The article concerns the following question – What are the main differences between online and real life colleges. A lot of misconceptions exit about online learning. Online colleges are a new trend, growing along with the internet, which has opened up doors for students in situations not conducive to the demands of normal college life. Yet many do not fully understand the differences between these two types of colleges.
Naturally, an online college offers its courses online. Real life colleges require that you maintain a physical presence, at set times, during classes, while (usually) paying extra fees for boarding, lab fees, etc. Online colleges don’t undergo these expenses and pass these savings onto their students – making them, almost invariably, cheaper. This price advantage is very useful when one considers their main demographics – financially strapped individuals, with bright potential, whose situations prohibit them from enrolling in a traditional college.
These student don’t have a lot of money, and possibly don’t have time either (particularly if they are also working), making online colleges the cheaper, and more convenient, attraction for them. The lack of necessity for a sustained physical presence means that these individuals can continue with their lives while taking steps to better themselves.
One obvious difference exists, and is possibly the only one that most, if not all, online colleges have failed to remedy, is the lack of extra-curricular activities. While real life colleges have numerous sports teams, fraternities, student groups, etc. Online colleges lack this, largely because of the lack of a centralized campus.
This means that online colleges don’t participate in sporting events, and other college related activities, leaving a gaping hole in this non-academic aspect of college life. While not necessarily an academic disadvantage, it remains an important difference, to be considered, when deciding between these two types of colleges.
Another difference, favourable to online colleges, on this occasion, is the ease of time management. Classes are generally much more flexible and can, sometimes, be taken at times convenient to the individual student. This means that students who work odd hours, or have other obligations to meet at normal class times, can work around their schedules and still get all their work done. This luxury is not usually afforded by real life colleges that, in fact, may fail students for missing too many classes, regardless of grades.
One other main difference is the method of instruction. Whereas real life colleges employ lecturers, in active classroom settings, allowing for students to query the professor for further explanation, as soon as he attempts to make a point, online college do not often provide this. At a real life college, lecturers may welcome student questions, during, or outside of classes, and take the time to help individuals understand the material. While online college lecturers may be just as willing, their assistance is confined to electronic mediums, making it more difficult to obtain help with comprehension of topics.
When making the crucial decision of which type of college to go for, these differences should be considered, alongside each individual situation, before a lifetime decision is made.