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Online versus In-Person?

Sometimes classes I need have the option of being online with testing done in person at the college. I've taken two last summer and did well. I'm considering a few more over the summer but this time they would be math (basic college algebra) and maybe a history class. Are there any classes you would absolutely avoid taking online because the material is tough? #college #college-major #teacher #math


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Ian’s Answer

Hey Gwen, I also agree with Patricia's answer that most mathematical courses and any other classes that might require discussion and further explanation in order to better grasp the concepts, should be taken in person.
It can difficult sometimes to fully understand concepts without being able to ask questions and discuss in real time. There are a lot of courses that could be in that category based on what field you are studying. Also, an in-person class allows for a teacher to greater emphasize areas of the course that are crucial to your success in the class.

Thank you! Gwen T.

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Elishah’s Answer

Hi Gwen
The answer really depends on how you learn best. In high school math did you prefer to work out of a workbook to understand concepts or did you do better when the teacher wrote out problems on the board or used other visuals to break down the problems? If the latter is true, then I wouldn't recommend an online math class.

History and similar classes that require tests based on memorizing facts or putting concepts together may be okay to take online.

As an English professor teaching online writing and research classes, I can tell you that many students have a very difficult time with such online courses and end up needing to retake them. Face to face classes that normally have a lot of discussions and small group think sessions cannot be replicated very successfully online. If you like to bounce ideas off others or enjoy classroom discussions, online writing classes or classes that require several essays may be better in person.

There are also blended or hybrid classes so that students get the benefit of working on their own but then also meet once a week for that crucial interaction. In my experience, students who take these kinds of classes do far better than going it alone online.

I hope this helps.
E.F.

This is helpful thank you! Gwen T.

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Jimmi’s Answer

Hi Ian! This is a great question and I remember pondering this when I was an undergrad. The best advice that I can give you is to determine the difficultly of the course you're taking paired with your own strengths and weakness. I remember the first time I took an online course in Undergrad. Ian, I will tell you that I didn't do well. It was an easy class for me, so I would either forget to log on or I had very low participation in the class. Needless to say, I had to drop that course. However, I was able to learn from that experience and the next time I decided to take online courses during my MBA, I prepared by mapping out my classes each semester. By reviewing the things I stated before, I found myself staying away from math class because of my learning style. I like to hear, see, and do things. (I know, these are not the technical terms. haha) So when I planned to take my first master-level accounting class, I only reviewed options for in-person class and for a class like employment law, I was able to take online. Best of luck to you!

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Patricia’s Answer

I would recommend taking mathematics classes in person, at the college. Mathematics is a subject area that requires more than understanding of basic concepts. It requires application of rules and logic. The more practice and application the better. Being in a room with a teacher, depending on the teacher, should provide the opportunity for guided practice, hands-on assistance, and explanations. In addition, the teacher can make connections from one lesson to another lesson, provide reinforcement of key areas, and address problem areas that are identified as the class proceeds.

Thank you for your answer! Gwen T.

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Hanleigh’s Answer

Hi! I think it depends on the type of learner you are. If you need more accountability, it would be best for you to take in-person courses. However, if you know how to manage yourself, online courses are definitely more convenient and will allow you to maintain other activities or work. College-algebra and history are generally easier core courses that you can take online. I would be aware that your history course may require more reading since you are not physically in class for lectures, and college-algebra may be more difficult online if you are not very good at math. It is basic level math, so you be fine if you did well in high school level algebra. General education courses can be taken online. I would recommend talking to an advisor about taking courses specific to your major online. Some programs may be particular about which courses you can take online.

Thank you for your advice! Gwen T.

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William’s Answer

History could be taken online easier than math in my opinion. It is harder to ask question and receive feedback online than in person, making math tougher do take online. That being said, if you are a fairly self-sufficient person, taking classes online provides greater flexibility when compared to classes in person, so it really comes down to personal preference.

Thank you for your reply! Gwen T.

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