The Price Of Online Classes

By Jordan Kizmann

Within the past few years, students have increasingly turned to online classes to fulfill their basic class requirements.  While this may be convenient for many students, there is a question of whether or not online classes devalue the course.

I take an online class and it definitely requires the same amount of work as a normal class would. In fact, sometimes it is even more stressful because there isn’t a professor to talk to face to face about grades. Sometimes in these online courses, including the one I’m enrolled in now, students are given exams and are expected not to cheat.

Recent psychological findings have discovered that nearly 86% of college students would cheat on an exam if given the opportunity to. I’m not accusing all college students of cheating, but instead trying to question the purpose of online exams. If a lot of college students are given the opportunity to cheat on an online exam, they wont spend their time studying and retaining information for that exam, which I believe devalues the class overall.

Writing assignments, which are sometimes included in online courses, should replace online exams. Writing assignments allow for critical thinking and further encourage studying. Since online classes are drastically different from a normal lecture class, they need to be taught and treated differently to encourage studying and information retainment.

While adding an online course to my schedule prior to this spring semester, I found myself questioning the purpose behind the $100 online class fee on my term bill. If you’re taking an online class this online fee is added to your term bill on top of the full time or part time amount that you already pay. Since online classes clearly take place virtually there isn’t a need to pay for a classroom or classroom maintenance. Then I asked myself why am I paying $100 extra on my term bill?

Dr. Richard J. Novak, Vice President for Continuing Studies and Distance Education explained that the $100 fee is to support the technology that allows students to engage in their course. He also said that the fee goes towards the federal and state regulations that allow Rutgers to offer online courses. These fees are given to the university’s budgeting office where they are distributed appropriately to keep online classes going.

An increase in technology in the digital age has added to more students enrolling in online courses and also paying extra fees to the school. While these classes are convenient, they also come at an extra cost. Not just a financial cost, but also the cost of the possible value of your education. Online classes are great for fulfilling simple course requirements, however, the cost and possible devaluing of the course are some negatives worth thinking about when adding online courses to your schedule here at Rutgers.



About rutgersobserver

The official student newspaper of Rutgers-Newark.
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