Online Courses: the Pros and Cons

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Online Courses: The Pros and Cons
By Melody
More and more students are taking online classes. They are advertised on the radio, television, and billboards, promising convenience and opportunities. Even traditional universities are now offering online classes in conjunction with their normal “brick and mortor” classes. In actuality, online classes only appear to be easier and more convenient. Online course are more difficult and time-consuming than traditional classroom courses although they have afforded many bright and industrious students unprecedented opportunities to further their education.

The stigma behind online classes has led them to be less respected than traditional classes. In an effort to increase enrollment, many universities advertise that they offer online courses in which a student can quickly and conveniently earn their degree. This has two potentially negative consequences. First, employers who have never experienced a classroom setting in an online environment assume that these degrees are not as reputable as those from schools that exclusively offer traditional courses. Secondly, students enroll in these online courses with the mistaken belief that they are going to be quick and easy. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth.

Online classes are more time consuming than in-classroom courses. In almost all courses, participation makes up a portion of everyone’s grade. Most professors count participation points as 10% of a student’s total grade. This 10% can easily be obtained in a classroom environment where a student can speak to peers and professor about a particular topic. However, online courses use a discussion board for communication, where the students and professor post responses to a discussion. The continuous posting by the students and professor makes spelling, grammar, and punctuation an unprecedented factor in a student’s participation points. Although online professors typically overlook spelling and...
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