The Consequences and Issues of Online Education

Technology is designed to make humans work smarter and not harder. But can this purpose of technology translate over to education? Recent studies have proven that online courses actually deprive students of a real education and a unique college experience.

College is so much more than just learning a specific curriculum or completing lessons for a class on a computer. It is an opportunity to expand your learning and network by utilizing professors for help in an interactive way, making connections with classmates and professionals, and getting involved with various types of organizations and activities on campus.

The quality of education and overall college experience cannot be simulated by online courses.

Offering a quality education is for the most part every university’s main priority. They provide students with professors that are well trained in their field of study and equipped to answer questions they may have in regards to the curriculum. Most professors even offer outside help from teacher assistants or designated office hours for continued tutoring outside of the classroom.

This becomes a real challenge when dealing with online courses because there is no face-to-face interaction between students and professors.

A student could have a burning question and the professor could take days to respond. In a survey taken by students from Phoenix University (one of the nation’s largest online university’s), over half of them were unsatisfied by the interaction with their professors. Most of the students complained about the online professors not being accessible during the times they were needed (Jaschik).

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If students cannot get direct answers from their professors, they are forced to look to outside sources for help, and these sources may not be reliable. In the end, students basically teach themselves, which contributes to them getting false information on the subject and failing the course.

Another benefit of learning in a physical classroom is working together with your classmates. Group activities such as debates, projects, and group presentations are valuable experiences that will serve students in the real world. However, these practices cannot be achieved in an online course. Research shows that students who studied for the same midterm with a group of classmates performed better than those students who studied alone (Jaschik).

Even outside the classroom, working together with colleagues can be one of the most valuable lessons you can learn in college. No matter what career a person wants to pursue, at some point they will be required to work together with someone to accomplish a task. A traditional college classroom provides the perfect environment to collaborate and work together with peers that an online course could never compare to.

One of the most well-known quotes with regards to finding a job is, “It is not about what you know, it is about who you know.” Networking and meeting people in the field of study that a student is pursing is one of the greatest benefits that a traditional university can have. Career fairs, clubs, and other extra-curricular activities offer the opportunity to meet professionals that are out in the work force doing what a student is pursuing. Networking is developing partnerships that support you while you map out your career goals (Network Your Way Through College and Beyond). Having a degree alone for a lot of careers is usually not enough.

It is important to build relationships with professionals and peers that can recommend you for a position, or guide you towards the people who can. In my own experience of being a Business Finance major, I can say that making connections is vital to getting a job after college. Most firms look for experiences you have with jobs, internships, and working with professionals in the field. If I were to come to a financial firm with nothing but an online degree, they would surely chose someone with even a little experience or a recommendation over me. Guidance for students after they graduate is something that online universities focus very little on. Some

Universities, such as Liberty University, even charge students extra fees for career counseling (Elliot). Everyone knows that college is a time to have fun. Greek life is usually portrayed in the media as young adults who only party, drink, and do drugs. However, studies show a direct correlation with the success of students and being part of a Greek organization. Since 1825, all but three U.S. presidents were part of a fraternity (Glass). Eighty five percent of fortune 500 executives were a part of Greek life (Glass).

College graduation rates are 20% higher among Greeks than non-Greeks (Glass). The list goes on of the advantages of being a part of a Greek organization. Joining a fraternity or sorority not only improves a student’s chances of being successful, but it also helps develop their social life and creates friendships and bonds that can last a lifetime. Studying online deprives students of these valuable connections and interactions that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Research comparing students from online universities and traditional universities show that students are far more satisfied with their social life and overall college experience in a traditional setting (Nelson).

Online universities were designed to make getting a degree quick and easy. However, what they really do is give students a lower quality education while taking away valuable college experiences that can only be obtained in a traditional college or university.

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The Consequences and Issues of Online Education. (2023, Mar 14). Retrieved from

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