Classroom Vs. Online Learning

I am two classes away from getting my Associate’s in Business Management from a local college.  Being 40 years old, I didn’t think I would ever be able to get an education beyond the GED I received while in Basic Training for the Army.

With my work schedule, bills, and other obligations, I would never have been able to attend classes at the school in a classroom.  Instead, I do all of my classes online.  The only time I ever set foot in the school itself was when I registered.

For those who have never done this, the way it works, at least with my classes, is you are given access to a special website for the school.  Within this website are downloads for the text books in PDF format and you are given a schedule of when assignments are due.  Alongside this are forums in which you answer questions posted by the instructor and respond to other students’ answers.  In this way you can interact with your classmates and ask questions.  The instructor explains assignments in the public forums and responds to one on one questions within a special forum that only the student and instructor can access.

Expectations are given for a certain amount of posts in the forums to earn full points each week and the instructor grades your assignments separately in an area not accessible by other students.  Each course is nine weeks and, once completed, you are given the appropriate credits.

What do you think of online classes?  For me it gives me the ability to work on my assignments when it is convenient for me, I don’t have to worry about keeping up with books, and I have the flexibility I need for my work obligations.  However, I wonder at times if I am getting the same education that I would if I was at a classroom in a school environment.