Technology has taken over in most of the fields in today’s world, whether it's Medicine, Farming, Production or any other industry, then how can Education be an exception, right? Yes, technology has entered the industry of education as well, giving birth to the concept of “Online Schools” or “Online Colleges”. People are preferring online schools and colleges over traditional schools and colleges. So, what makes these “Online Schools” and “Colleges” stand out.
According to an article published in AffordableSchools.net since the 1990s, online higher education has become increasingly popular. As per the National Center for Education Statistics, 6.65 million students take online college courses. Nearly half, or 3.1 million, complete their entire degree online. Thirty-three percent of American post-secondary pupils now take at least one distance course. The Sloan Consortium has reported a 21 percent uptick in online course enrollment. Online colleges are continually launching new courses and programs to expand their virtual access. Studying online comes with plenty of perks, especially convenience and affordability. However, there are always two sides to a coin. Let’s discuss in detail some of the pros and cons of online schools and colleges.
Pros Of attending An Online College
One of the biggest advantages of Online School is that no matter which part of the world you reside in, you can study. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Many students go abroad to study and some also change their states or cities to complete their schooling or higher education. Many students also struggle hard to get acquainted with the climate or the environment of the new city or state. But in the case of online schools, students do not have to face these challenges.
Many students have to travel from one place to another, may be from their house to college or may be from a nearby paying guest or a rented apartment where they are residing in. Travelling is a huge hurdle faced by many students. Online Schooling solves this problem as well.
Unlike traditional or conventional colleges or schools, in online schools or colleges the class timing is flexible. One can watch the video delivered by a particular lecture at any given point of time. You even don’t have to prepare notes because you can go back and see the lecture delivered by your professor at any given time. The classes are also scheduled in such a way that you can log in and log out any point of time you wish.
Variety of Course
Whether it is humanities, business, arts, philosophy, technical course or any other course like photography, 3D printing, learning guitar or any other musical instrument, you just name it and you will find an online course for that particular subject. There are a wide range of course starting from life training, psychology to courses like Big
Data, Hadoop, Machine learning etc. There is a vast option of courses when it comes to online platforms. You may say, “Sky is the limit.”
Diversified Student Body
Another advantage that we can talk about is the diversified student body. The world has become a global village due to the advancement in technology, so when it comes to online platforms of education there can be students from different parts of the world joining together to listen to a particular lecture. Since students from all over the world have access to technology, they can get a diversified bunch of peers or classmates or friends whom they can talk to and interact with.
Development in technical skills
Since by using this online platform, a student will only have a virtual mode of interaction, so they will be more technology dependent. They will end up learning a lot of technology savvy tools like Microsoft powerpoint, MS word, MS excel etc. They will be using google docs for sharing their document, google hangouts, zoom, skype etc for meetings, webinars etc. with their peers and profs.
Cons Of Attending An Online College
Lack of peer interaction or social circle
As a growing teeenager or may be a professional who has chosen online studies to complete his/her higher education, you will never get the feeling of meeting your peers physically or hanging out with them or may be a discussion about your homework or assignment in the cafeteria or canteen. This might lead to lower self esteem in future in case of teenagers and young adults.
You might not get to see a real classroom with a set of classmates and friends which many of you will be missing in future because the human touch will be missing in case of online studies.
Limited Access to Professors’ guidance
Like a regular classroom where your professor pays a lot of attention to you and is always available in the campus for doubt clearance, you might not receive such kind of guidance and support from your professor. You will probably get to see a few recorded videos of professors or maybe a live class taken by a professor where either you can drop a message or maybe you can send a mail to your professor for your doubt clearance. There may not be enough chances to clear doubts on the go unlike that in traditional colleges.
Self-motivated to complete your studies
You have to be self motivated to complete your studies, because there will not be any professor to monitor your activity. Either you learn to finish your course on time or it is recommended that you attend a traditional college course or degree.
Won’t be part of extracurriculars
Usually schools and colleges do provide a lot of club activities like music, singing, dancing, sports, photography etc for the overall development of a student. But in case of online schools and colleges mostly you will not be a part of any such activities.
Check For Accreditation
Whenever you are applying for a program in a school, make sure that you check the credibility of the course. If that program is not accredited, then your degree won’t have any value. So do a proper research about the course and the site before enrolling yourself in that particular program.
All in all, online classes or courses have a lot of advantages as well as disadvantages. It varies from person to person, their personal interests and their key focus areas. Ensure that you do a thorough research before making any final decision.