IT Campus vs. Online
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Campus vs. Online Programs

There are any number of offsetting benefits and drawbacks to campus versus distance learning.  You might begin to consider the issue from the perspective that the more recent arrival, by a couple of thousand years, is online learning.  Computer classes don’t require a commute and are much more easily worked into a busy home/work schedule.  You should keep in mind however that online classes are not classes on demand.  They are generally conducted same time, same day – but from the computer of your choice.

Traditional universities currently do much of their teaching online as it is.  Class schedules, assignments and lecture notes are all posted online.  Tests and papers are submitted online, are graded and then returned online.  The value of a campus educational program is the opportunity for personal discussion with the professor or a graduate assistant – you can more readily form relationships, and gather inspiration, from your teacher.

You can also get to know your fellow students – but you can do that online as well.  Online courses in graphics are particularly suited to peer critique and discussion, which is as simple as using email and an IM program.  Many online professors will also engage in email dialogues, if not instant messaging programs. 

Certainly there is no substitute for personal, real time relationships and chances to meet over coffee with your fellow students to discuss the class and the field of study.  But many online educational programs are designed to mimic that sort of intimacy as closely as possible.  Classes are constrained in size so that the teaching staff can be available.  And finally, you can’t beat the commute: from the kitchen to your desk.

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