It’s the end of the week and you’re feeling pretty proud of yourself. You’ve managed to balance a long week of work and assignments but what did you forget once again?
That’s right, the stupid online class you enrolled in.
This was my experience while attending community college.
I was trying to get ahead in units, and my counselors at the time advised me to take two online courses over the summer. At the time it didn’t sound horrendous, I thought it would be a walk in the park to not have to physically show up for a class.
Boy was I wrong.
I found myself constantly telling myself that the online work could be put off and completed after work. As a result, assignments were not given the effort that it would have received if I wasn’t enrolled in a virtual classroom.
Quite frankly, I got lazy and online classes exacerbated it.
The lack of face-to-face interaction in online classes can make it harder to reach out for help or seek clarification for shy students. Online classes severely limited my availability to interact with my professor. Hell, I don’t think I ever even messaged one online teacher I took now that I think about it.
Email can be an efficient form of communication for simple things, not if you’re trying to communicate throughout the duration of a course.
There was no option for me to be able to see how well my assignments were received when I couldn’t physically read my professor’s body language or hear their tone. Discussion threads were a circle-jerk of agreeing with the same concepts that were reworded multiple ways.
And did I learn anything from them? Hardly.
According to a 2017 study, Brookings Institution found people that are enrolled in online courses are likely to score 0.44 points lower on a 4.0 GPA scale than students not enrolled in online courses.
When I reflect on how many times I’ve met with professors during office hours and the help that it offered me, I can’t help but think if that wasn’t an option for me I wouldn’t be able to as successful as I’ve been.
A university serves as a domain to connect with faculty and instructors and by taking online courses, you forfeit the connections you could have made.
There are definitely advantages to online classes for students and by no means do I mean to discredit students who take online classes to better themselves and further their education.
The reality though is that If I would have taken only online courses prior to transferring to Long Beach State, I would have been severely underprepared.
A 2015 study conducted by the University of California, Davis found that community college students throughout California were 11% less likely to finish and pass a course if they opted to take the online version instead of the traditional face-to-face version of the same class.
Consider next time when enrolling in that next online course if convenience is more valuable than a face-to-face education.