Originally Answered: What are the disadvantages of taking courses online?
Some disadvantages to online classes are:
1. The lack of face-to-face interaction can be difficult if you like personalized attention from your teachers. In addition, an online course does not provide the social aspects of a traditional classroom.
2. There is no set time and place when your class will meet, so you will have to take responsibility for your learning, and be self-disciplined and motivated enough to work on your assignments on your own.
3. If you are a procrastinator or you always need an extra push to complete assignments, you may have difficulty making time for your online classes.
4. You must possess a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to function successfully in an online environment.
5. Online courses will also require you to learn new skills, such as navigating within the features of your course.
6. Because there is no verbal discussion, you must be comfortable with and have time to focus on writing. Most communication is written.
7. Online courses are often MORE work than campus-based courses. (The online classes I took freshman and sophmore year had so much busy work, I only took in class courses the last 2 years of undergrad)
8. You can feel isolated when questions and technical issues come up.
You mentioned you want to go to medical school. If you want to go to medical school, you should be thinking about majoring in biology or a related pre-med field, which will require labs. Labs can not be done online. Trust me, I was a biology major.
Common medical school prerequisistes are:
General Chemistry with lab: 2 semesters
Organic Chemistry with lab: 2 semesters
General Physics with lab: 2 semesters
General Biology with lab: 2 semesters
English: 2 semesters
Notice that the sciences all have labs. There will be many more sciences that you will need to take.
Also, admission committees look at the school you attended and consider this when they analyze your GPA. Having a 4.0 from an online program may not be weighed higher than another with a 3.0.
I am not discouraging earning your bachelors online at all. I am just warning you that medical school may not be very fond of all your courses being online. You can have some. They do not really care if you take online courses in non-science courses. If you are good at math, you can even take that online. Just realize that medical schools are very tough to get into. You need every advantage of the classroom that you can get to earn your professor's respect. This will help you get an excellent recommendation. Also, if you did extremely well in the class, you could conduct research with the professor and/or become a TA. Medical schools love that. During your interview, they may even ask you about research you have conducted.
Labs are to be in a laboratory. I had at leat 10-12 labs as a biology major. They consisted of experiments, research, disections, and observations that simply can not be performed online. Even if you can, it will not be the same as hands on.
If you want an online earned degree, I would recommend looking into another future path that would be able to accomodate your degree, such as psychology or even business. However, if you are passionate about going to medical school, talk to your advisor about your situation. He/she may be able to have to dean authorize you to take some science classes at a local college where you will be and have the credits transferred. If you are coming back within 4 years, wait to take the science classes when you get back. Take all the humanities, social sciences, englishes, etc. online.
Basically, if you just want to take online courses to satisfy social sciences, humanities, english, etc., that is absolutely fine! The only classes that require you to be in class are science classes. The material cannot be taught online. Wait until organic chem if you don't believe me.
Hope this advice helps! Good luck :)