Posted at 2 p.m., Sept. 16, 2016

Cons of online classes outweigh pros
for on-the-ground student

Jacob Commentary

Though taking classes online definitely has some pros, I consider them to be outweighed by the cons.

Online courses are certainly convenient, especially for those who work and live far away from campus or face any other barrier preventing them from coming to a lecture regularly. I do agree that this is a positive of online courses. However, I must dispute the other arguments one may use in favor of online courses.

I’ve taken my fair share of online classes as I spent five years of my high school life in Wyoming Virtual Academy. The courses taken at WYVA were exclusively online. I lived rather far from any high school at the time, so enrolling in this academy seemed to be the best option. Essentially missing out on the “normal” high school experience, as some may call it, took a toll on my social interaction.

Admittedly, I did perform better than I think I would have if I had stayed at my prior public high school. Nevertheless, I’d say this was primarily because I was the kind of student who had a hard time focusing on my work and became easily distracted. Some would use this as an argument in favor of online courses, but I don’t think it should be applied to college-level learning. As college students, we are all adults and are expected to act as such. We shouldn’t see students being intentionally distracting to their peers – at least, not nearly as much as we would see in a high school classroom. Students who have a hard time dealing with distractions should be able to work just fine in a college classroom.

After these experiences, I plan to do anything I can to avoid taking another in the future.

Of course, the curriculum of online courses vary. I want to focus on that of Laramie County Community College, as that is what I’m familiar with. This marks my third semester at LCCC and I’ve taken a total of three online courses here. After these experiences, I plan to do anything I can to avoid taking another in the future.

I decided to take classes during the summer to help speed up the completion of my degree. Because of low enrollment, the two live classes I was prepared to take were canceled. My only option at this point was to take the online version of these classes. At this time, I was a bit relieved that I could stay home in Carpenter, which is roughly 30 miles away from LCCC’s Cheyenne campus.

I soon learned that I would be required to travel up to 2 hours to visit venues like art museums and concert halls to later write a reflection on them. This was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to avoid by taking online courses in the first place. Despite the teacher providing me a with short list of events occurring during the remainder of the eight-week course, life does get in the way. Being unable to make it to one of the events greatly reduces my chances to even complete the assignments, as there were few events happening at this time, at least in Wyoming. The last thing online courses should require you to do is stress about attending events.

If you like struggling to find an assignment as well as having to pay extra money for an access code for another website, then you’re in luck.

Although online courses may seem to have good one-on-one communication between the teacher and student, you need to communicate via phone or email. The teacher probably has several classes full of students, including those in live classes they teach. It may be several hours until you get a response, compared to an immediate response when in class.

Additionally, many online courses seem to be organized horribly. If you like struggling to find an assignment as well as having to pay extra money for an access code for another website, then you’re in luck.

If you’re anything like me, you have an easier time learning something in person, rather than being fed a curriculum that was copy-and-pasted from the prior semester. Being a student living on campus, I feel no reason to go through the extra hardship of learning online.