There are many factors to consider when deciding what classes to take, including how you’ll create a balanced schedule, the requirements for your major, and what you’ll likely find fulfilling. You may also need to decide if you’d prefer to take classes online or attend in person. To make an informed decision, it’s important to be clear about the differences between online and in-person classes.
1. You Can Often Fit Online Classes Around Other Commitments
Online classes are often pre-recorded lectures that students can watch at any time. This allows you to fit classes around your other commitments, such as a job, internship, volunteer work, or even the in-person classes you’re also taking.
2. You Can’t Rewatch In-Person Classes
If you know you may struggle to understand concepts the first time you encounter them and you’d like to listen to lectures multiple times, online classes may be for you. Typically, you can watch recordings as many times as you like. However, if you think you’ll cope better with doubts by having verbal conversations with your professors, in-person classes could be the better option.
3. Online Classes Require Discipline
At university, students must have good time-management and organizational skills. It’s also up to them to go to classes, since attendance tends to be optional. Taking classes online requires even more discipline because you’ll have fewer interactions with your professors and carry out more independent study.
4. Digital Literacy Is Key for Online Classes
All students need digital literacy skills, but it’s impossible to succeed with online classes unless you can use a learning management system and can troubleshoot if you run into problems with a program or device. You should also be aware of how to interact with others online, since all our communication will be through digital channels. Having said that, no matter if you’re an online or in-person student, your university will have resources available to help you improve your IT skills.
5. Discussions Take Longer in Online Classes
Both online and in-person classes often involve discussions between students and professors. Discussions during in-person classes take place over a much shorter time frame: they require students to come up with ideas in the moment and involve public speaking skills. In contrast, online discussions tend to be a back and forth of posts and responses. Students have more time to think and research their answers, which they deliver in text form. Neither form of discussion is inherently better, but you may prefer one over the other.
6. Online Classes Attract a More Diverse Set of Students
You may have less contact with other students in online classes, which could be a disadvantage. On the flip side, the students who attend your classes will be more diverse. Students who are only taking online classes can be based anywhere in the country (or even abroad), meaning you’ll be exposed to more cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.
No matter if you’re taking online classes, in-person classes, or a mix of both, you should live with other students to have the full student experience. A better option than a dorm room is off-campus housing. Ottawa students can find a home at THEO. We have one-bedroom apartments, private bedrooms in shared apartments, and shared bedrooms. Apply now to secure the type of unit you want.