Even though distance learning has made great strides in the last two decades, I have always preferred the traditional classroom experience. I have to admit, I can be a bit biased against accredited online courses as well, thinking them somehow inferior to courses one would take on site at a college or university. I have come to realize, though, that accredited online courses can be just as challenging, if not more so, than traditional classes.
One of the things that I found especially challenging about accredited online courses is that it requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline to complete them. There is a lot of material to cover, along with quizzes, assignments papers and tests, all of which must be completed within a timely manner. I think that I may have gotten the impression that we could work at our own pace, and to a certain extent you can. What I soon discovered, however, was that a lot was expected, and there was not a class meeting three times a week with a professor lecturing to you, which brings me to my next point.
It seems that, because there is not a professor there lecturing you, there is more work involved in accredited online courses than there is in traditional classes. It’s almost as if the university is making up for the fact that you don’t have to actually go to school by making sure that as much material as possible is covered, to ensure that you get the best possible picture of a particular subject. That is one of the biggest reasons I prefer traditional courses.
One of the things a friend of mine told me that he really did not care for about accredited online courses is that, especially in the math and science classes, there is no professor to ask how to work out a particular problem. There was an instructor for the course, obviously, but if one had a question about how to solve a particular problem, they would have to submit their question via e-mail to the professor and wait for his response, which could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
I have to admit, my lone encounter with accredited online courses was enough to scare me away for good, and at the same time provide me with a whole new level of respect for such classes. There is a lot of work involved and they are certainly not something to be taken lightly. Some people thrive on them, and I know for a fact that they are really convenient for a lot of people who have busy schedules and do not have the time to sit in class three times a week. For me, however, I think I will just stick with the traditional format.