Are Online Schools Really Easier?

By on April 7, 2013

Some people have the misconception that online schools are easier than traditional schools, but this really isn’t true. As a matter of fact, online schools can sometimes be more of a challenge. Take a look at these four things that make online schools just as challenging as traditional schools.

The Same Curriculum is Taught in Online Schools as Traditional Schools

If an online school has accreditation, this means it has the same strict standards as a traditional university. One reason people think that online classes are easier is because they only last for a few weeks at a time. What people don’t realize is that those few short weeks are intensely packed with coursework that takes the same level of studying as a traditional class. You can’t just wait until the last week and expect to get everything done. You have to work and study hard to finish your work and get a good grade.

Online Classes Require a Different Level of Commitment

Online learning is difficult for many students because it requires a high level of self-motivation and self-discipline. You usually have a set amount of work to complete before a deadline, so you have to manage your time wisely to get everything done. Online courses definitely give you more flexibility to set your own schedule, but they harbor an environment of procrastination. In a traditional classroom setting, you at least go over the material in a group and get your questions answered quickly.

Communication with Your Instructor and Other Students Is a Challenge

Face-to-face communication is the best way to learn, but this isn’t usually possible in online classes. You will occasionally find a teacher that likes to do webcam chat, but they are few and far between. That means your online portal and email are the ways that you communicate with your teacher and other students. This makes it hard to establish a support system because it is more difficult to make friends in an environment like this.

Group projects are also more difficult because meeting face to face isn’t usually an option. This means you have to schedule planning calls and rely on people you’ve never met to do their part of the project. Group projects are stressful in traditional settings, but they’re even more challenging in online classes. And, depending on your major, there may be a lot of group projects. For instance, they are common in an online business management degree.

Older Students Have to Overcome the Technology Barrier

Computers scare a lot of people, especially those that haven’t grown up using them. So, taking an online class can be a challenging experience simply because of the required computer skills. There are usually online portals to navigate and all sorts of new computer activities to learn. That’s why you should have basic computer skills under your belt before attempting an online course. You don’t want to complicate how much time it takes to do your work, and teachers are there to teach the coursework, not help you with computer problems.

As you can see, online classes aren’t necessarily easier than traditional classes, they are just different. You have to take an honest look at your personality and situation to decide if they are right for you.

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