Forget everything you believe about online courses

I’ve never been one for classroom learning. I hate the concept of just sitting in a lecture hall that is either too hot or too cold, being talked at for what seems like forever. The worst is when the lecture content comes directly from the textbook that I had to buy for the class anyways. It just seems counterintuitive. That’s why online courses work for me: they cut out the middleman.

I’ve had some good professors, but it seems like I’ve had more bad ones. I’ve realized the professors I think are bad might actually be good, but I can’t learn from them. Their teaching style just doesn’t match my learning style. I would rather read about it in a textbook and take notes from that than have to pay attention to and take notes in a lecture.

Online courses are reading intensive, but that’s why I like them so much. I can just sit down, read, synthesize some information, and move on to the next thing. It makes the process of learning much more active, and there’s just something about being able to combine homework and lecture that makes learning feel that much more time-efficient.

Their teaching style just doesn’t match my learning style.

That’s not to say that every online class I’ve taken has had a desired or successful outcome, but in-person classes I’ve taken haven’t either. There isn’t going to be one kind of class delivery method that will always work out the way you anticipated — and that’s OK.

Just stop bashing the concept of an online class, saying that there isn’t any requirement to attend, so you won’t get any of the work done. Online courses have many requirements that force you stay caught up on classwork, and as a result, it doesn’t mean you are doing three months’ worth of coursework at the end of the semester.   

I’ve taken online courses to fulfill degree requirements, and I’ve taken them because I’ve been interested in the course content. But I am also aware that I’m lucky to be able to mix in online course with my regular in-person ones — regardless of how I might be feeling about them. I am in a position where I don’t have to work full-time or raise a family. I am able to move to a new city to take classes. I can choose to either like online courses or hate them, but I also realize they are essential for people in different situations to get a post-secondary education.

My only complaints with online courses are that there aren’t more options for courses and that there is an additional $40-fee applied to distance courses to cover printing and delivery costs for the course. In theory, I think it should cost less since I will not be needing on-campus resources such as electricity.

Yet, even with these two drawbacks, if the option presents itself where I can choose between an in-person class and an online one, I’ll take the online one every time.