School News

Why is Distance Learning the Best and the Worst?

- Dec 18, 2013      Archive

When a student is considering taking a course, one of the important questions they ask themselves is should I take an online course or should I take an in class course? The conventional in class course is good for some and so is an online course. So how do I know what is best for me?

Negatives of in-class course:
One item of importance is what is the time element that one has to take the course? Students that are working during the day so their only option it to take the course in an evening arrangement should definitely consider taking an online course. For a student to attend a course that goes two nights a week for two or three month is just not good for learning or the pocket book expense of travel to and from school. But anther real negative here is that by the time the student starts the course and then finishes the course two plus months later, the individual forgets the important aspects of the content of the beginning of the course. You hear the material once. That’s it.

Once the student leaves the classroom, they are on their own until the next session. Unless the student taped the lecture or took very good notes, many students are not going to retain all that was discussed. Plus, many students once they leave the classroom don’t think about the course until the next session.

Negatives of an online course:
Students that take an online course, certainly have to be more self-starters. Whether you work on the course or not, no one is going to tell you that you have to go to class at 7:00 P.M. Most online courses are on-demand (meaning the student can access the course on their time), as a result, if a student has a question, the instructor response is not going to be instantaneous. Another negative side to online courses are that there is no social interaction with other students, and sometimes students are looking for that student interaction.

Positives of an in-class course:
In an in-class course environment, many times if you have question or an areas where you might have some confusion and you can directly, in real time, get a response from an instructor to clear the matter up. If you’re a procrastinator, an in-class course has a certain time to attend, eliminating the question of putting the course off for another time.

Positives of an online course:
An online course forces one to do the assessments. You can’t be lazy taking an online course for you need to be continually involved in the process. The course never really goes away for the material of course is readily available all the time. Repetition is the key to learning. You can see and hear the material again and again.

Frank L. Cooke, Jr.