Point by: Amanda Lee
For the student who hits the snooze button way too many times, taking online courses may seem like the best way to get a college degree. Online classes appeal to students because they allow them to have a more flexible schedule and get a good grade without sitting through hours of boring lectures.
On the other hand, having that much freedom with their studies could make it much easier for students to derail from their academic goals.
Achieving a high score does not necessarily mean that the student retained any knowledge from the class. In a traditional classroom setting, students are engaged in discussion, actively take notes and are given assignments to test their understanding of the course material.
In an online course, there is no instructor to remind students of upcoming deadlines and the instructor cannot verify that students have sufficient understanding of the material before the test dates. Online courses are for those who are motivated and have strong time management skills.
Not having to attend lectures means that the student has to take charge of their schedule and make time for learning, among other responsibilities. If students do not have an instructor who motivates them to attend class and a certain amount of time designated for school work, it becomes too easy to let academics fall to the back of students’ priorities.
Being able to take tests from the comfort of one’s own home behind a computer screen increases the temptation to open the textbook or even copy and paste the test question into a search bar. Yes, the instructions say not to use any other resources but who’s watching?
If all students taking online courses were to use the help of search engines to complete the class then online courses become a less effective method of instruction.
Although many students may find lectures boring or think that they have better ways to spend their time, a traditional classroom setting is the best way for some students to learn. The traditional way does not have the flexibility of time that the online courses provide but they have their merits.
Reading the textbook is never an easy task and surely not many students complete their assigned readings until right before test time. During the lecture, the instructor breaks the complex textbook language down so that students can understand it and take notes. If they need to ask questions, the instructor is available as are fellow classmates to form a discussion with.
Discussions are also required in some online classes but having to wait for a response, if one is received at all, is nothing like sharing a thought and going into a debate about that opinion. After the instructor has read the students’ discussion posts, students will receive credit but oftentimes will not receive any feedback.
In most cases, online courses simply make it easier for students to avoid doing work. The convenience of the Internet takes away from the learning aspect of online courses and students are better off making time to sit through a traditional lecture.
Counterpoint: By Rebeka Nop
Online and hybrid classes may not be for everyone, but for those who know of this wonderful hidden gem, it’s probably the best thing ever.
Taking courses online gives people the freedom to learn from home or any place they can take a tablet, laptop or even your smart phones. Instead of waking up early and arriving to school hours before your first class just to be stuck circling the parking structure for 30 minutes, you get to sleep in and get your school work and learning done on your own time.
A few great things about not attending a traditional class is that you don’t have to worry about waking up early to find parking, dealing with boring professors or annoying classmates.
Classes seem to get more and more crowded each semester and there seems to be less seats available. The first few weeks of school is like a scene from the “Hunger Games” movie. You’ve gotta fight for your right to get a seat or an add code. Some students can get cut throat about it.
Also, let’s talk about how at least 30 minutes to an hour of class is spent taking roll and figuring out a “fair” way to add students to the roster. Online courses cut out all of that wasted classroom time and gets straight to the expected coursework.
Technology is a huge part of this generation and it makes sense that learning is also evolving and taking shape online. We are so attached to our phones, laptops and tablets that it only makes sense that learning is now brought to the tips of our fingers.
One downfall of online courses is that you don’t get that human interaction with other students and with the professor. Most communication will be done online. Doing school work online is a lot about being able to motivate yourself.
That’s the cost of convenience.
You have the freedom of learning in your pajamas in your comfy bed but you’re not going to be able to raise your hand and get things explained to you in person.
Hybrid classes however may be the best of both worlds. Usually hybrid classes meet once a week for a few hours. Homework is mostly done online and the professor will review the chapters in class. It cuts out all of the boring lessons and just sticks to the things you didn’t already learn online.
Math courses as a hybrid class makes everything so much easier for those that struggle in math. Not only are you getting the interaction with the professor, but you can do as many attempts on your homework as you’d like, instead of turning in your homework and getting a lot of it wrong.
Some of these online courses are designed to make the student self-sufficient and letting them learn things in their own way.
There are many reasons why students drop from some of their traditional classes. Sometimes, not being able to stand the way a professor teaches or orchestrates their classroom is a big one. Students pay good money to get the best education possible and just because a teacher is tenured and doesn’t care about teaching anymore, it shouldn’t give them a right to say what they want or yell at students in class.
More and more courses are now being offered online in order to cater to students who cannot attend or cannot get a seat in a traditional class due to over impacted classrooms.
Online courses are perfect for the on-the-go student.