Online classes and anxiety
There are numerous benefits of enrolling in online classes. Many students take them because they are easier to balance with busy schedules. Online classes offer a more self-paced curriculum that independent learners tend to thrive in. Online classes also offer an environment that is slightly friendlier for people like me with social anxiety.
I, personally, have seen a difference in the way I engage in online classes compared with on-campus classes. During interactions in on-campus classes, I tend to avoid participation since I find classroom environment discussions overwhelming. Online, however, conversations are far easier to participate. I learn more from these kinds of exercises when they are typed out, and I can take time to process information and choose how to reply to each classmate.
Online, people tend to be more confident in many situations. For me, emails are, a lot of times, less stressful than meeting someone face to face. People are easier to befriend over social media than in real life nowadays. Behind a computer screen, it is more likely someone will say something they would not necessarily say in a face to face conversation. This is not always a bad thing. In my experience, online classes have given me the opportunity to use forums to engage with classmates in a less stressful way. This has greatly impacted the way I experience education in general. I am far more likely to ask questions for clarification online where there is less pressure.
Overall, I believe that classes in an online environment can offer many benefits to students who are uncomfortable with in-class interaction.