As every college student knows, the process of registering for class is daunting. State University students can especially relate at this time of year, the peak time for registering for spring classes. Finding classes that fit in between clubs, organizations, work schedules, family commitments, and other classes seems like an impossible task. Many students on college campuses across the nation are turning to online classes, a flexible alternative that allows students to juggle their busy schedules while keeping on track for graduation. On paper, the idea of substituting time consuming traditional classes for the more flexible alternative of online classes sounds decent. However, do students really get the same education out of these online
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In contrast, as Sansone et al. (2012) point out “the online context…may provide additional challenges relevant to emotion and its regulation” (p. 142). In person, people pick up cues from others about whether they are listening and understanding what is being presented to them. In an online format, this kind of inference is not possible. The only way that professors know when and how to help students in an online course comes from the student directly bringing up their concerns. Despite best efforts, there will probably never be anything in online education that can completely replace a professor directly in front of students. That in person interaction between students and professors in the classroom allows personable relationships to form, which gives the student a feeling of personal connection to a class and the material taught within it. When students feel connected to a class, they will naturally be more interested, willing to learn, and willing to work hard to grasp material.
In addition, when students in a traditional class feel they need more help than their professors can provide for them, they can turn to their classmates for help. As Liu et al.’s research (2009) finds that “students tend to develop supportive peers groups and find personal support via the interactions that occur within those groups” (p.