With Cabrini’s recent decision to move to an online format for the remainder of the semester, I thought now would be a good time to talk about what’s it like taking an online course. There are definitely some pros and cons to taking classes online. Since the beginning of my freshman year, I have taken a few classes online and I am glad I was able to experience it!
One thing I love about online classes is that I don’t have to show up for class. I can work on assignments independently and in a comfortable environment. I think most people work best in their natural and comfortable environment. You can also catch up on some sleep and not be worried about walking or driving to classes at 8:15am. For commuters, it can also reduce costs because you can save on transportation expenses. For shy and quiet students, it can provide a platform to share your opinions and participate through discussion posts freely and honestly. If you are busy with work, sports, or other engagements, online classes can reduce some stress and allow you to focus on your priorities.
Some students may find online courses a little stressful, especially if they struggle with time management skills. If you struggle with managing your time properly, I would suggest getting an agenda or logging due dates and assignments onto your calendar to keep track of everything. Unfortunately, there is limited discussion and active participation in online courses unless video chats or conferences are an option.
At Cabrini, some online classes are self-paced, meaning the only deadline is the last day of classes and students are given the option to turn all assignments on the last day. During my freshman year, I took CIS 120 (a required course) online. I remember the deadline to turn in all the modules (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel Docs) was the last day of classes. Self-paced online courses can be good or bad depending on your time management skills. For example, I work best under pressure, so I like to take classes with fixed due dates for assignments throughout the semester. However, some students are good at managing their time between classes and prefer an online environment.
I have taken other online courses where instructors have set fixed due dates for assignments throughout the semester. Currently, I am taking an introductory sociology course online. For this class, I have to turn in weekly discussion posts based on readings and submit other assignments such as infographics on social issues or ethnography assignments. This is one of the most enjoyable online courses I have taken. The discussion posts incorporate readings from the textbook and your own views regarding some social issues. We are also required to comment on the posts of other students, so it provides opportunities to converse with peers and utilize technology.
Although I have mixed feelings about taking online classes, I am glad that I have taken them. Sometimes I can’t fit a class in my schedule and so they have been an easy and beneficial addition to my schedules. I definitely recommend taking at least one online course during your college career. Everyone’s experiences are different, and you might just enjoy it.