5 Things You Should Know About Online Classes Before You Register for One

The time has come on many college campuses for stressed out students to prepare for the unthinkable: next semester.  For many it’s the time to do everything in your power to avoid that 7:30am lecture Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and for others it's simply about making sure you don’t get that one professor.  One debate many students have with themselves is whether they should take a class online.  There are many pros and cons to this format of class and this article will list only a few, but here are some reasons to consider (or maybe not consider) an online class next semester.

  1. 1. Pro: You get to decide your schedule. 

    Forget that 7am alarm every morning, this class is all about you! Whether it’s at 11pm at night or 2pm in the afternoon, online classes can provide a lot of flexibility in time and structure of courses.

  2. 2. Con: You get to decide your schedule.

    If you are like me, this flexibility sounds great, but it comes with one tiny hitch: procrastination.  If I am not forced to sit in a classroom with a teacher and turn in my work on certain days, you better believe I will leave a whole week’s worth of online work until the very last hour and that can spell extra stress and struggles if I don’t take the time to come up with a schedule for when I am going to do this work. 

  3. 3. Pro: Location and Work. 

    Often, online classes mean little to no group work, so you get to do your work at your pace and are only responsible for you (bye bye GroupMe frustration!).  This also means you can pick where you do your work, whether that be your favorite coffee shop or your bed!

  4. 4. Con: You are all on your own

    No group work or class meet-ups can also mean you are faced with doing work you would normally do during class or as a group, by yourself.  Online classes are no walk in the park and you still have to put in the work without the support of a teacher or peers right there next to you.

  5. 5. Pro/Con: It’s about how you learn. 

    Sometimes online classes are a great fit for students! If you like to work independently and get frustrated listening to a teacher drone on and on, an online class can be a great way to work at your pace! If you need the structure and ability to ask questions of a teacher during class, then maybe an online class isn’t your best option.

Overall, if you are trying to decide between an online class or traditional class, consider a few things: how best do you learn, can you handle not having a structure for this class, and how important is this to you? If it’s a class for your major, maybe it’s worth taking the time each week to meet in person face to face with a teacher and peers to discuss and learn about your major together.  If it’s a university core curriculum? Maybe it’s not worth that 7:30am rise and shine call in the middle of dark and freezing cold January.  It all comes down to making the best decision for you, so good luck reader!