When the first college offered correspondence as a method of obtaining a degree from the comfort of one’s home, many people protested. This new system was too lenient, too simple, it didn’t promote social interaction the way a regular college would. Students would grow to be social recluses, unable to interact with other people. Then when online college classes became the next step, the complaints were even louder. Not only would they not attend classes, but the internet has so many distractions that they might not study at all.
Other people were wiser and stayed quiet. Those happy with the new system actually knew how many benefits it would have. They realized that they would end up paying less, since the fees for books, schools and dorms would disappear. Not to mention the money needed for gas, to drive to classes and back. The only question was whether or not students would be able to focus enough for online college classes. This is not much of a problem with older students, but will young men and women, fresh out of high school, have the determination needed for this system to work?
If correspondence needs discipline, online studies need twice as much of it. It isn’t easy to force yourself to sit down and study several hours a day when there’s so much else that could be done. Young students often do not have the motivation to study hard, and online studying only fuels the apathy. Time wastes away quickly and simply because all the material is online does not mean it is any easier to learn. It may in fact be much harder; there is no tutor to explain the difficult parts, and no classmates to discuss and brainstorm with. There are online discussions through forums and e-mail, but those are only useful to a certain degree. A fast answer will not come from those when needed.
The one issue those for and against online college classes will agree on is the lack of social interaction, and how dangerous it can be. College, for most of us, is the time when we truly begin to blossom, to find out who we are and what we’re good at. By eliminating the campus from the equation, can we truly gain the same results? While it is true that online interaction can help to a degree, it will never be as good as meeting others face to face. An effective solution for this problem has not been found yet, but online classes are nonetheless extremely popular.