Taking only online classes can be isolating, exhausting

Fanta Sylla, Copy Editor

The advantages of online classes have been listed many times. In the Huffington Post, Tom Snyder states that online education can be revolutionary. In his post, he talks about how online education is necessary, especially as community colleges become more crowded. Students learn to be independent at their own time and pace.

As international students we’re asked to not take more than three credits of online classes. This makes sense, since international students come to America to immerse themselves in the culture. Taking in-person classes is an obvious choice; it forces us to interact with other native students and the instructors and to communicate in English more.

As someone who didn’t have great relationships with instructors and had bad classroom experiences since first grade, I’ve always been tempted to enroll in online classes. When it comes to my relationship with teachers, it was always a problem, on my part, of behavior, of being perceived as “unpleasant” and even because of my ethnic background. In my case, choosing online classes is informed by a succession of bad experiences in the classroom. It wasn’t just an affair of convenience or laziness.

Online classes are great for anxious, inhibited and introverted people. The classroom is replaced by an online platform (Blackboard), and the interactions between students occur in forums and discussions. It is easier to speak when no one is looking at you. You have more control and confidence over what you say. Online classes also force you to be independent, organizing your calendar and your day according to the assignments on the syllabus.

While online classes fit my personality perfectly,it’s still important to experience the classroom. Online classes can be isolating. You miss the interaction with the students or just the pleasure of observing a teacher instructing a class.

After taking online classes (my current semester is almost all online), I have come to realize that in-person classes are important, whether you are an international student or not. Staring at the Blackboard website can be exhausting and again isolating.