Online education is seen by some as a panacea for the issues the education industry experiences nowadays. Not only are good degrees inordinately expensive, they are also hardly worth the effort in the end. While getting a degree online is hardly a magical cure, it can help you overcome some of the difficulties on your way to a degree. Here are some of the positives and negatives associated with getting your degree from an online University that you might want to consider before making a final decision.
- Self-Pacing: Taking notes during a lecture is hard, and the likelihood of missing something important is ridiculously high. However, in an online classroom all you need to do is pause the video, reverse it, or google unfamiliar terms. Basically, you can do anything you need to really understand the material.
- Never Lose any Information: A lecture is given only once, so if you failed to grasp the key concepts, you’re in trouble. However, with courses hosted on online servers and available 24/7, all you need to do if you have forgotten something is look it up.
- Flexible Hours: If you have to deal with a demanding work schedule or family responsibilities in addition to studying, the advantages of being able to learn when time is right are obvious.
- Modernized Office Hours: Most professors who work in online schools, host chats or Skype sessions are opportunities for students to ask questions. This allows them to reach the maximum number of students at once instead of communicating with them one by one and wasting their time.
- No Immediate Answers: If you have a question during a lecture, in a traditional classroom you can just raise your hand and get the information you require. In the case of video lectures, you’ll have to wait till office hours or try to find the information yourself, which may be problematic if the subject you are studying is not the most widespread.
- Less Personal Interactions: The connection between the professor and students is fast nonexistent in virtual classrooms. If this is something that matters to you, you might feel like you are missing out or lose motivation to study.
- No Team Assignments: Most people I know will be happy about this, but the truth is that the group tasks help develop some essential skills that can later be used during interviews and in real life workplaces. You also lose invaluable opportunities for networking.
- Exams and Homework mostly Take the Form of Tests: There’s only that much good multiple choice questions can do. Knowledge gained in higher level courses that require thorough analysis and critical thinking just cannot be evaluated by filling out forms.
Currently, the brick and mortar educational institutions still have more to offer. Technology is constantly developing, but it is not at the necessary level yet. However, if money and flexibility are the deciding factors for you, don’t hesitate to pursue a degree online.