Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Should I Attend School Online or in a Traditional Classroom?

I recently responded to a Reddit query from an individual seeking guidance on whether to attend school online to earn his degree. To that end, I share what I've learned and observed as an instructor and student in online and traditional classrooms settings.

I rely heavily on visual and verbal cues in the classroom, not to mention the energy of a live audience. If you find that environment most conducive for learning, you may struggle with online work as much of what I described is absent or markedly different (and takes time to adjust to).

Studying online seems to require more effort. For one, it’s easy to get distracted (you think you can multitask because no one sees you). Second, staring at a computer screen can be more exhausting than going to a physical classroom

These points aside, online learning works well if you’re disciplined, truly committed to learning (and not just doing the bare minimum to pass), and desire/benefit from the greater flexibility online classes can offer. Example: if you’re a night owl, you could attend class then (assuming it’s not a live class).

In short, online learning also makes a ton of sense if a) you want to earn a degree not offered by a university in your geographic area; 2) you neither have the time or desire to travel to a physical location to attend class; and/or c) the traditional university experience isn’t that important to you.

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