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Weighing Up the Pros and Cons of Online Classes

Woman on laptop in bed

With the rise of online course offerings for law, most of us are fortunate to have the choice of whether to go into campus for study, or do it remotely. So is online study a good option? Here are a few thoughts to help you decide.


Your time is your time

If you switch to online study, not only can you arrange your schedule the way you want it, but you can arrange it according to what suits you (not your lecturers!). Meaning you can designate the times you want to spend on studying each day/week. In the recent Australian Law Student Survey 2015, most respondents said they had to skip lectures 1-2 times due to other commitments. What this may indicate is that the rigid timetable set by the university for 1000+ students might not be as efficient as it once was. Law students have more commitments than ever, so it would make a lot of sense to let people pick and choose whether they’re better off attending or staying home and completing their study remotely.

Studying online means you can organise your study around your life, NOT the other way around, as pre set timetables would dictate. So you can compete in competitions, volunteer, attend social functions and serve out any other commitments you may have and still be able to balance your study. The beauty of online study is that all it requires is a computer with an internet connection – which just about everybody already has!

Stop. Rewind.

I’m sure we’ve all had that lecturer who just races through everything and you barely take in the concept before they’ve moved into the next (constitutional law flashbacks, anyone?). With online study you will have your recorded lectures, which you can download and watch at the speed you want that allows you to learn best, whether that be 0.5x or 2x. You can learn at the pace you want, pausing and rewinding as many times as you need to in order to understand what you are learning.



Let’s not kid ourselves (because law students are the best procrastinators), if you know everything is available to you at the click of a button whenever you are ready (as opposed to physically coming and sitting in a lecture theatre), you might be more inclined to just think “I’ll do it later”, and then before you know it it’s SWOTVAC and you’re thinking “WHYYYYYY”. Something to think about if you’re contemplating online study.


For all the flexibility online study brings, it might make you feel isolated from your peers, as you are not going to be sitting with anybody to talk to when you log in to watch those lectures. This won’t be a problem for some as they are quite happy to catch up with people outside of study and prefer to study alone, but for some having people physically along for the ride provides for a much better university experience.

Internet = Lifeline

Because you are more reliant on your internet connection to keep up with study – if something goes wrong and you have no internet, your plans to study are pretty much cooked. So if technology does fail, then you might wish you had actually attended university.

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