Dueling column: Online classes offer a variety of benefits

Eduardo Alvarez/ Assistant Opinion Director

Wherever you are, you can study.

Whether you’re on vacation, live too far away or are just plain busy; you have the option of not falling behind on your studies.

Such are the wonders of technology, coupled with the will of most modern universities to mix convenience with education.

Some argue that online classes fail to provide the same kind of in-depth instruction one would encounter in a traditional classroom setting; and while I agree that the digital format is untraditional, I’ve found that the depth usually depends on the student.

Any class will include the students’ books and curriculum, which, if followed, will further the student’s knowledge.

In this sense, it’s the same as any other course.

The one undeniable setback to online classes is the lack of the professor’s physical presence. The relationship between students and teachers is an invaluable part of education; but again, not strictly the knowledge of the subject matter.

Now, when one balances what’s gained with what is lost, it’s hard not to appreciate the sheer ease afforded to students by long-distance learning, particularly those with logistical difficulties.

It used to be the case, for example, that you had to choose between going on vacation and taking summer classes, but just a few months ago I found myself doing homework next to a volcano in Costa Rica.

In addition, online classes foster responsibility and organization by making the student check class materials on their own time; with no one to hold your hand. While one does this, life-long study habits begin to develop, teaching students to take charge of their education.

It also provides more jobs for professors, both tenured and adjunct, and frees up space for dynamic new courses that would have otherwise been impossible to offer in a limited physical space.

So in both space and time, and economics, online classes provide a flexibility that I believe should be appreciated and taken advantage of.

Read the other side here: Online learning will never replace face-to-face teaching


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo by Maxwell Ridgeway on Unsplash. 

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