Education

All the Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Classes Online

Written by Mike Parsons

The 1990s were the period when the concept of online classes became possible. Although the beginnings of online education were humble, more and more people take online classes today.

This is not only true of informal classes but formal education as well, as the coronavirus pandemic sent millions of children to virtual classrooms. However, there are several pros and cons of online classes.

Flexible hours

When looking for a job, candidates often ask about flexible working hours. If online classes were a proper job, then everyone would want them, as flexible hours are one of the biggest perks of educating yourself online.

Students are the ones who get to pick the timing of classes. In some cases, it’s even possible for learners to schedule deadlines for homework, if they work long hours, for example.

Whether it’s a learning platform or individual classes over Skype or Zoom, online classes are the most flexible or of education out there.

Motivation can falter

No matter how much you are into learning a new subject, your levels of motivation are going to falter. In traditional, live education, there are other students you can interact with, while in the digital realm, you are pretty much on your own.

Nothing can replace changing notes with friends when you were little and peer motivation that went on until college. Nearly all of the goals associated with online education are individual in character, which means that you will have to motivate yourself.

Self-motivation is an art of its own and is intrinsic to a small number of people. Being left alone with your computer is daunting, so students have to come up with a strategy (goals, goals, and goals!) to stay motivated until the end of the course.

You set the pace

Another perk of online classes is the fact that you get to set the learning tempo. You can take classes with other students but you are not dependent on them or the tutor in any other way. Lessons and materials that you find easy can be covered faster, while other content might take longer to imbibe.

This is great for learning languages, as you can jump levels if you are proficient enough. Moreover, e-learning resources can be accessed at your own pace, at just the right time. This way, you will never encounter an online course that is too fast or too hard for you.

Don’t count on scholarships

Offline education does have one thing going in its favor: scholarships. Getting into college, for example, is both hard and expensive, so it’s a huge relief for prospective students when they are able to secure scholarships for themselves.

However, there are few scholarships for online courses, the vast majority of them are set up with profits in mind. Tech support, the ability to learn at your own pace, and flexible hours come at a price, quite literally.

Admittedly, during the coronavirus pandemic, many countries have switched to online schooling but in this case, the government pays for tutors and LMSs. If you are looking for a scholarship or other forms of financial aid to finance your online lessons, then you are in for a disappointment.

Commuting becomes a thing of the past

Isn’t it a hassle to get up at 6 AM for a job that starts at 9 AM? Nobody likes the morning commute nor do they enjoy getting stuck in the afternoon rush hour. That’s why online classes that you can take in your jammies are perfect for individuals who are sick of commuting for education and/or work.

There are numerous upsides to physically not going to work. For once, you won’t have to spend money on fares or gasoline (the fuel prices soar every so often).

Moreover, you lose precious time commuting. In some countries, there are fast commuter trains but in other parts of the world, people spend hours stuck in traffic on their way to work. Finally, once you start taking online classes, your environmental footprint will radically drop overnight!

The limited number of class subjects

We have mentioned earlier how you can take an online curse to learn a new language. Whether it’s language acquisition or a cooking class, the total number of course subjects is vast but not exhaustive.

Namely, there are things that you can never learn online, such as surgery or getting military training, to name just a few examples.

Most of these occupations require practical experience that goes beyond the computer screen. However, if you are considering enlisting or becoming a doctor, you can start an online course to learn in theory what to expect from these professions.

We have attempted to provide you with an unbiased overview of all the advantages and disadvantages of taking online classes. In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences, as some folks will the fact they’ll no longer have to commute but others will experience a serious drop in motivation.

About the author

Mike Parsons

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