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The online conundrum for Concordia students

by The Concordian September 30, 2014
The online conundrum for Concordia students

Why paying more for online classes just isn’t worth it.

We’ve all been in this situation: to take an online class, or not to take an online class?

We all know the obvious pros of doing so: Online classes have the reputation of being easier than “real” classes (INTE 290, anyone?). For some, taking an online class practically means not taking a class at all until finals come along. Taking a class on the web also allows you to quite easily cheat your way through online quizzes. Some websites even cater specifically to students offering answers to quiz questions free of charge.

Clearly, online classes can be the lazy student’s dream. But, at the end of the day, are they worth it?

After all, education is not cheap; online classes usually cost even more than regular classes.

These extra costs include online materials for the course. In many cases, students won’t ever use this resource. Once the course is over, there is no going back: unlike a hard copy of a textbook, it is impossible to re-sell this resource.

The quality of education for online courses does not even come close to comparing to that of a real, sit-in class.

Firstly, the sections are humongous; some have hundreds of people. This means that the one professor in charge can obviously not correct all assignments, so the burden of the work falls to the TAs.

There is also the matter of limited interaction with the professor. More often than not, you will communicate mostly or entirely with the TA if an issue arises.

At the end of the day, we wonder what can one really learn from the online classes currently offered at Concordia?  Many would agree (including a vocal minority of our masthead) that, in many cases, they have learned nothing.

Offering online courses is very important. Some students, especially those who have children at home, work days, or have mobility issues, benefit greatly from being able to take course online. But should the quality of their education have to suffer for that increased flexibility?

Paying a little extra could be acceptable if it meant a richer, more challenging and engaging work enjoyed from the comfort of your own laptop, but Concordia’s offered online courses are anything but.

Online classes at Concordia have a poor reputation within the student community, and should be revised because what they are now just useless. And expensive.

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