Skip to Content (Press Enter)
blog image

The Pros & Cons Of An Online Class

by Kaitlyn Wightman
Marketing Specialist

January 07, 2014

Online classes have come a long way in terms of technology, quality, and flexibility. Earning your degree online lets you “attend class” without disrupting your career and family. 

But taking an online class isn’t for everyone. Is it right for you? Here are some pros and cons on taking an online class... 

Pro: No Distractions

In a classroom, interruptions and unrelated conversations happen. Not in an online class, which requires both you and instructor to always be focused and on task. 

Con: No Distractions

Because there are no interruptions, your entire instruction time is dedicated to the lesson. Your full attention is required if you want to pass the online class. 

It also means no one can ask, "Will this be on the test?" Expect everything on the test. 

Pro: More Class Options

More variety in course subjects means having a say on what class you take. More degrees and classes are available online, so you can sign up for a class that actually interests you. 

Con: Online Classes Are Just As Hard

Even though there isn’t a classroom, online coursework tends to be just as hard (if not harder than) a traditional course. That’s because your professor wants you to prove you’re learning the course information and ensure the highest academic standards. 

Don’t expect a cakewalk just because you aren’t face-to-face with your professor. Do expect greater accountability for your work in an online class. 

Pro: Class Flexibility, Not Deadlines

Online classes give you the convenience to watch and read class lectures on your schedule. However, deadlines on homework, papers, quizzes, and tests are fixed. Stay on top of your due dates. 

Con: Some Classes Are Less Flexible Than Others

Online classes are either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous online classes require you and your instructor to be online at the same time for class participation. Asynchronous online classes let you access course materials for each week’s lesson when it fits best in your schedule. Pay close attention to which kind of online class you sign up for and what’s expected of you. 

Pro: Save Money

There’s no driving to and from class, and many online classes post required readings online. These costs quickly add up for a traditional student. NAU also offers the most affordable tuition rates in Arizona

Con: Online Platforms Have Limitations

At NAU, your online classroom is on BbLearn. Although you have access to discussion boards, you do not get the face-to-face interaction with your instructor and your peers. If this is important to you, arrange time to video chat with your classmates or instructor.

Taking an online class doesn’t have to be scary. Remember that you receive the same guidance and resources as traditional classroom students. 

By knowing what to expect from an online class, you can decide if taking an online class is right for you. 

Have a comment on this post? Share it on our Facebook page
Additional Story Info
For more information, contact:
NAU-Extended Campuses
1-(800)-426-8315
ec.marketing@nau.edu