Online classes provide appeal for students

Column by Editorial Board. E-mail [email protected].

The idea of attending class without leaving your dorm room — or seeing your professor — is increasingly appealing as the weather gets colder.

Online classes offer students the ability to earn college credit, but they also give the university something important: money. Over the summer, UK increased the number of online classes available to students. The increase boosted university income during a time when UK is missing its students and the funds they provide. According to a recent Kernel article, summer online classes earned more than $1.5 million.

Online courses during the summer appeal to a demographic that traditional summer classes do not. Students who go home during the summer are often unable to commute to UK for one or two classes. That means they either do not enroll in classes at all, or they take classes at community colleges back at home. Every class a student takes at an institution in his or her hometown results in money UK never sees.

Online classes also allow students who do not have the time during breaks physically to be in class to still earn the credits they need. Many students hold jobs during breaks to help pay for tuition, and cannot commit to the often extremely long meeting times of classes offered during summer and winter breaks.

The Kernel salutes UK’s recent attempts to bolster the number of online classes available, and encourages UK to continue its efforts. There are still many colleges that do not offer classes during break, and the technology required to offer these classes needs to remain up-to-date. If UK continues to charge a distance learning fee, it needs to deliver quality classes. No more lectures filmed decades ago or faulty connections. Online classes are a win-win for the parties involved. UK gets more money and students get more credits — which means they can graduate on time.