Online Classes: Pros? Cons?

Are you skeptical about taking your classes online? Are you interested in knowing what an online class entails? Well you have come to the right place! Today’s blog post will be all about the pros and cons of taking classes online.

So if you already did not know, UIC offers several online classes each semester. Currently, I am taking 21 credit hours, and out of all those classes, my Marketing 360 class happens to be online. The reason why I chose to enroll in an online course was because I get to work at my own pace— anytime, anywhere, and any place!

Now, before you choose to enroll in an online class in your future semesters, it is important to consider both the pros and cons of online learning so you can be better prepared to face the challenge of working in this new environment, as well as take advantage of the opportunities that online learning has to offer.

Pros:

  • Flexible scheduling: The best part about online classes is the fact that the course is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For my marketing class, our professor puts up the PowerPoint at the beginning of the week, and we have the whole week to get familiar with the content. It is crucial that we know the material beforehand because this helps us prepare for virtual discussions that occur at the end of the week. This type of format is extremely convenient for me. So now,  if you also are working, and trying to balance six other classes--you now have no worries! You can log in to school whenever your schedule permits.
  • Convenience: Being able to participate in class while I am at home is great because I can log in whenever I have the time. This makes me more willing to learn because let's face it—sometimes it's nice to take a class at home in your pajamas!
  • Weekly discussions: My favorite part about the online marketing class is the weekly discussions. With online discussions, we as a class are required to respond to the course material by creating discussion posts that talk about the various concepts we learned from the book. We are also encouraged to comment on other student's posts so that we benefit learning from each other. These weekly discussions are great because I get to learn so much from my peers about the course material.
  • You control what you learn: It is important to keep up with the coursework and take part in the weekly discussions to get the best learning experience. In an online class, you are ultimately controlling what you learn. For instance, when there are smaller conversations taking place within discussion, we get the choice to read what we like and contribute what we want. While students should read all of their classmates' contributions, I find myself to engage in the parts of the dialog that most interest me. I feel that this way I have the ultimate control over what I want to learn. These discussions enable me to make my personal contribution to the course and at the same time, I am able to take away a unique mix of information from my peers that would be important to learn for the exams.
  • Access to resources: My professor puts up the PowerPoint at the beginning of the week, so we have access to these resources at all times. These resources further help to understand the material in the book, and are quite useful for weekly discussions!

Cons

  • Limited social interaction with students and professor: Online learning is not the same as learning face to face due to the limited social interactions with your peers and your professor. This may eliminate any opportunities for networking with your peers and creating relationships for the future.
  • Technology may not always work: It is important to have internet access to complete assignments and quizzes. If technology fails, then you may be missing out on the whole learning experience. This is why I always like to complete my assignments beforehand just in case!
  • You must be self-disciplined to succeed: It is important that you stay motivated to learn because you are responsible for falling behind. If you cannot work independently then online classes may not be for you.

 

I hope this post was beneficial for those of you considering to take online classes next semester!

Until next time,

Mariya