How effective are online classes? [opinion piece]

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It’s an option you hear all about from your counselors. “If you don’t have room in your schedule, you can just take the online class.” “The online option is just as good and you’ll earn the same credit!” But is the online class actually just as rigorous and rewarding as taking the course in person?

The answer is both yes and no, in different ways. Online classes are undoubtedly easier to cheat in, and as a result, a lot of the students enrolled in them will not really learn the material; they can just look up the answers and forget it all once they make a decent grade on their tests. That being said, it is also much easier to study online materials, so online students who actually care about their courses can learn much more thoroughly and keep all their information in an easy folder to access that can never get messy.

Time management is also one of the problems with online classes. Many students prefer online course time management, myself included. The weekly deadlines are beneficial because if a student has a bad day and does not feel up to working, their grade does not have to suffer nor would they be a disruption for other students in a traditional classroom setting. They can just make up the work the next day. However, other students cannot manage their time without daily reminders for their teachers. They will end up leaving all their work until the last day, and this makes for a very stressful situation. This also makes it extremely easy to fall behind and not be able to catch up.

Online courses cannot be ruled as strictly good or bad; like any class, there are positives and negatives. And, like any class, the result ends up depending on the student and their effort more than the class itself.