5 Myths about Online Classes

on March 14, 2017

The option to take a class online is still a somewhat new idea. As a result, there are a lot of opinions out there regarding the quality of this kind of education. You’ve probably seen those commercials on TV with girls in their sweatpants on their beds, laptop in hand, telling you that they’re earning their degree online, and it’s that easy. Compare that with the countless articles written about how classroom teaching is the only way to provide adequate socialization, group learning and teamwork skills.


It’s no wonder that as students scroll through their college catalog and learn that one of their courses is offered online, they aren’t sure what to believe. Check out these myths about online courses so you can make the best decision for your future.


Online Courses Are for Lazy People


Yes, some students will sign up for an online course just so they can stay in bed one more hour. An online class lets you go to class in your pajamas.


But, there are many reasons why students may take an online class. Some students take online classes because of their work schedule and have to fit the classes in around a full-time job. Some students have personal obligations that make physically going to class at a scheduled time a bit difficult. For example, a stay-at-home parent might need to be home for their children. Other students might just want to experience a class in the peace and quiet of their own off-campus apartment.


Everyone’s reasons are different, and few come down to laziness.


Online Courses Are Easier/Harder than Regular Courses


There are some who believe classes online, especially in areas such as math and science, would be too difficult. Others believe that content would have to be dumbed-down with fewer requirements to be offered online.


It’s important to remember that online courses, just like traditional classes, will have different degrees of difficulty depending on your college, your professor, your knowledge and your ability to learn new information. Changing the medium at which new information is taught will not automatically make it easier or harder than the traditional class.


Some students will find online classes to be more challenging because it requires good time management skills. Online classes are best for students who are self-directed and motivated to complete assignments on time. Students who lack discipline will not do as well in an online class.


Most Online Classes are Offered by For-Profit Colleges


According to the Babson Survey Research Group, 5.8 million students took at least one online class in fall 2014, and about half took all their classes online. Almost three-quarters (72.7%) of undergraduate students taking online classes were at public colleges.


Online Courses Aren’t as Good


Taking a course online could be a positive experience for your education, or it could be a negative one. It really comes down to how you learn, and what the course is in. If the course is something you know very little about, you’re someone who feeds off of others in a classroom setting, and you like to have in-person access to your professor, online courses are not for you. If however, you already know a thing or two about the subject at hand, enjoy being left alone to do your work at your own pace, and have no problem conversing with others over the computer to gain knowledge, then you might want to give it a go! It all comes down to your comfort level with the course and how you learn.


Employers Dislike Online Degrees


A 2010 survey of employers by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that half (55%) said that the source of a job seeker’s degree would not matter, regardless of whether it came from a traditional college or an online college. More than three-quarters (79%) said that they had hired someone with an online degree in the last 12 months. Still, about half had negative feelings about the quality of an online degree.

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