There were tons of changes that were made due to coronavirus- one of the more impactful ones to college students was how available online courses became. This change wasn’t subjective just to college students, but to students of all ages everywhere. We are now more than ever able to decide if we want to literally stay home all day and do our classes from our bed (if your professor allows it) through zoom, if we want to have a full schedule of face-to-face classes where you sit in a classroom with your peers, or if you are like me you enjoy having a mixture of both!
So let’s dig into the pros and cons of each choice to help you better understand your options and figure out which way is best suited for you!
Create your own schedule-
Half of the fun of having all or even some online courses is that they are extremely flexible and you essentially get to create your own schedule! You can learn from anywhere at anytime! As long as you are learning the material and meeting the deadlines set by the school and your professors, you should have little to no issues creating a schedule that works in your favor!
More than 80% of college students commute to class, and this is a range of 20 minutes to upwards of an hour spent in a car driving at least to class, not to mention back home. A lot of students are able to use this extra time to complete coursework and study for upcoming exams. Dealing with traffic, campus parking, and just driving in general is unappealing because of the vast amount of time it consumes from a busy college student’s day.
When you are taking online classes you are responsible for managing your own time. If you don’t have strong time-management skills or are unsure if you can better yourself at time-management then maybe online courses aren’t the thing for you. It is especially important to have your priorities in order when taking online courses, you don’t have any physical time constraints and thus that means it is up to you to be on top of your coursework.
When taking online courses you are able to make your courses adapt to your learning style. If you are a person that thrives on visual learning majority of professors will be more than happy to give you video tutorials, or provide zoom courses, most online courses already come with a powerpoint slide but if one is not provided you can always ask your professor for one or see if a previous or current student in your class has created one. The same can go for auditory learners, note takers, and all other types. If reading the material isn’t working for you just reach out to your professor and see what can be done for you to better absorb the material.
One of the things that you gain from taking in-person classes is social skills and networking connections. Building connections within your field is important for any major! There is a major gap in personal connection building when you take classes online. Even if you are taking zoom classes and required to participate, the chances of you developing a relationship with any of your peers is significantly low compared to in-person classes.
We listed creating your own schedule and time-management under the pros but they can also be a con! Developing a routine and sticking to it is a very tricky process and requires a lot of self-discipline. If developing a working schedule and following through with good time-management practices is hard for you, maybe sticking to a structured in-person class schedule would be a better option.
For some (but certainly not all) colleges charge a little bit extra in tuition for online courses. The extra cost that may occur is something to check out before committing to online courses. Try speaking to your college about discounts, grants, or scholarships that can be applied to online courses.
This one may seem obvious, but you need good access to the internet if you are going to do your schooling online. A functional computer or laptop as well as semi-high speed internet is a must when taking online classes. Having a computer crash sucks on any normal day, but it sucks a lot more when you’re in the middle of a class or even worse finishing up a class assignment! If you don’t have access to a well functioning computer or laptop- reach out to your advisor or a professor on your campus! Oftentimes there are laptops that can be rented or loaned out through a subcategory on campus, there may even be laptops that you can checkout from either your campus or local library!
These are important things to consider when contemplating making the transition from in-person to online courses. If you are a fan of either online courses or in-person classes, email us and let us know your experience taking them at Taylord@apsu.edu! We’d love to hear from you!