BY BEN CAMPION
Students at Indian River State College have a choice, online courses from the comfort of their own home, or traditional courses face to face with a professor but which is better?
There are approximately 2,259 classes offered at IRSC, 334 on the Internet. Online classes allow professors to reach students they normally could not because of location or some other confounding circumstance. They eliminate the hassle of driving to school which can save money and time. Internet courses can also be done on virtually any computer. All that is needed is a user name and password. You don’t have to worry about over-sleeping and missing a class. Since you can do exams and assignments from your own home, you won’t miss any of those if you sleep in either. If you are a parent, there is no need to find someone to care for your children while you are in class said a mother at the Chastain Campus of Indian River State College.
Raina Zazulia a 20 year-old student at the University of Central Florida prefers online classes.
“I take online classes because they are convenient and you can have your own schedule,” says Raina.
“Whether you have a demanding job or more classes, you can make it work for you,” says Raina.
Online classes may require a more motivated student, however, because there is no professor reminding you of deadlines and upcoming exam dates as often as in on campus class.
Marie Vaughn, 19, is a student that takes classes at the Chastain Campus of Indian River State College.
“I think it depends on an individual’s learning style. I need to be able to see it, hear it, and be able to ask questions with an immediate answer to be able to understand some lessons like mathematics or chemistry,” says Marie. Some people are very hands-on learners. Classes that require you to learn complex math equations or to understand confusing concepts could be difficult if the only way to learn it is off a screen on a prerecorded lecture.
On campus, classes tend to be more organized because they have set schedule when classes meet and you are assigned work when you meet rather than given all the work at once and told it is due by the end of the semester. Some students may not be as motivated to participate or complete work with an online course since they do the assignments on their own time. Both Raina and Marie agree that taking courses on campus is also a great way to meet new people.
“Online classes do not allow for much socializing,” says Marie.
“You don’t get the same social experience as you would going to class and it is harder to form a study group,” says Raina
Ana Ozuna, a Spanish instructor of both online and on-campus courses at IRSC believes that the face-to-face class is in fact more beneficial.
“I am more dynamic and interactive in my face-to-face classes,” says Ozuna. With classes on campus, students can speak directly with the professor or other students.
”It is to the benefit of the student to be in class rather than online, where they can feel isolated and can’t interact directly with classmates or the professor,” says Ozuna. You’re the only student in your classroom with an Internet class. To everyone else on the roster, you are simply another faceless student. Learning can feel more natural when there are other students interacting with the professor alongside you.
Although the price tag for online and traditional courses is no different, the learning experience can be. Whether you chose to learn electronically at your own speed or on campus with a class full of students, the degrees you earn either way have the same weight.