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What is better, in-person or online?

Do most colleges offer this choice?

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Danielle’s Answer

Hi Levi!

Many educational institutions offer a variety of learning formats, including online, face-to-face, or a blended approach. Each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. When making a decision, it's crucial to consider your personal circumstances and needs.

For instance, if you're considering online or hybrid learning, you'll need a stable internet connection, a reliable computer, and a quiet, suitable learning environment. On the other hand, traditional classroom learning requires consistent transportation to ensure you don't miss out on any classes.

Face-to-face learning offers more practical opportunities and makes it easier to collaborate with your classmates on campus. Although this can also be achieved virtually, coordinating with peers who are remotely located can sometimes be a bit tricky.

Moreover, it's important to think about your preferred learning style. You might not be sure about this yet, and that's okay. Online learning often involves a lot of reading, writing, and watching or listening to lectures. There's a potential risk of getting distracted when learning virtually.

I would suggest discussing all these options with academic advisors and expressing any worries you might have. They can provide valuable insights and guidance.

I hope you find this information useful!
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Paul’s Answer

Both have advantages, and it really depends on personal circumstances.

Older individuals like online because they might be further along in their career, have a family, or other responsibilities that will not allow them to take courses in person. So, online is a good choice for them.

If a student is young, has less responsibilities, and has time for a social life and other campus activities, then taking classes in person might be the better choice.
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Farhana’s Answer

In-person! I loved college in person, where I got to try so many activities and meet people from all over the world. I have friends who did online college classes and felt the human connection part was definitely missing. If you're able to, attend college in person and try everything you always wanted to try, or try the things you never heard about before.
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Rian’s Answer

Hi Levi,
A lot of colleges generally tend to be majority online, or majority in-person. I will say though that at some colleges, they do offer some online classes but generally those aren't the norm. Because of COVID, nowadays a lot of lectures are taught in person but are recorded for you to view later. It would be worthwhile to reach out to current students at whatever specific college you are looking at and asking them what their system is.

Best of luck to you!
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Chris’s Answer

Hello!

I completed my undergraduate degree in-person and the completed my Master's Degree online so I have experience with both. I have put my perspective on both formats below:

In-Person formats tend to offer more dynamic methods of presenting. In other words, if the professor feels that a concept is not being communicated effectively it is easier to change their teaching methods to accommodate different learning styles. Remote learning formats are often very lecture focused with the professors teaching via lecture as opposed to a more interactive format. Technology is improving to the point where some of the traditional learning elements can be added to remote learning formats but there is still some progress that needs to be made on that front. My favorite part about remote learning is that generally they are more focused on student-directed learning. This means that students have more freedom in which topics that they pursue as long as it is related to the topic of the course. For example, for one of my business courses, I took a contract writing course and each student was able to write about a different element of contract writing and present that information to the class. Being able to pursue topics we were passionate about allowed for more in-depth and enthusiastic presentations. While this example is certainly possible in in-person formats I have found that it is less often used.
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James’s Answer

Greetings,

The beauty of college education lies in its flexibility. It allows you to finish your tasks at your own pace, so long as you meet the set deadlines. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for someone like me who works overseas. However, having experienced both, I firmly believe that in-person learning has a distinct edge. The discussions tend to be more profound, students appear to be more involved, and the opportunity to learn directly from your professor is invaluable. If given the option, I would strongly recommend choosing in-person learning, even if it's at a community college.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Levi,

Let's Dive into In-Person and Online Education: A Friendly Guide

Choosing between in-person and online education can be quite a task, as both have their unique benefits and potential drawbacks. The best fit for you largely depends on your personal preferences, circumstances, and what your academic program requires. Let's explore both these options in detail to help you make an informed decision.

In-Person Education: The Traditional Route

Traditional in-person education involves physically attending classes at a school or university. Here are some perks of this learning style:

Engaging Learning: In-person education offers direct interaction with teachers and classmates, creating a lively, interactive learning environment.

Instant Answers: You can ask questions and get immediate responses from teachers during class, deepening your understanding of the subjects.

Network Building: You get to form personal bonds with your peers, teachers, and industry professionals, opening doors to valuable networking opportunities.

Routine Building: Regular class schedules can help you develop discipline and time management skills.

However, in-person education comes with a few challenges:

Location Limitations: You need to live close enough to commute to the school or university, which may not be possible for everyone.

Strict Schedule: Fixed class timings may not suit everyone, especially those juggling work or family responsibilities.

Higher Expenses: Traditional education often comes with additional costs like commuting, campus fees, and generally higher tuition fees.

Online Education: The Digital Classroom

Online education, or e-learning, allows you to complete courses and degrees via virtual platforms. Here's what you can gain from this mode of learning:

Flexibility: Online education offers scheduling flexibility, making it easier to balance studies with other responsibilities.

Accessibility: You can access course materials and lectures from anywhere with internet, making education more accessible to those in remote areas or with mobility issues.

Cost Savings: Online programs often cost less and remove expenses related to commuting or on-campus living.

Self-Paced Learning: Some online programs let you learn at your own pace, progressing through the course material as you see fit.

But, online education also has its hurdles:

Limited In-Person Interaction: Lack of face-to-face interaction can make some students feel isolated and may affect collaborative learning experiences.

Self-Discipline Needed: Success in online learning requires strong self-discipline and time management skills.

Tech Dependence: You'll need reliable internet and proficiency in digital tools for effective participation in online education.

Do Colleges Offer Both Options?

Many colleges and universities now offer both in-person and online learning options to cater to diverse student needs. This approach lets them accommodate various student preferences and extend their reach beyond traditional campus boundaries. So, it's a good idea to research your preferred institutions to see what they offer in your field of interest.

In a nutshell, the choice between in-person and online education depends on your personal circumstances, learning style, and preferences. Both have their unique benefits and limitations, so it's important to evaluate your needs carefully before deciding which path to take for your educational journey.

Top 3 References Used:

The Chronicle of Higher Education: A leading source for college and university news, information, and job opportunities.

U.S. News & World Report - Education Section: Known for comprehensive rankings and analysis of various educational institutions and programs.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): The main federal entity for collecting and analyzing U.S. education data.

Take care and God bless,
James.
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Chasity’s Answer

The choice truly depends on what suits you best. I personally thrived on a blend of both online and in-person classes. Balancing your schedule and daily activities can be a breeze with the flexibility that online classes provide. Even when I was working full time, I managed to keep up with my full-time studies, thanks to the convenience of online classes. However, I strongly recommend attending in-person classes for subjects you find challenging. For instance, I chose to take math in a traditional classroom setting, as it allowed me to easily approach the professor for clarification on complex concepts, something that isn't always feasible online. If you decide to go the online route, remember, it's crucial to be self-driven to keep up with the coursework.
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Nirvana’s Answer

Deciding between online and traditional classroom education is largely dependent on your personal goals and expectations from college.

Being physically present in a classroom extends your learning experience beyond the confines of your specific courses. It allows you to cultivate interpersonal skills and forge meaningful relationships.

Online classes, on the other hand, are typically more cost-effective than traditional in-person courses. They also offer a high degree of flexibility, allowing you to complete coursework at your convenience.

In my personal experience, I pursued both online and traditional classroom education while working towards my first degree. The online classes were a perfect fit for my schedule, especially when I was juggling full-time work and school. I could comfortably listen to lectures from my couch after dinner, which was incredibly convenient. However, I found that the traditional classroom setting was more conducive to my learning. I retain vivid memories of impactful lectures from my in-person classes, whereas details from the online courses are harder for me to recall.
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