As technology continues to develop, getting cheaper, faster and more versatile, more and more courses are being taught partially or exclusively online. Virtual classes have innumerable benefits such as no commute, the ability to learn on your own time (and often at your own pace), and multiple options ranging from typing classes to full degree programs.
And yet I would argue that virtual classrooms can never fully replace live classrooms. Although I readily admit to the importance that online programs can have–take, for example, Edinburgh Business School’s recent move to offer scholarships to 250 African students for their online M.B.A. program–I also see downfalls. I’ve taken my fair share of online classes, primarily graduate school courses, and they’ve never quite measured up. To be fair, my basis of comparison is a small liberal arts college–I’ve never been in a class so large that the professor didn’t know my name–but even with that in mind I wonder whether students taking all of their courses online are missing out.