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Are on-line college classes as good as classroom classes.?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.03  

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BarCo 
Asked at 2011.03.28 22:48:59
I have read about some online schools being very bad and a financial ripoff for when it comes to educational value.
answer SCC  Answered at 2011.03.28 22:48:59
Hi! I'm a student at Davenport University where we have both in-seat and on-line classes. Our on-line classes are typically 7 weeks for a 3 credit hour class and most in-seat classes are either 7 or 15 week classes. Our school is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and our school website is www.davenport.edu

Some on-line schools may not be that good, depending upon the college and the degree you choose.

In the case of my school, we have a major and specific classes we have to take. When we take them and how many classes per semester is up to us. We also have the option to take either in-seat or on-line classes, the credits and the textbook are the same.

As far as the on-line classes being as good or worse, it all depends on your learning style.

For instance, I would not take either math, finance or accounting classes on-line as I feel I need that instruction right on the board in front of me. In an on-line class, we currently don't have the technology to do that. Our lectures are non-audio and we read the lectures just like our textbooks.

But where the on-line classes excel is the discussion boards. We use Blackboard learning system for our classes. Most of my classes typically have 2 to 4 discussion questions that we have to answer each week (based on our chapters) and they are put on to a discussion board where we comment on each other's postings. I learn a lot more from the interaction than any other function of the school. Especially in a school like mine where many of the students are already working in the field. We also may have group projects and one or more papers per session. I have to log onto the discussion board 5 days per week to receive credit. The assignments are posted at the beginning of the week and we have until Midnight on specific days to get the work done. I typically take 2 classes per 7 week session and spend between 15-30 hours per week on an average for my classes (between reading, research, writing papers, and posting to the discussion boards). But I typically do more work than the average student, because I figure if I'm going to pay for the classes I want my money's worth in learning that topic. Other students may only spend 3 or 4 hours per week on the study time, but their grades will reflect it as well.

I'd check for the following issues in determining whether the school is a valid one.

1) Is the degree a "canned" degree where they put you in a program and you take class A, then class B, then Class C in a specific sequence, or do you have some flexibility in the schedule?
2) Will the instructors be available via e-mail, or by phone for questions.
3) Are there alumni you can talk with about the degrees?
4) Are there career advisors at the school to help you with preparing to enter the job market afterwards.
5) Do you have the option of taking the classes either in-seat or on-line. At my school I take a combination. I live 35 miles from one of the campuses and 58 miles from another campus and depending on the class I want to take, I may take the class on-line, or at one of the other campuses.

Good luck to you on your decision!
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