The Pros and Cons of Online Courses

Delving into the way online courses could affect a student’s perspective of learning.

Easy access to the internet makes online schooling accessible to all students.


Easy access to the internet makes online schooling accessible to all students.

by Xavier Medina, Assistant Editor

Technology continues to improve day after day and with that comes the introduction of online courses. There are many pros and cons to this idea, but many teachers are opposed to this idea due to the restrictions it has on a student’s potential. Students are kept from the face to face interaction that a normal course would have, causing any questions they may have to go unanswered. 


For many of students in their sophomore to senior years of high school, some have jobs or other activities that require a flexible schedule. Online classes provide students with lots of free time they could use to work on anything they need to catch up on. Students are also allowed to work ahead and complete the course within a short amount of time if the right amount of motivation is applied. 


Attending an online course may seem like the easier option but still has a fair share of restrictions. Without face-to-face interaction, a student is unable to pick up on any mannerisms, body language, or tone of voice when a professor is teaching you in person. Networking issues also seem to plague a student in online classes. The internet is not always reliable, making computers or any other internet using devices vulnerable to internet outages. 


According to the New York Times, many students are able to keep up with the pace of online classes, there are groups of students who require a skilled teacher to teach. The less proficient students need the face-to-face interactions in order to fulfill their needs when it comes to learning. High levels of self-motivation, self-regulation, and organizational skills are needed in order to be successful in online courses; therefore, the inefficient students are unsuccessful and are unable to stay on task. 

Students even as high up as college attend online courses.

The Fiscal Times states that online courses restrict the ability to ask questions freely, leaving students confused about certain subjects. Many of the courses are graded by a machine; therefore, if a student was to find a compromise to improve their grade, there would be no teacher to discuss said compromise. Although most students work independently, some like to form “study groups” in order to increase any understanding one might need. 


Many teachers believe students are continuing to be deceitful and cheat on their courses. According to a survey Forbes performed, “sixty percent of faculty members believe that academic fraud is more common in online courses than face-to-face courses.” 


For students, there is a shift in perspective. Many students are being benefited through the wide customization abilities for the courses they attend. The courses can be customized to pertain to all students’ learning processes. Doing so makes the experience more enjoyable and students will enjoy their time taking the course. 


Senior Ismael Duran takes an online course and states, “It helps me focus and lets me work at my own pace.” Duran was never one for in-person classes or school in general stating, “It’s boring and I don’t want to be here.” 


Ultimately the decision comes down to whether the student is willing to commit or would rather take an in-person class. Online courses take a certain amount of dedication to complete, making sure that students have the motivation to continue on while succeeding at the same time.