Globally, more and more people are seeking to supplement their education, to give their resume that edge it needs to catch the eye of an employer and get a leg up on the pile of similarly trained people, all fighting for that same little spot. But, with increasingly busy schedules overall, how can people with several jobs, families, and/or an SUV find the time to take classes?
With the widespread availability of the Internet and an average of almost two computers per household in the United States alone, people all over the world have started enrolling in an entirely new breed of class – the Internet class!
Remember, It’s Still a School
Despite the rumors that “It’s like school, only easier,” Internet classes have made the lives of working men and women seeking an education more flexible in the long run. Instead of having “that one class late on Friday that you dread for the whole week” (while you work your butt off, no less,) Internet classes can be done at any time of the week, day or night! Working a strange and unpredictable schedule that just might change unexpectedly in the next day or so? No problem! Just login and read the lecture on Tuesday or Wednesday instead of Thursday, or vice-versa.
There are still deadlines, of course, but the luxury of going on and handling your school work whenever you feel like it during the course of the week is liberating, at the very least. Don’t want to do homework on your birthday, anniversary, kid’s baseball game? With Internet classes, you’ve usually got all week to do your assignments, sometimes longer – in the case of major essays and projects, so as long as you’ve set aside some time to do it, you can take that special time off without feeling guilty about not doing your homework.
But flexibility in your schedule isn’t the only merit Internet classes have. If you’ve ever had trouble remembering just what that important thing was that the teacher said (that you accidentally forgot to stick in your notes), then you’ll love this next part- all lectures are typed! That’s right, everything your teacher wants you to know is right there, for as long as you need it, in a form that can be highlighted, printed, accurately quoted, and is easily accessible in times of need. Even better than that (for instructors, at least,) is the ability to redirect students to links on the Internet, allowing them to discover the wonders of a museum or university website that they might otherwise miss.
New Form – Same Difficulties
So then, you might be wondering, “what are the drawbacks?” The answer is simple – they are the same drawbacks you take the chance of facing in any offline class; difficult material, the need for all homework to be typed, difficulties with research papers etc. And most importantly, a bad teacher. Now, that doesn’t mean the teacher is simply “too hard” or “has a monotone voice,” no- bad teachers are something entirely different. Bad teachers don’t care. To broaden that rather a general statement, let me clarify by giving some examples of bad teaching- Teachers who don’t serve their required office hours, don’t safeguard their exams (in some fashion, at least) against cheaters, and/or ignore student questions about projects, exams, or essays, making excuses like “They don’t pay me enough to answer your questions.”
True, the education system is starving, so naturally, the colleges are going to be scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel in some areas. I’ve actually had a teacher who declared, half-way through the semester, that he was so tired of teaching, so done with the semester, that you could “see right through him.” that he was “hardly there.” That’s a bad teacher. And, it’s something that you might run into online as well.
In all, the ability to take college classes online is a wonderfully liberating feeling! Just think, you could work a number of jobs, support a family, and take -if you’re brave or determined enough- a full load of classes, while still having some time here and there to spend when and how you please, with the people you love, doing the things you want to do! And with gas prices the way they are, it’s the economical choice as well! So, if you feel compelled to get a few extra units under your belt, check into your local college and see what kind of online classes they’re offering.