Point/Counterpoint: Online classes rock

Josh Rouse

As an incredibly lazy individual, I can appreciate online classes. It’s like taking a regular class, without all that pesky walking and sitting in desks and talking to people, all for a price that’s almost affordable.

Seriously, though, online classes do have benefits. They offer a chance to earn a quality education even if your schedule doesn’t quite allow you to go to a classroom. It also offers the ability to get a long-distance education, basically making location a non-factor.

It is an especially important tool for parents or full-time workers who may not have the extra time to drive to campus and sit in a classroom for three hours a week. While an argument can be made that it is less hands-on than traditional courses, it is also more student-friendly as the classes are generally smaller and allow the professors to focus much more on the individual rather than the group. Many professors are also ready and willing to meet with their students outside of cyberspace to offer help, though the assignments often seem to be easier to understand via the computer.

Many traditional classes are also taking to cyberspace, offering CD’s and Web sites to do homework, take practice tests and learn the curriculum. I’ve actually learned a lot more from the Internet than I have from my professor in my traditional College Algebra class, so obviously the Internet is a strong learning tool that many of us already have experience with. The major goal now is to make online education more accessible to the masses (it’d be swell if it were cheaper than traditional classes). This hang-up is the main factor that deters students from taking online courses at Washburn, and is a rather silly one. Obviously, if community colleges can offer low rates for online courses, we should be able to offer relatively low rates. It’s the 21st century, and I struggle to believe that it’s more difficult for professors to put a few assignments on a Web site than it is to teach a live class.

As long as you actually remember to check the Web site on a regular basis and get the work done on time, you’ll be golden.