National studies suggest that students perform just as well in online classes as they do in traditional in-person classes.
Mary Farrell, Seton Hall’s registrar, believes online classes are another way for students to achieve the education they require.
“Students with busy schedules, like having family, work, or activity commitments, tend to enjoy taking online classes,” Farrell said.
Online classes do not always have a scheduled meet time, allowing students taking the course to learn the information and do the assignments on their own time.
However, online classes do pose a risk for some students.
“The major factor (why some students do not succeed with online classes), from talking to students, is that some students do not understand that the classes require discipline and strong organizational skills,” Farrell said.
David Feeney, director of Online Services in the College of the Arts and Sciences, believes that there is no difference between the quality of an online course and that of a normal course.
A common perception amongst students is that there are few online classes offered.
Yet, according to Feeney, out of all the courses Seton Hall offers, about 7 percent are online, and in the summer, this number almost double to about 13.5 percent.
“The evidence strongly suggests that online courses are as good as, or better than, traditional face-to-face courses…while increasing access (and removing barriers) to lifelong benefits of higher education,” Feeney said.
The U.S. Department of Education published an analysis in 2009, concluding that students tend to do as well, if not better, in online classes.
“Online classes and other opportunities are always increasing in number,” Farrell said.
Students also seem to enjoy online classes, even though they might not prefer them to normal classes.
“Doing an online class allows me to have more flexibility in my schedule, but I also feel like I am missing the classroom experience,” said Samantha Sellars, a sophomore speech and language pathology major, who is in the Intro to Communication Disorders online course.
Laura Fraser, a sophomore English secondary education and special education major, said, “I would definitely take an online class again because they are helpful if I need to take a course over the summer, and I was able to do well and learn a lot.”
Zachary Wohl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org