Working With ‘Online’ Classes

With the ever changing technological world, we constantly see new things and try to work them into our society and capitalize on their use. I remember a time in my life when the internet was completely new. None of my family had used it, I hadn’t used it, and none of my friends had either. Technology comes first, then we have to figure out how to make it useful.

Networking and the web has radically changed our lives. We are not able to communicate asynchronously and reach people and things from a distance. Networking makes it possible for us to connect with multiple people from multiple places… and it’s all at our finger tips.

As discussion leader, I am bringing to the table a study about distance learning among college students and the obstacles that spring up along the way. With new technology comes new and unforeseen challenges.

Citation: Students’ Frustrations with a Web-Based Distance Education Course by Noriko Hara and Rob Kling. First Monday, volume 4, number 12 (December 1999), URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_12/hara/index.html

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Posted on July 20, 2011, in Discussion Leader. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. In hearing about this study, I couldn’t help to think about all of my friends, family, and my own experience with online classes (either completely online or hybrid) and our opinions on them. I think that it really depends what type (subject) of class you’re taking and also what kind of learner you are. A lot of people go into online classes knowing that it is a learning style they can handle. I on the other hand like the constant reminders and being able to discuss material in a class room with the teacher present. For example, my friend took a math class online last quarter and didn’t do so well and thought that choosing to take an online class online wasn’t the best decision. Another major point that our group brought up in discussing this topic, was the idea that we go to college in order to interact and learn from these professors who are professionals at what they do. The personal interactions and relationships that one can establish with these professional is all part of the college experience. Nice job Adam!

  2. I really like today’s discussion, like we talked in class, there are a lot of inconvenience in online class. It helped us with the time and space limit, but it also brought us problem like what if we don’t know how to use online software? What if we cannot communicate with other people in class on time? etc. Not very few people got problem with online course. Personally I find online course useless and very unhelpful, it is just my personal online class experience. I took an online history class last quarter, when I turn in my homework, it didn’t take my instructor for more than one minute to grade and reply the e-mail except the mid-tern and final. It might because my instructor grade very fast, but if that’s not the reason, it made me feel my work was not respected. I like in classroom class much better than online class.

  3. I think you picked an article that we can all relate to as students which is fanastic. I really think you did a great job of pulling out the main points of the article including the positives and the negatives that can come from online classes. For my own opinion, I happen to love the convenience of online classes. I have taken both online classes at UW and BC since I have been a student since 2004. I think they are offer a great value for learning for people who have a busy schedule. Most of these classes are very organized, clearly outlined and offer as much of a learning experience as any in poerson classes, even though they may require a lot of work. The amusing point of this is that this class talks about how great online advantages are, the convenience the internet offers and the fact that the world is now at our fingertips without having to leave our living room. Though no one else in the group appreciated the value on having these available. I guess it may be difference between forced and freedom type of online learning that changes people’s opinions.

  4. After hearing your presentation, I can’t necessarily say that I am surprised there is no difference in the level of achievement from an online class versus in-class classes. One large benefit of taking online courses is the flexibility with your time. Rather than being required to sit in a classroom at a specific time on specific days, you can work on your assignments around your own schedule. I think it definitely depends from person-to-person though on whether they are able to keep up with the assignments without being reminded by your teach in person. I have taken a few online courses and have never had any bad experiences. The one thing that bothered me about online classes was the inability to have instant feedback to my questions or comments.

  5. We had a really good discussion about online classrooms and distance learning during your presentation. Everybody in our group that heard your presentation had either taken an online class or a hybrid class which shows how prevalent they are becoming in today’s education. I had no idea that online classes have been in use for 20 years though, it seems like they have only been around for maybe 5 or 6 to me. We also discussed how they are always changing because technology is constantly changing and improving. When I took online classes at Cascadia Community College I started out using the “Blackboard” platform but in later courses we switched to “Angel.” So even in the short two and a half years or so I spent at Cascadia, the standards for a good online platform changed. I haven’t taken an online class in over 2 years and can only imagine the possibilities now that smart-phones are the main tool for using the internet. An online class app maybe?

  6. Adam I think you did a great job with your presentation. I thought you did a really nice job interacting with the groups and spurring solid discussion. I think like we discussed the online class format varies so much class to class. That the teacher for the class really matters.I know like I said the online class I am in right now, I really dislike, because of the format of the class and having to do group discussions.

    But, I have taken other online classes and really enjoyed them. I think the teacher matters a lot more in the online class format. The teacher has more responsibility to the students in the online class and must be a better communicator. But, in the future I agree that teachers will continue to become more accustomed and better at formatting online classes.

  7. Adam did a really good analyze of the line class. During the discussion, we compare the advantages and shortages of online classes and classes that offer in campus. I learn a lot from the discussion and heard many opinions from Adam and group members. I found that different people have different learning methods. There does not have a learning style that fits all people, to find the best learning style is very important for students. However, although everyone’s learning style and learning network might be different, it is still possible to help each other no matter what. Therefore, the best thing that I learned in this discussion is that it encourages me to find my learning method and look for study partners for improving my studying.

  8. I enjoyed your discussion Adam. I was really participating while you were having presentation. I think as time goes by people value time a lot. People know how to manage their time in order to success. Therefore, online classes will be more available in the future. I take online classes for time management mostly. Sometimes I take it because it’s more easier than in class. However, I work on weekdays so I need to take online class to go to work and study. I really like online class, but sometimes it really stresses me a lot. Also, I think taking online classes really depends on what class it is. If the class is like participating with the teacher and group work it’s better to take classes at school. It’s really good to take online class, but there are things that people need to sacrify. I believe there will be more people taking online class in the future and also technology will develop more so people don’t have to sacrify. I’m planning to take online classes next quarter since there are things that benefits me.

  9. I really enjoyed your presentation and the discussion we had as a group, you did a great job! It really surprised me to find out that online courses have been around for over twenty years. I also didn’t know what a hybrid class was until you explained it. In your presentation I think you brought up a lot of good points about the technological and communicational problems that can occur as a result of online courses. These are valid issues that we as students and future educators need to think about in order to efficiently and effectively learn as well as teach. I think that until students and teachers learn to operate new media in a standardized way, online classes will always be difficult and maybe even less effective than face to face classes.

  10. It’s an ineresting topic because people seem to have such strong views on online classes. Most people either love them or hate them, with no inbetween. I personally am not a big fan of online classes. I prefer to go to class, be with a group of people and learn with them. I like the interactions with students and teachers, which is not really the same online. I do think online classes have their perks (convenience mostly) but I don’t think they outweigh the advantages of a traditional learning environment. I think what is common right now is a blend of regular classroom teaching and online teaching. Most classes have a website with information about the class, documents, resources, etc. Some classes have pocasts or videocasts, powerpoints, or other records from class available online to the students. I think the kind of teaching that uses both old and new styles of teaching will be most effective in helping students learn. I mean isn’t that the point after all?

  11. The effectiveness of online classes is something that definitely interests me. I have never really agreed with the format of online classes only because it lacks that authenticity of interacting with a physical human being. In my opinion there is a loss of seriousness in courses taken online. If the class is fairly timeless there is no need for immediate attention. Schedule is something that keeps me moving forward and with the disestablishment of that I predict a loss of effectivity of the class. Technological problems and chaotic organization of the class website is something that could hinder the progression of the class as well. This being said I do believe that there can be an effective way of learning online. We do it every day using the internet outside academia, so if there is a simple way of organizing the website and having more personal interactions between students and teachers then it can be a great way of getting education on the side.

  1. Pingback: week 5 – Wednesday (20 July 2011) « COM300: Basic Concepts of New Media

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