NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students react to online classes

A new format of class is met with mixed results

Many college students at some point encounter the opportunity to take an online college course. Online classes are offered at most colleges, including here at Northern Essex.

A variety of online classes are offered including history, writing, math, etc.

Online classes can be very beneficial to people who may not have time to sit in an on campus class due to children or other time consuming responsibilities they may have. Maura McCarthy, a Northern Essex liberal arts student says, “Taking an online class was nice because I was able to go on at my own time instead of a specific time like an on campus class.”

As McCarthy states, online classes typically don’t have a specific time or day that you have to log on at. You just need to make sure that all your assignments are done for the due date. Most classes require that you spend a certain amount of time doing work for the class, but doesn’t have to be done all at once, it can be spread out throughout the week.

Although online classes can be good for some, others may not enjoy it so much. Another liberal arts student, Sheryl Contarino said, “ I felt like online classes were not for me. I am more of a hands on learner and if I have a question, I like to ask the professor in person versus having to email them and wait for a reply.”

That is one downfall when it comes to online classes.

All communication is typically done through emails.

Typically, the professor is usually good with getting back to their students as soon as possible but it could take a few hours for a response.

You could go and talk to your professor during their office hours as well but you don’t have that class time where you can talk to them in person if needed. You do a lot of group work as well between discussions and projects.

Sometimes during that group work it is found more difficult because you’re essentially working with people who you’ve never met before and all your communication is done through the computer. For people who like to be able to talk to one another in person, this can be very difficult for them.

Something that a lot of students think before they actually take an online class is that it is going to be much easier. That is false and is something you’ll realize very quickly.

A  nursing student, Courtney Barlow said “ I did awful in my online course. I felt that it was actually a lot harder than my on campus classes”. What most students don’t realize is that in an online class you sort of have to teach yourself. Yes, you have a professor and they’ll usually have notes for you. But, it requires you to read all notes, read the assigned textbooks, and make sure you have an understanding of it all. Online classes require a lot of your time and tons of reading. Although there are some benefits to online courses, there also is some downfalls.