By Shauna Banks; sbbanks@txwes.edu

Pop quiz! Now, log onto Blackboard to take it. Oh, and there’s a time limit. Forty-five minutes. Better get to it.

But oh no! Your computer’s frozen? Your browser’s not compatible with this software? Your login password’s not working? Too bad, so sad. Goose egg for you…
Sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. When something makes the transition to the digital technology world, I’m sometimes left with the thought: why fix something that ain’t broke?The very things that come to mind in this situation are online classes; and trust me, I’ve taken my fair share of the pesky things. In fact, in my freshman year of college, I once had to bring a note from my mother (whom I didn’t live with at the time, and still don’t) to convince a professor my computer had indeed frozen upon logging into the midterm test we were supposed to have taken in 60 minutes or less. I’ll never forget the semester I thought it’d be a wise idea to take three online classes at once. I thought: well this will be great! I’ll have all this extra wiggle room time to work with since students do most assignments for online classes on their own time, with really just specific due dates to meet. Wrong!I still haven’t found anything that’s been the cause of more procrastination than the online classes I took throughout receiving my bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University Commerce. Now in my fourth and final semester at Wesleyan, I haven’t taken a single one. The myth that online classes don’t require much work, is just that, a myth. Online classes do not equal less work. Before a busy college student realizes it, they’ve procrastinated every project and assignment on the syllabus until the very last minute, and come to the realization that it may take an all-nighter and a few Red Bulls to actually finish it all. Compared to face-to-face classes, I don’t believe there is a huge difference in level of ease. Since online classes don’t allow a student to immediately ask questions when they arise, that often creates more work since the student may be forced to use valuable time seeking more answers. Then again, in face-toface classes, students are often up to their eyeballs in endless lectures that may yield two or three actual test questions at the end of the semester—forced to wade through the useless gunk in between. (Yes, learning is important, but most of us know the grades we receive also matters in this world of academia. A D never got anyone anywhere). In the grand scheme of things however, I have to acknowledge the value in
online classes. They provide a large amount of convenience for those wanting to take classes but live far from campus. They also give students who have children and jobs the chance to arrange their own schedules while earning their degrees in a more timely and practical manner.That being said, I think when you’re stuck on whether or not to take the online or face-to-face version of a class, you have to evaluate your own lifestyle. Do what works for you. Can you put off that project one more week and then handle having to hunker down all night to finishit? Fabulous. Can you sit through at least 10 more lectures that make you want to run out of the room screaming for the insanity to stop? Perfect!