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Are online classes better than on-campus classes?

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – The Sentry

On-Campus provides structure

Opinion by Amanda Blackman

Online classes offer more setbacks than benefits to most students. Students pursuing online classes are faced with unnecessarily steep student fees, separation from their professors, and a lack of structure.

Every semester, students are faced with paying their tuition and student fees. In many cases, students struggle to pay said fees. When electing to take a class online, whether completely online or an in-person/online hybrid class, an extra fee is dropped on top of the rest. This fee can go toward online exam proctoring or a type of “convenience” fee. If students aren’t filling physical space in a classroom or even using the school’s wifi networks, this fee is not convenient. It’s only a burden.

Many students find it difficult to succeed in a class without being able to verbally communicate with a professor. If a question arises during an online assignment, students must email or direct message their professor. Instead of simply raising a hand and asking the question in the moment and getting a speedy answer to help them throughout the rest of the class, the answer may take hours. Students are left trying to complete their assignments with questions that go unanswered.

Another issue that online students have to face is the issue of having a much higher level of responsibility. College is a time for all students to learn how to be responsible for their time, and on-campus classes have a benefit of providing structure. Students are still responsible for doing their own work outside of class, but a scheduled class time provides a dedicated space to study. Online classes don’t provide this as an option. These students instead need to bring enough self-motivation to the table to get their work done. It’s not impossible, but most college students will agree that procrastination and poor time management are pervasive struggles. 

While others will argue that online classes have more benefits to students than downfalls, that is complete nonsense. In person classes are far superior for their ease and engagement.

Online provides flexibility

Opinion by Jaleesia Fobbs

Online classes are more beneficial than classes on-campus because they offer more flexibility, and the structure of the courses are laid back.

While my opponent might argue that online classes create a divisive interaction between professor and student, professors offer at least three to four office hours in which students can come in with their questions. Some professors even go to the extent of offering alternative ways of communication to reach them faster, because they are aware of the delays when communicating through Canvas or email. And for students who don’t care to be bothered with syllabus day, icebreakers, or multiple group projects throughout the semester, online courses offer a safe haven for those introverted souls. 

Online classes offer flexibility in a time where students are often taking on multiple responsibilities. Everyone knows that multi-tasking and time management are the basic skills students must have when balancing school, work, and sometimes extra-curricular activities. Online classes give students a week and sometimes two weeks in advance to complete their assignments, giving them the freedom to prioritize and dedicate time for their studies. 

Depending on the class, there is less work than what is scheduled on a syllabus for on-campus courses. In some cases, online classes, at the most, have either a final project due at the end of the semester that is divided into intervals throughout the term, or several assignments that are worth more points—due to be completed at a reasonable time. Even so, students who take online courses don’t have to allocate time to get ready for class and sit through an hour and a half of lecture or three hours worth of labs. Instead, they can attend school from the comfort of their bedroom. 

On-campus courses require far more energy and commitment to participate in and offer a rigid structure in which students must cram to get their assignments done. Compared to online courses, on-campus courses simply don’t compare.

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