The Pros and Cons of Online Classes

Are they for you?


Marquet A. Johnson

Students attending classes online.

Paul Jo

As a returning student, things have changed since the first time I enrolled in 2010. Technology all around and classes have improved; the way that we learn and teach has adjusted to advancements in technology. One of the results of this adjustment is the growth of online classes. I had never taken any online classes until this semester and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was nervous that I was not going to be able to do it because I am a visual learner and prefer being in a classroom environment, which is what I’ve always been used to. I am currently taking two and one is a required class that is only offered online, so I know I had no choice. The other one I wanted to take because it would help with my work schedule.  I talked to a couple of other students to see what they felt about and had experienced in online classes.

The first person I spoke to was Ruby Brayton, who has had a good experience with online classes while studying at Howard Community College.

Marquet Johnson

“I like that I get to be independent regarding the amount of work I have and when it’s due,” she stated. She emphasized the importance of how online classes are a great opportunity if you have other responsibilities besides schooling. Ruby stated, “I think it’s a wonderful idea for any student who has other responsibilities outside of school or has difficulty doing well in a traditional classroom setting. I’ve really enjoyed it so far and highly recommend it.” I also spoke with another student, Fai Agbaje. Fai has also taken an online class at Howard Community College, but would not take another or recommend it to other students. Fai said, “I will not take an online class again; I disliked it because I don’t learn well on the computer and prefer to be face to face. I learned that I understand things better face to face.” 

So far for myself, I agree with Ruby that on-line classes are a great opportunity for people who have kids, jobs and other responsibilities and cannot get to classes because of scheduling conflicts. However, I also agree with Fai about being a face to face learner. I find that I learn better with someone physically teaching me, being able to ask questions on the spot, and having visuals to follow. I’ve been adjusting to doing online assignments, especially remembering deadlines for them since I don’t have someone physically telling me when assignments are due in class.

A struggle that some people also could have is having access to a computer or electronics to reliably access online assignments. It would be hard to do assignments online if you don’t have a computer or if your technology is unreliable. The library and computer labs on campus close, and you would have to be there by a specific time to be able to do the assignments. While you can always borrow a laptop from the computer lab in room CL129, regularly returning and borrowing could be hard for people who have many other commitments. There are some things that all students should consider before enrolling in an online class: what they want out of the online class, whether they are compatible with that type of learning, and whether they have access to technology. Here is a website that will help with your decision on if online classes are for you.