The Differences Between Online and Classroom Courses

Many students looking to go back to school have never taken an online course. They don't know what to expect. They are considering both online and classroom courses. Though the content will be similar in nature, the modality is very different. We are going to cover some of the major differences in online and classroom courses to help future students decide which is best for them.

Let's first start with classroom courses. Typically, a student will come to class 1-3 times per week and listen to an instructor give a lecture. Here, the students are able to answer questions, see their teammates, and usually meet after class if they have group work to complete. It is a very hands-on-experience. Most classes entail a lecture with PowerPoint slides followed by a question and answer session. Students enjoy learning this way because of the interaction with the professor and other students. Attendance is usually taken and counted for participation points. So if you do decide to attend a class on campus, make sure you can make all of the classes. Many schools offer night programs so someone working full-time can attend class after work.

Online courses are a little different. Students are usually attending class from all over the United States and even some overseas in the military. They are not able to meet their classmates or the professors. This can be an issue for a visual learner. Visual learners need the interaction with the professor and classmates to be successful. Another major difference is how assignments are turned in. In an online class everything is either emailed directly to the professor or posted in a discussion board. Discussion boards are in a blog format and used so students can communicate with each other online. Live chats are also an option, but the students would all have to be online at a specific time for it to work. This can be difficult because of different time zones and busy schedules. Remember, flexibility and convenience are the top two reasons students choose an online class.

As you can see there are many differences between online and on-campus classes. But, as stated before, course content is usually very similar. This is a good thing because you know you are learning the same material no matter which modality you choose. Do some research and see which one will be the best fit for you. Whichever you choose, make sure to dedicate some time to study, research, and complete exams on a weekly basis.

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