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Monday, April 22, 2024

Should you take an online class? Here are the pros and cons

Students share their experiences with taking online classes

At UC Davis, there are many classes offered that students can take to satisfy GE requirements, major requirements or just fill up their schedule. These classes include in-person, lecture and/or discussion based classes, hybrid classes (consisting of both online material and in-person meetings) or classes administered solely online. While many students are used to the traditional in-person classes, some also choose to take online classes. There are many reasons for offering these virtual classes as are the reasons for students choosing to take these classes. Every student has a unique experience in these types of classes. For students considering taking online classes, here is what two students have to say.

“It was okay,” said Erin Klausen, a first-year biological sciences major, in response to her experience taking an online class at UC Davis. “I think it was a lot more work than I expected it to be because I kind of just assumed that it would be the same amount of work as a regular class, but in truth, it’s not. It’s way more because you’re spending more hours doing work at home than you would be (like those hours you would be [spending] in class).”

Many students believe that online classes are beneficial because it is easier for them to manage their time and learn at their own pace.

“It’s definitely more of a flexible schedule,” Klausen said. “You don’t have a set time to be anywhere, you just have a deadline to finish your assignments.”

Brandon Jetter, a third-year political science major, agreed with Klausen’s statements regarding the benefits of taking an online class.

“There’s more time flexibility in the sense that you can spread it out throughout the week instead of having a certain time slot allocated to that class,” Jetter said.

There are still some students, however, who do not take these classes for the right reasons. Some students assume that online classes are easier, an assumption that can lead to procrastination. Some students also find loopholes which allow them to cheat on online exams.

“The drawback is that you can definitely ‘cheat the system’ in a way,” Klausen said. “And if you don’t try really hard, you can kinda learn less because you’re not present in a classroom; you don’t have a teacher that you can really ask questions to.”

With no strict schedule, it has never been easier for students to not only procrastinate on assignments, but also on learning the content of the class.

“It’s easy to procrastinate,” Jetter said. “It’s easy to fall behind and not hold yourself accountable. Communication is a little hard because you can’t just ask the professor during office hours.”

Online classes can also be taken for credit across the UC system through cross-campus enrollment during the school year or over the summer to satisfy degree requirements or to explore areas of study outside one’s major. For example, a student at UC Davis may take an online course offered at UC Irvine for credit.

According to the University of California’s Cross-Campus Enrollment website, “you have access to a growing list of quality online courses taught by expert faculty across the UC system. These convenient and flexible online courses offer the same great education you find in your campus classrooms.”

In conclusion, if you are considering taking an online class, consider your learning style and if taking an online class would complement it or not. Experimenting with different classes is an effective way to determine what classroom setting is best suited for you. Keep in mind that not every class is available as an online course.

Written by: LINH NGUYEN — features@theaggie.org


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