In college, besides taking classes during the fall and the spring on campus students have the option to take summer school and online classes.
Every student has a different preference of when to take classes, and there are a few other options if students don’t want to go to class and listen to a lecture face-to-face. They have the option to take an online class. Summer school is a good option for students who want to retake a class or earn some more credits. Time, money, learning styles, and convenience are different factors that determine when students should take college classes.
At UND, there are different segments for summer school options for students. There is a three-week session that starts in the middle of May and goes to the beginning of June, there is a six-week session from the middle of May to the end of June, and a full session from May to August that is 12 weeks long.
Some students take classes over the summer if they want to pick up some credit hours, and some students choose to graduate over the summer. One advantage of the summer school option at UND is the smaller class sizes, which means professors can get to know students better. However, there are fewer class options offered over the summer than in the fall or spring.
Pat Jordheim who is a communication instructor said an advantage of taking summer school is students can take some of their difficult classes out of the way during the summer.
According to USA Today College, one advantage of summer school is a reduced course load than in a fall or spring semester. Another benefit according to Seattle PI, students can earn more credits and are able to graduate college early.
According to communication instructor Angela Cary, summer classes take up a lot of students’ time. Another disadvantage is summer school can be hard for students to learn the material in a short period of time if they take the short session, as well as doing a lot of reading and homework outside of class.
Online courses are another way for college students to take classes. Heidi Flaten who is the assistant director for the Office of Extended Learning at UND said around 20 percent of UND students take online classes. She said the largest online programs are engineering, psychology, and at the graduate level a lot of education classes.
Students who are taking online classes can log in at any time they want to take their lessons at a time which works best for them.
“I would say the biggest reason for taking online classes would be convenience,” Cary said.
Also, students who are taking online classes don’t have to be on campus, and online classes can be accessed from other states and countries.
However, online classes have a few disadvantages. Cary said students who take online classes still have to take them seriously even if they aren’t in a classroom, and treat it like it’s a class.
“One of the disadvantages if I had to talk about it with online classes is what you’d expect,” Cary said. “If you’ve got all this freedom that you don’t have to be in a classroom at a certain point that the disadvantage is that you’ve really got to motivate yourself to complete the class.” There is more of a personal responsibility for students in taking a class online than taking a class in a classroom.
According to Flaten, a disadvantage of taking online classes is some students might not put as much effort into them
“Online courses aren’t necessarily great for everyone,” she said. “So if you know that you have poor time-management skills online classes might not be the best for you if you’re not good at setting your own schedule and following a schedule.”