Campus experience outweighs online alternative
When it comes to college, students try to find the easiest way to make their schedule — whether that is taking a later class, so they can sleep in, or even taking an online course. Also known as distance learning, online courses replace the need of coming to class to learn.
As convenient and easy this seems, there are complications and problems that surface because of this. Moving the class material to an online scene takes away the advantage of having direct contact between the student and professor. Besides contact with the professor, this also limits opportunities to interact with other students and take part in campus activities.
Lastly, with the convenience and flexibility of distance learning, this increases the rate of procrastination and laziness. Although there are many advantages with distance learning compared to traditional learning, the disadvantages outweigh the good in this situation.
When you have trouble on a problem in class, almost instantly, you would ask a classmate or the professor for help — but who would you ask if you are taking a course online? This is one of the biggest disadvantages to distance learning, because you do not have the direct contact with the professor. The chance of miscommunication is rather high, and inevitable to happen in a distance learning scene. Not only do you lose out with your professor, but also losing the opportunity to take part in campus activities or interacting with peers.
College is a place to open your horizons and meet new people, but distance learning takes this opportunity away. In a traditional learning scene, students can build personal connections with the professor and their peers that can benefit themselves beyond their education. On the other hand, it is very uncommon and difficult to make these connections with classmates and professors through a computer screen.
Distance learning provides a convenient way to get an education for those who can't afford to attend school everyday or have other commitments. However, this demands the student to be self-motivated to complete quality work on time. As convenient distance learning is, this also can lead to laziness. With the absence of a professor, this increases the likelihood of cheating. This becomes an unhealthy influence, because the student knows they can pass the course by cheating their way through as well — thus, influencing a lazy perspective and making the student less motivated to complete their work.
To conclude, distance learning takes away the college experience for a student and can have a huge effect on a student's learning. Despite the advantages of distance learning such as flexibility, financials and convenience, it is likely to come with hard outcomes on the student's education. The student will lose out on having direct interaction with their professor and peers, which also leads to losing the opportunity to make personal connections with them as well.
Finally, with the absence of a professor present in a distance learner setting, it creates an environment that allows the student to be capable of easily cheating during quizzes and exams. All in all, traditional and distance learners are offered the same education, but provided in different forms.
Although the advantages of taking an online course provides many benefits, the amount of benefits and opportunities they are losing from a traditional learning style outweighs this in the end.
Megan Inouye-Ng is a sophomore at Pacific University. Born and raised in Oahu,
Hawaii, she is a member of
Pacific's women's soccer team and plans to study business
administration with a concentration in accounting.
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