The article titled Success in Distance Learning Tied to Success in the Classroom shows that distance education studies are inconclusive. I believe that online classes are not for everyone. For some they may be beneficial but for others they may be harmful.
Personally, I think online courses are made out to be more than what they are. They are said to be easier, faster, and more efficient. The thing is, no one talks about the downfalls of these courses.
It wasn't until taking an online course myself that I realized distant learning was not for me. The article stated that in order for a person to be successful in this type of learning environment they need to be determined and responsible. Well, I was both and yes I was successful, but it takes much more than just that to be successful.
I'm a procrastonator, therefore I waited until the day assignments were due before actually doing them. This caused much unneeded stress but the assignments were done and turned it. Since I had never met the professor I didn't know her personality and sometimes felt like she was being very sarcastic at times. During a regular classroom setting you get to meet the instructor and even "learn" her.
The article also mentioned that success is dependent on communication among the learner, his peers, and the instructor. I would rather work alone, that was one of the reasons for me taking an online class, to work alone. I found it very hard to work with people that I had never met and knew nothing about.
Studies have shown that those with a quiet introverted personality are more likely to adapt well in a distant learning course. That study did not prove to be true with me. I actually prefer to be surrounded by peers.
So, are online courses a better alternative for you?