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Online classes vs. Traditional classes: which one is harder?

online classes vs traditional classes: which one is harder

One of the most frequently asked questions by students, especially those who are thinking about taking, is whether online classes are harder or easier than regular classes. No doubt, completing an online program entails a lot but this doesn’t necessarily make it burdensome. Like with any other thing, people don’t just delve into things especially when they are new; this same applies to online classes. So it’s understanding to have questions or some preconceived notions about many things surrounding an online course. In order to help resolve some of the concerns you may have about online learning, we are going to be looking at a very important question here.

Are online classes harder or easier than in-person classes?

To be sincere, there’s really no simple answer to this question. There’s a lot that needs to be taken into consideration in order to find out which one is more difficult. And two of the most prominent ones are motivation and self-discipline. Most of the time, online classes are just as hard as regular college courses; some of the time they may even demand more. As earlier indicated, apart from the fact that you need to meet software and hardware requirements that makes learning possible, you need a lot of self-discipline to actually succeed. Not to mention the fact that you need to know how to use the system. Just like traditional learning institutions, online classes adopts a format that requires students to be accountable for accomplishing tasks within stipulated timeframes. As such, you need a lot of motivation to get used to the format and excel. Although these timelines might be as strict like those in in-person classes, they still require students to be dedicated in completing assignments and meeting deadlines. Generally, the materials taught in both types of courses are similar, or even the same most of time. In fact, in most cases the same lesson plan is used. This is not surprising given the fact that some of these online classes are actually taught by traditional colleges and universities.

The format of online classes

Just like in-person classes, online courses come with their syllabus. This syllabus gives an overview of the topics that are covered in the course, and sometimes, assignments and projects. Except for self-paced courses where students can complete courses anytime they want, other line courses usually have starting and completion dates which are all indicated in the syllabus. Textbooks are also an important requirement in online classes. These books may be available in traditional bookstores, but most of the time, they are usually downloadable online. Chapters from these books are often assigned to students with exercises at the end which need to be done and submitted. This is no different from what goes on in college classrooms. Most of the time these online classes are conducted by professors who determine what goes on. Some professors might want students to virtually attend classes at specific times with invitation links sent to their mails. Other professors might adopt a different pattern where students are assigned projects and asked to meet online on discussion boards to discuss about these projects. Sometimes your activeness in these boards may constitute part of your entire grading at the end of each session. From above, it is obvious that the workload for traditional classes and online classes is the same in most case. In order words, don’t expect to do less work when enrolling for an online program especially if it’s offered by a recognized institution. Like in-person classes, you will be required to do assignments, develop reading times, and take notes during classes even though the instructor is not physically present. You will also have to take exams at the end of every semester. The only difference here is that you will be taking the exams online instead of a physical location. To sum it all up, online courses are a great way to bag a degree if you don’t have the time or luxury to attend a traditional college, or if you just like getting things done on your own. It is neither harder nor easier than a traditional college class, but will require more commitment on your part if you want to succeed.

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