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The Pros and Cons of Online Courses

Taking classes online, the pros and cons.

Online courses are generally quicker, more affordable and more flexible than traditional classes. However, online classes are not for everyone. That is why Jones College provides both traditional and online courses.  It is important to weigh the pros and cons of taking an online course. It is also important to analyze your own learning style to help decide if it is the best decision for you.


Online courses provide a flexible schedule. Unlike traditional classes, online programs allow you to log in at your own convenience. This makes online courses a great option for people who have difficult schedules to work around. People who are caring for kids or working often choose online programs for the flexibility. Another positive to the online programs is that the pacing is flexible. Online students can move quickly through material that they understand and choose to spend more time on the areas they struggle with. In a traditional class the pace of learning is set by the professor and students who struggle can have a hard time keeping up.

The classes are more affordable. The cost of tuition for online programs is often more affordable than a traditional brick-and-mortar class. If money is one of your biggest concerns, then online learning might be a good option for you. Although the tuition savings may not be huge, there are other cost savings that come with choosing an online program. Taking an online class eliminates the cost of things like gas, parking, and books.


It is a more independent learning. Online learning allows a more student-centered teaching approach. For some students this can be more difficult. If you struggle with keeping organized and staying on task, this might not be the best option for you. Also, without the need to physically go to class at a certain time, online learning requires self-discipline. If you are the type of person who struggles to self-motivate a traditional class might be a better choice for you. Traditional classes help to create a structure for the students and deadlines to help keep students on task.

Another con of online learning is that there will be limited instructor interaction. Although most online courses do provide ways to interact with your instructor, you can’t always get help in real time. Often times you have to e-mail an instructor and wait for a response. In a traditional class you can simply raise your hand during class or stay after to speak with the instructor in person.

Finally, the biggest setback to taking an online course is that you can’t get the hands on training you get in a traditional class setting. In a traditional class setting you can learn through hands on experience. Most classes at brick-and-mortar technical colleges provide labs where you spend class time gaining experience and knowledge. Online courses can help you to gain knowledge but cannot provide the same hands on experience.


Everyone has a different learning style and different life obstacles. Online learning can be a way for some to overcome obstacles that might have otherwise kept them from going back to school. For others, the benefits of in class learning outweigh the benefits of online learning. If you are interested in either style of learning Jones College has programs that will fit your needs.



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