Arguments Against Online Schooling

By Gertrude Elizabeth Greene

  • Overview

    The popularity of online schooling has skyrocketed in recent years as the rising cost of education has driven students to look for more affordable options. There are many benefits to pursuing an education online, but before you sign up for this option, carefully consider whether it is right for you. Whether you are considering secondary, post-secondary or vocational training, there are some compelling arguments against online schooling. Online schooling requires dedication, discipline and a distraction-free environment.
  • Distractions

    The typical home has many distractions that could lessen the effectiveness of online classes. If there are other people, particularly young children, living in the home, they may be unwilling or unable to keep quiet and give the student the necessary quiet time to concentrate. Even if the student lives alone, distractions may come in the form of phone calls, trips to the kitchen and a compelling desire to check one's email just one more time.
  • Self-discipline

    Many online courses are self-guided, meaning that you can work at your own pace. This sounds great at face value, but without deadlines, procrastination can become all too easy. Online schooling requires a great amount of self-discipline to ensure that you get the work done in a timely manner. You will have to tell your friends that you can't chat with them, turn off your TV and cell phone and sit down and work for perhaps several hours a day.

  • Not Taken Seriously

    For many years, distance education has been frowned upon as being less legitimate than more traditional schooling. This may be an unfair generalization, and it is beginning to change; but in many circles your online degree may be looked down upon, and you may not progress in your career as quickly as you would if you had a degree from a traditional school. You can largely eliminate this disadvantage by choosing a reputable, highly-regarded school.
  • Impersonal Instruction

    Online schooling can lack warmth and intimacy. You will be missing out on spontaneous classroom discussions and study group sessions with your classmates. It will be almost impossible to build relationships with your instructors and fellow students. One of the great advantages of attending a brick-and-mortar school is that you can make contacts that will benefit you in your future career---online schooling typically does not offer this opportunity. Also, it may be more difficult to get answers to your questions about the material.
  • Learning Styles

    Online courses may not suit your individual learning style. If you learn best through hearing lectures and participating in discussions, then an online course that is mostly text-based may make it more difficult for you to learn the material. On the other hand, if your online course requires watching video lectures, you may find it hard to pay attention without the stimulus of a live classroom. If you need hands-on activities to learn the material, then you will have to find ways to participate in these activities outside the online learning environment.
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