Online classes have numerous pros and cons. In some cases, depending on the individual, the pros may outweigh the cons. For instance, the working class may find it advantageous to take online courses in order to meet scheduling mandates. He or she can plan to take classes around their work schedule and by doing so they can spend more time with family as well as be able to schedule classes around social and special events. The convenience of taking classes online would allow them the opportunity to give quality time to their families, friends, as well as be the best that they can be at their jobs. However, there are some setbacks in taking online classes; personal participation is one of those factors. Factors in the classroom, such as forming a good rapport with other classmates and having meaningful relationships with the instructors, will suffer if online classes are taken. The argument one may present is how much one learns and/or comprehends from taking an online class. This concept itself evokes personal interaction among individuals and/or their peers.
The convenience of taking online courses heavily influences the pros of taking online courses to outweigh the cons. Many individuals choose to go back to school during a failing economy; that is the case with many individuals in today's society. In an attempt to better their employment prospects, people choose to get a higher education so that they may excel in their position (Baker, Wentz, & Woods 2009). Online classes allow for people to be able to multi-task their jobs with their schooling. The flexibility in scheduling these classes makes it possible for the working class to be able to both have a job and get an education simultaneously. Plenty of individuals choose not to pursue a higher degree because they believe that their jobs are more important and therefore do not have the time to go to an actual school at a specified time and sit in a classroom for hours multiple times a week. With online schooling however, both can be done at the convenience of one's time and in the convenience of one's home (Baker, Wentz, & Woods 2009). Online classes allow the flexibility that many working people are looking for.
Ten years ago, online course were not as accessible as they are now. Classes used to be poorly managed, poorly taught, and extremely expensive. However, the growth in popularity of these classes have allowed for a massive expansion in the number of different subject matters that are now being taught online, making some brick and mortar courses obsolete (Friedman 2013). Schools with elite reputations and schools offering a lower rate on their online accessibility have allowed for the working class to be able to afford a better, higher quality education. Because of this same notion, individuals that may not have been able to afford an education, or may not have been able to travel to a location, now have the opportunity to schedule their own online classes and be able to attend them whenever they have time. Online classes make it possible for someone from a state like Oklahoma to have access to quality education in New York City -- all from their own home (Friedman 2013). Being able to maintain employment while going to school is something that may not really be an option for some working class people, but online schooling allows them to still pay their bills, have extra money in case of emergencies, and most importantly, spend time with their families.
Many individuals may feel forced to choose between going to school and spending time with their families. With online courses, the stress of having to make this hard decision is alleviated. Online classes, as aforementioned, allow students to have flexibility in their scheduling of classes. This relieves the burden of having to feel as if one's family is being neglected. Despite popular belief, both men and women benefit from spending more time with their children and with their family members (Muller 2008). Individuals who choose to go on the journey of getting a better education, no longer needs to give up their family time to do so. Because many classes online have assignment deadlines that are more convenient to meet, people with families often find this alternative better than having to leave their homes during scheduled class times; this limits the time that they are able to spend with families (Baker, Wentz, & Woods 2009). Choosing to take a course online limits this inconvenience and allows for more people to have access to equal education. An online education is able to permeate all levels of society, despite socioeconomic barriers.
As previously mentioned, although online courses allow for both men and women to have extra time to spend with their families, it can also be more beneficial for parents who choose to stay at home raising their children while their children are old enough to go to an actual school. Some parents with children choose to delay their schooling or do not attempt to get a degree in higher education because of their responsibilities at home with their young children; the possibility of an online education has changed all of that (Muller 2008). Because online classes and the assignments associated with these courses can mostly be scheduled at the convenience of the individual, parents no longer have to feel as if they are sacrificing raising their children the way that they would prefer to, just because they choose to get an education. Online classes have made both of these important factors possible.
Online classes not only allow for the working class to have more access to education and allow for individuals to spend more time with their families, but these online courses also allow for individuals to be able to schedule time for social events. These events can be anything from spending more time with friends, to having extra time to go to a meeting at work. Because of the flexibility that online schooling offers, individuals will have more time to run errands and to maintain a social life -- things that may not be possible if one is working and attending a brick and mortar school (Baker, Wentz, & Woods 2009). There are always unexpected occurrences that affect one's ability to maintain regular attendance at a school that is not online, but taking courses online allows more flexibility to handle situations that may arise unexpectantly, or to deal with circumstances that do not allow for prior planning or any flexibility.
Despite all the wonders of taking courses online, there is that notion that some things are lost when one does not attend a brick and mortar school; it may not always be the best thing to take a course online if one is looking to develop a meaningful relationship with a professor or with other students in the class. By taking a course online, one is sacrificing meeting new people, and having an educational experience where connections are made and networking is possible (Bolliger & Oksana 2009). Developing a relationship is nearly impossible with an online course. Professors at times may only know their students by the work that they submit and by their student identification number. Although this may also be the case in large classes at a physical school location, with online courses, students do not have much of an opportunity to make themselves stand out so that the professor knows who they are. The interaction is limited to the subject matter that is being discussed in the online class.
Interactions between students themselves are also limited since everything is dependent on online posts. For the most part, there is no set time for real-time interaction between students. It is not possible to have debates on subject matters that may provoke thought. Taking a course online also heavily diminishes the broad range of classes that can be offered (Larvin 2009). Although there has been an immense improvement on the quality and quantity of education and the teaching of online classes, courses such as those of the sciences, are not possible to be taught online. Most of these classes require laboratory components that cannot be replicated in an online format, therefore reputable forms of these courses are not really offered online (Larvin 2009). This creates an ambiance where only individuals focusing on certain areas are able to get access to online education (Friedman 2013). Students who choose to go into subject matters that are not supported online, have a difficult time managing their time since they most likely have to attend an actual classroom.
Despite online courses having its cons, the pros heavily and undoubtedly outweigh them. The convenience and flexibility that taking classes online offers, makes life a lot easier for many individuals seeking an education. Working class people can now have the time to both go to school without having to sacrifice or cut down on their employment hours -- this…