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Online Classes- Worth it or A Waste?

BrianD3 2011/10/24 17:35:08
Let me preface this by saying that I recognize that there are business people, government employees and soldiers that have busy lives, and are often away taking care of business and that online courses offer them what they need to continue to grow professionally while dealing with hectic lives. These are professionals who already have a foundation of knowledge and experience who are utilizing the online medium to polich and expand their skills.

My question, today, is about the avarage college student that isnt jetting around on business, deploying overseas for extended periods of time or working 70+ hours a week to get ahead. More and more schools are turning to online classes as a way of cutting costs. Teachers do not teach like they do in a classroom, there is little relavant interaction and communication and students basically have to teach themselves.....you know...the blind leading the blind so to speak....

I have a feeling that part of the OWS problem as well as part of our National GDP problem is that these students are getting degrees without actually learning very much. How hard is it to pass a test at home when the textbook is right there? Why even study if you can just whip out the book and look up the answer? So what skills are being taught in our universities now? How to look stuff up really, really fast?

Maybe I am alone in this but I think online courses should cost about half as much since students are not getting everything regular students get in class. They should also get 1/2 the credits for I believe that they do not aquire the same understanding of the material.
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  • cristinadler 2012/01/21 05:43:18
    cristinadler
    +3
    There are many people who want to complete a college degree in order to get that much deserved job, promotion, raise, or change of career, or even just intellectual fulfillment but cannot attend a traditional college because they have disabilities, financial problems, familial responsibilities, or other constraints. Online degrees allow them to complete their degree and fulfill their dreams. A distance education program offered by an accredited college is not necessarily easy; it takes a lot of motivation, self-discipline, and time management to successfully complete an online degree, and these programs are often difficult and demanding.
  • Rore73 2011/10/26 03:56:08 (edited)
    Rore73
    I've thought along the same lines, and one of my degrees was mainly on line, although I did have to spend a few weeks each summer on campus. However, I believe that the off campus classes deprive students of some educational opportunity since the interaction with other students is absent in the off campus programs. I believe such interaction is an important part of learning since it requires a student to analyze other perspectives and rebutt them on facts rather than opinion and hear say.
  • Chris Chardon 2011/10/25 11:40:07 (edited)
  • Helmholtz 2011/10/25 09:09:26
    Helmholtz
    +1
    If it's your first and last degree, then I'd say a waste of time. If you're going to transfer the credits or if you need the next degree for a promotion, then nah.
  • ruthannhausman 2011/10/25 08:35:11
    ruthannhausman
    +2
    There is definitely a place for online classes but you do have valid points on costs and you've likewise hit a good point about the quality of the courses being taught. I suppose the bottom-line determinations will be the overall qualifications and accomplishments of online graduates in the workforce. Only time can tell.
  • sglmom 2011/10/25 06:40:10
    sglmom
    +2
    Given that I was the one deployed/TDY and on Active Duty while earning my Degrees .. I can say that even taking courses that were at the brick/mortar schools .. we were able to arrange with the Professor to tape the lectures and have them sent to where we were at (and arrange to have tests in alternative locations too .. and yes, the PME was done on-line as well) ...

    For those who are not serving in the Military .. I'm confident to say that there are some courses .. so basic .. that they can be offered on-line (for example .. the basic Computer courses are a good example) .. and they can be successfully completed on-line.

    But there are courses (for example .. courses requiring lab time or studio time) that should never go on-line at all.
  • sjalan 2011/10/25 04:57:09
    sjalan
    +2
    I got one degree in business for a Brick and mortar school and a masters in business from an online Uni. The online school was far tougher than the 4 year college.
  • matt 2011/10/25 04:14:26
    matt
    +2
    Never thought of that.. College be easy if you can look up the answers.
  • freakoutnow... cuz mom's here 2011/10/25 03:54:17
    freakoutnow... cuz mom's here
    +2
    Online courses are just the evolution of the correspondance courses of the previous generation. Many online and correspondance courses are just paper mills, so make sure they are associated with an accredited university. Also it depends on your personality as to whether online/correspondance courses will benefit you or not. In addition to online courses and thier analog companion correspondance courses there are more options that some colleges offer such as night classes or alternatives to the main campuses such as branch or sattilite campuses. So as long as you work hard and the college is accredited than online college can be worth the money, if not than it's a waste.
  • Chukroast 2011/10/25 02:35:48
    Chukroast
    +2
    Hate to say it, but online courses are expensive. Many of the reputable universities have some good programs. And, as far as "cheating" (since you have the text available), many in-school classes have open book tests as well. That's part of the learning process, knowing where to find information. It's not that the online courses are much different than inschool classes (except for the social interaction), it's that some students simply can't work up the incentive to study when there's no warm body in front of them, giving them a scornful look when they can't answer a question. If you really want the education, an online course of study can work for you. It's not high school anymore, so if you need social interaction, go to Facebook or Myspace.
  • Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC 2011/10/25 02:33:13
    Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC
    +2
    I took some and they were very good for Biblical studies
  • handeman 2011/10/25 02:09:04
    handeman
    +2
    I have 2 online degrees
  • you 2011/10/25 01:52:15
    you
    +2
    If you put in as much effort as if you'd be in class. Then yes .. it is worth it
  • wildcat 2011/10/25 01:36:34
    wildcat
    +2
    I've had great experiences with the online courses I've taken.
  • you wildcat 2011/10/25 05:02:58
    you
    +3
    I have taken courses myself. It worked out fine
  • Moonbeams 2011/10/25 01:22:41
    Moonbeams
    +2
    I'm sure it's a blessing, and a time saver for some people -- Not for me.

    I'd absorb more in an active classroom. Online, my attention span would not even last a nanosecond.
  • RastaFan 2011/10/25 01:04:18
    RastaFan
    +2
    I think it depends on two important ingredients.

    1) The material is accredited, clear, concise and supported with independent marking and links to instructors.
    2) The student has the appropriate self discipline and a splash of intuition.

    Hey, the absence of a modern 'professor' isn't necessarily a negative. I've seen some real bozos emerge from real universities.
  • BrianD3 RastaFan 2011/10/25 01:05:16
    BrianD3
    +3
    which is why I think that online classes are better suited for graduate students
  • ILuvMonkeys 2011/10/25 00:52:39
  • taylordoesntdeserve 2011/10/25 00:50:16
    taylordoesntdeserve
    +2
    It depends on an individuals learning methods.
  • opie 2011/10/25 00:28:41
    opie
    +2
    it did not work for me i hated them
  • BrianD3 opie 2011/10/25 00:56:35
    BrianD3
    +2
    I do as well
  • ohsmith ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮ 2011/10/25 00:25:10
    ohsmith ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮
    +3
    I think it's worth it!
  • Pele Emerging 2011/10/25 00:01:33
    Pele Emerging
    +3
    Online classes CAN be worth it, depending on the person and the reason. First, the classes need to be from an accredited college or university. Second, you'd better know your own personality. Some people do not have the self-discipline to do the work required. You must often do the reading and research on your own. There may be videos or other coursework to watch or listen to. If you think that 'no one will know' then this kind of class is not for you.

    I got my masters degree online. It involved every bit as much work on my part as a colleague who physically went to class. The main difference in time is that I could spend a spare 5 or 10 minutes on 'class' including at work during my lunch time. I also didn't have to spend travel time to and from class or the inevitable before and after class time physically spent on campus. That alone was a huge savings in time and effort. However, I find that you really have to put 110% in effort rather than slacking off with maybe 90% of effort. You can't slack in an online class or you're wasted your time and it will reflect in your grade.
  • ♒ßεllεchεvεllε®♒ 2011/10/24 23:54:09
    ♒ßεllεchεvεllε®♒
    +2
    Too many "paper mills" out there offering online degrees, and they aren't accredited by major entities. Online courses from major universities are *usually* challenging and take a very disciplined student to excel in them. It depends on the student AND the credibility of the institution.
  • JohnFitzgeral12 2011/10/24 23:53:38
    JohnFitzgeral12
    +2
    Online classes are terrible for people like myself.
  • BrianD3 JohnFit... 2011/10/24 23:59:00
    BrianD3
    +3
    an me as well
  • JohnFit... BrianD3 2011/10/25 00:00:57
  • U Mad Bro? 2011/10/24 23:52:36
    U Mad Bro?
    +2
    Worthless, hands on learning is the best kind.
  • BrianD3 U Mad Bro? 2011/10/24 23:59:10
    BrianD3
    +2
    I agree
  • Red 2011/10/24 23:51:10
    Red
    +3
    I like online classes, with my hectic busy life it allows me to still attend college and get the courses that I need. I am an older college student and I work hard at my classes. I do very good work and really put alot of effort into them. I am very disciplined with them as well. I also agree with your point that some people just skate through and do not learn what they really need to learn for their degrees.
  • Jack's Pearl 2011/10/24 23:49:34
    Jack's Pearl
    +2
    I prefer the classroom. It's much better. Although I have done well and appreciated on line courses, in my opinion it wasn't the same at all. Just like having friends on here. Not the same as in person.
  • BrianD3 Jack's ... 2011/10/24 23:59:30
    BrianD3
    +3
    very good analogy
  • Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥ 2011/10/24 23:20:55
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    +3
    It depends on the class.

    I took an English Writing class, and a C programming class. They were both good for me.

    My opinion is, if you are learning from it, it is good. If not, and you are trying, it is not.
  • wtf 2011/10/24 22:46:58
    wtf
    +3
    It depends on the online college. Many traditional colleges that now offer online do a poor job of it, the only reason they are offering them is that they are losing revenue to real online colleges that do a great job.

    It also depends on what type of classes you are taking. Some classes are just better in the classroom.
  • BrianD3 2011/10/24 22:46:00
    BrianD3
    +3
    My school has a hardon for group projects,,, I ahve had some nightmare experiences with groups online. There is little real interaction, little accountibility and major frustration. One group i was in, everyone bailed on me so I asked the professor if I could just finish the project on my own, he said NO. So I did finish it, turned it in with the absentee members names on it and I am still pissed several years later that people left me hanging but got to ride off of my effort....that is crap
  • Doug King 2011/10/24 22:38:21
    Doug King
    +3
    Big waste, it costs more money and is just self study.
  • WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA 2011/10/24 22:36:30
    WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA
    +3
    I took some online courses from a very prestigious University, and I learned a lot, they were very good courses.
  • Cliff 2011/10/24 20:00:58
    Cliff
    +4
    Online college is the wave of the future. College costs are a bubble about to burst. The bubble is being inflated by government backed student loans enabling colleges to build expensive buildings and raise tuition. As more loans go bad and government cannot back them, the bubble will pop. The dirty little secret is that college diplomas really are not worth as much in terms of future income as they are purported to be and the accumulated debt with no job prospect is a heavy burden on the young.
  • BrianD3 Cliff 2011/10/24 20:03:34
    BrianD3
    +3
    you are so right about that bubble, not just loans thoug....things like the Pell Grant also inflate the proces.

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