where students and professors can have physical meetups when necessary, but not many of the online students have time to interact. In addition, those learning through the traditional format have a chance to participate in teamwork through activities and projects (Stewart Web). They can also share ideas and discuss various topics with other students and professors. Although online programs offer discussion forums, they are not as efficient as those in brick-and-mortar colleges. This is because students may not always be available online and may miss on a scheduled forum.
In both formats, every student must make an effort to go through textbooks and other learning materials, and follow their teachers’ instructions in order to succeed. They also need to complete assignments, which contribute to the overall grading of the student. All students must take the necessary tests and examination to assess their mastery and knowledge of the subject. This is crucial in order to acquire accreditation in the form of a degree at the end of the learning session. Some colleges offering online studies are not accredited institutions. It is significant for one to look into a college before enrolling in a program to ensure that it complies with the set standards. Unaccredited institutions will offer degrees that are not acceptable by employers because they lack competency and are not acknowledged as reputable (Stewart Web).
Distance learning has become the new face of learning in America and across the globe, which has significantly revolutionized learning and promoted globalization. Although online courses have become so popular, not many students have embraced them because of various reasons, either personal or otherwise. It is, however, clear that traditional form of learning will never be phased out because many are still stuck with it despite the popularity of online classes. This is because traditional classes offer enormous sociological and pedagogical benefits not offered by distance learning. However, the form of learning chosen is entirely a personal decision.