Online classes: the advantages and disadvantages in our technological age

Jayleen Cerda
Sr. Managing Editor

  In order to graduate, per Florida statute 1003.428, all students must complete a Florida State Virtual School (FLVS) class. If the mandatory class has two semesters, then the student must complete both in order to meet the online learning requirement. The course has to at least be a .5 credits.

  “The intent I believe is to expose them to online learning because they [students] will likely have an online course in college,” said Katherine Anderson, one of Douglas Anderson’s guidance counselors.
  One great advantage of FLVS is the wide range of courses to choose from. FLVS offers courses from Advanced Placement (AP) classes to life classes such as Personal and Family Finances. There are even certification preparation courses to take, from Business Software to Psychology.
  “A popular course is Drivers Ed., Psychology, and HOPE. Career research and decision-making can be a very helpful course,” Anderson said.
  Online courses offer a wider range of learning experiences than they might have in the traditional classroom.

  The following two lists are advantages and disadvantages in taking an additional FLVS course.

  The advantages include but are not limited to…

  1. The classes can fit your schedule. Since students do not need to be ‘in the classroom’ at specific times with the exception of live lessons, they can choose when to take the class as long as they either submit three assignments or complete three lessons a week.
  2. Save money. Once out of high school, many adults pay to take online classes–often the same online classes that are available for free on FLVS.
  3. You can work at your own pace. Students are not forced to go at the same pace as other students in the classroom are going at, either at a fast one or a reasonably slow one.
  4. Instantaneous reviews. A student can go back whenever they like to review something, without having to ask a teacher to do so. If the student is sincerely struggling, only a simple email or phone call with the teacher and they will help them understand.
  5. Developing time management, commitment, responsibility skills. When taking an online course, it develops discipline and attention to your time split into different priorities. Especially when the course can be worked on any time of the day.
  6. Could improve GPA, through courses with two semesters–especially a typical academic class such as a language class. Receiving high grades will improve GPA and might even improve academic GPA for Bright Futures scholarship. Students can also make up failed credits or get ahead in course progression by taking an online course. “Retaking courses where students made a D or of course an F could potentially increase their GPA…honors courses (or AP) have a greater impact on weighted GPA than non-honors courses,” Anderson said.
  7. Improve your college application. “Taking extra courses on FLVS especially weighted courses can look good for college applications,” Anderson said.

  The disadvantages include but are not limited to…

  1. If time not handled correctly, falling behind on a course can lead to being kicked out of the class. The last thing colleges want to see are courses attempted and not finished because of being kicked out.
  2. Sometimes the class could clash with your homework load and make it hard to balance all of your classes in addition to other extracurricular activities.
  3. With the inability to balance all work, it can lead to increased stress.
  4. If a student fails the FLVS class, it could potentially affect your GPA.
  5. Students could potentially pick classes that does not further their preexisting knowledge.
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