The Best of Both Worlds

by Eloise Thomas
(New York)

I agree with everyone who argues that online education isn't for everyone. However, if you're an individual who is disciplined, driven and is strapped for time to make it to a classroom, online education is definitely your answer.

When I first enrolled for an online class, my goal was to register for twenty credits in that given semester. Few of the classes I wanted to register for conflicted time-wise, and so I registered for 18 credits on campus and one class online.

What I've learned? Online courses are far more demanding, your grades depend on participation, honesty and effort. In a classroom setting one's grade may not be adversely affected if he/she chooses not to participate in a class discussion.

The online advantage is that students who are serious about learning actually learn. In order to gain participation points, students must do research on a given topic and then post thoughtful responses - a great advantage to online education.

Another advantage - the ability to attend class, work, tend to family etc and still attend classes. Online education provides one with the flexibility needed to get things done.

A word to the wise, don't just enroll in an online course and expect to pass, you have to put in the work. Pay close attention to the syllabi, and course guidelines.

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