After taking two online courses, I do have to say, they were very stressful. Although the online class did have structure because it followed all deadlines, it was very difficult to communicate with the instructors. Having to log on every day to respond to a discussion board post was very inconvenient. I say this because if I was getting up to go to a class, it would be on that specific day and that is it. Having to log on to complete posts on other days conflicted with my work schedules. A discussion board post consists of students responding to a question that the professor posts and the entire class can respond to one another and see how other classmates respond to the question. Having a set time and day to go to class is much easier. Being able to have a conversation in person is much easier than conversing via email. Conversation via email is much more difficult, as an individual cannot fully express themselves. I personally tend to pay more attention while in a face-to-face class. I was very distracted taking an online class while at home. Ultimately though, there are more positives and benefits to face-to-face learning than online classes.
Online classes are one of the ways to take a college class. All the assignments are listed on the syllabus and have strict due dates. The work can be completed by the student at any time that is convenient for them but must be turned in by the due date. This allows students to have some more flexibility in completing assignments and taking classes. But in the end, students lack many necessary life skills and the “college experience” by taking online classes.
According to Sethughes, who wrote “Why Traditional Classroom Learning Is Better Than Online Courses”, online classes lack interpersonal skill development, lack memory development, and lack student motivation. Seth mentions that “online learning does not require students to study or memorize material in the same way that traditional learning does.” In addition, Seth states “When students receive face-to-face verbal feedback and constructive criticism from their professors, it instills in them a motivation to improve their work and build upon what they’ve learned. Educational relationships and bonds give in-person learning an advantage over online learning.”
When applying for jobs, many employers look to see if your degree was an online degree or from an actual institution. They do this because when students take an online course, they lack conversational skills, and “people skills.” Therefore, when individual steps into the “real world” they tend to feel misplaced and not entirely prepared. What this means is that online classes lack the themes of group work, hands-on learning. When taking in-person classes, students meet new individuals and peers every semester in their classes. They build connections within the classroom and some even continue out of the classroom. When taking online classes, there is not much communication with the other peers in the class. When an individual is not used to meeting new people and building connections, they tend to not be as outgoing in their professions and with people in the future. Seth states “Businesses often tell university faculty that they wish that graduating students had better interpersonal skills. They say it is crucial to their success in their careers. Traditional-style learning teaches these things.”
At Kean University, as well as many other universities, you have the choice to take face-to-face courses or online courses. The students should take advantage of being able to have face-to-face courses. Being able to enter a classroom setting, meet with their professors, and having a schedule is vital. It helps create organization and structure in an individual’s life. Being in a classroom setting, students are able to pay more attention to what is being taught. In-person classes allow students to receive a better, well-versed academic experience. The students who take face-to-face classes have fewer distractions and experience more hands-on learning with their peers.
Online classes at Kean are offered to all students. Although that sounds nice to be able to take a class and not have to leave your house, students lose many components of what an actual in-person class is like. By taking online classes in college, the student loses the “college” experience. The typical “college experience” consists of going to campus, meeting new people, attending sports events, Greek life, clubs, extracurriculars, and studying abroad. By taking all online classes, the student is less likely to go to these events, etc because they might not know people nor feel comfortable.
When taking a face-to-face class, there are many positives compared to online classes. One of the advantages of taking a face-to-face class is the interaction the students get with a professor like Tiffany and Andy Bourelle stated. Students receive more of a personal connection with the professor. I can speak from experience with this. I took an online class and thought my professor was a female the whole entire semester and found out at the end of the semester the professor was a male. By taking an online class, students lose that interaction and meeting/ introduction of the professor.
Besides the connection with the professor, face-to-face learning helps aid students in forming stronger connections with their peers as well. In-person connections help the development of students. Students feel more comfortable associating themselves with certain individuals in their classes. Online/remote classes are very impersonal and in most cases, the students just log on for class and will log off right when the class is over and cannot make connections with their fellow classmates.
Another positive aspect of face-to-face learning is that it helps suit various learning styles. Most individuals have a different way of learning. By being in a classroom, there is a way for every student to learn. That is because there are ways for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners to comprehend what they are learning and being taught. By being in a classroom, it allows the professor to accommodate each learning style and assist the students according to their needs.
Students lack many necessary life skills and the “college experience” by taking online classes. Their conversational and people skills increase, and these students tend to learn more in a structured atmosphere. If you are given the option to take a face-to-face class or an online class, take the face-to-face class. You will benefit so much from it in the end.