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Should You Take Classes In-Person, Online, or Both?

face-to-face class mode of teaching online class Sep 10, 2022

In recent years, online classes have become an integral part of higher education. To make sense of these choices, we offer a culmination of college consulting services. 

Clark College Consulting offers personal college coaching for students who need additional college planning services. We have helped students all over the US with admissions essays, academic planning, and financial aid resources. Students should weigh the pros and cons of online, in-person, and hybrid courses. Keep reading to learn more about which options fit best for you.

Pros of Online Courses 

Whether temporary or full-time, online enrollments have become strikingly more common. The option has come a long way since its first development. Some students may believe that taking online classes will be harder than in-person classes, but the truth is that a different classroom style simply requires a different approach. Here are a few pros of switching to an online class:

Flexibility

Being embarrassingly late to your classes on the first day is no longer an issue. Remote classes can often work around your busy schedule to provide students a new sense of autonomy. This is a particularly good option for student-athletes or a student who prefers to learn at home. 

Developing a Learning Style

Everyone learns at a different pace. The four core styles of learning are visual, auditory, kinetic, and kinesthetic. Remote students may spend most of their time studying independently, aiding in the development of what learning style works for them. Some students enjoy learning in groups while others prefer to work with minimal distractions. We are all different, and it’s wise to select classes that can fit your preferred learning style.

Time Management

Juggling several homework assignments and projects at once is one of the most stressful experiences of college. Although online classes give students autonomy, it only matters if they can keep up with the assignments. Clark College Consulting works specifically with students who may have difficulty making tough time management decisions.

Individual Focus and Attention

Students may quickly find that they have fewer distractions from campus life if they can control their environment. Professors also have more time before and after classes to meet with students digitally or through email responses.

Cons of Online Classes

Whether temporary or full-time, online enrollments have become strikingly more common. The option has come a long way since its first development. Some students may prefer sticking with the traditional approach to classroom learning. As specified in the pros list, the cons list will respond to similar issues. Here are a few cons of enrolling in online classes, or at least red flags to watch for:

Self-Discipline 

Time management is a skill students can acquire through self-discipline. One of the biggest cons of online school is the desire to procrastinate. With no professor to challenge your every move, all it takes is turning off your camera. But of course, this is not a good choice.  

Procrastination

College is typically the first time a young student has agency over their day-to-day life. Except for having required classes, students can generally do what they want as long as it aligns with their schedule. In online classes, professors assign discussion boards, required readings, and the occasional group presentation. Students who are more comfortable in a group setting may not work well remotely. College consultants are a great option to cope with procrastination and offer tips.

Studying Alone 

Students have the option to take as many or as few online classes as they are in coordination with their degree requirements. A recent study by a psychology professor concluded: “Study groups are so effective because they provide a way for students to make the lecture notes their own.” Students taking note-heavy classes may become overwhelmed by a large amount of information they have to retain. 

Socialization

The option to stay in the comfort of your dorm or apartment is a tempting thought. After all, students are allowed to focus solely on their work instead of their physical appearance. However, this may not be the best choice for a sociable student. If socialization is a priority to you, you should consider other options, such as hybrid classes.

Depression

Depression can be a real threat, especially during winter, and especially if you rarely step outside your room. If you study remotely, be sure to exercise regularly, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. It may be wise to invest in a SAD lamp if you struggle with seasonal depression; SAD lamps can simulate sunlight and keep your mind healthy while you study indoors.

Nobody Will Be Babysitting Your Assignments

College professors will not hound you for assignments, especially online. Every platform for submitting assignments is well-organized with specific due dates, alerts, and a lengthy syllabus. The professor may go over this during the first few classes, but it is ultimately up to the student to stay engaged. Staying in the comfort of your room during a lecture may sound exciting, but this is where working independently comes into action.

You May Experience More Work

You may ask yourself: “Are online classes harder?” As online and hybrid classes have evolved, professors are now privy to the ins and outs of online learning. Remote work often feels more overwhelming because of its independent nature. No assignment is due right at the end of the class with the professor nearby to remind you. Some courses may follow an asynchronous structure without formal meeting times. Instead, posts and assignments are due online.

The Difference Between Hybrid and In-Person Classes

Hybrid classes offer an online and in-person experience to blend learning styles. Professors may require the students to come in-person two times a week with one online class or assignment due that week. This structure simulates a type of autonomy that allows students to foster an extra sense of motivation. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you a more independent learner who works better independently? Online classes may be a great fit.
  • Are you comfortable learning in an interactive classroom setting? In-person classes may be a good choice.
  • Are you someone who enjoys challenging yourself with blended learning styles? Look into hybrid classes.

College comes with its own set of obstacles. Planning for a great future. does not need to be one of them. Whether you are a student or a parent of an incoming freshman, Clark College Consulting takes the stress out of planning. Having a college consultant can not only boost your confidence in what you’re doing but make sure you find the right classes. We have the tools and resources to guide students through the admissions process and keep them on track.

 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

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