|Online classes offer unique learning experiences|
|Written by Cade Boland, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 02 December 2012 13:48|
For some students, online courses are a chance to go to class without ever leaving their beds. But for others, online classes offer educational opportunities that would have never been possible before.
“Every student is made differently,” Ellis Hurd, professor of education at ISU, said.
“That traditional setting does not work well for everyone. The one outgoing student may benefit greatly from a classroom, but in the online forum, more soft-spoken students can participate, and they often are phenomenal students that bring up amazing, critical points for the class,” Hurd added. Online courses offer opportunities for a greater variety of students to participate in a course, and the online system also allows for more practical problem solving. In Hurd’s classes, he has his course material forum, but also a forum wherein students can ask questions and solve problems between one another.
Students also see many benefits from the unique style of teaching online classes have to offer.
“One of the coolest things about my online classes has been being able to learn at my own pace. You never feel rushed by the material, or like the class is moving too slow for you,” Chris Faxel, sophomore physical education major, said.
Many online courses at the school are considered hybrid, where most the information is presented online, but there are still some in class or face-to-face meetings.
Although there are many benefits from this new system of teaching, pure online courses still face drawbacks.
“Not having someone to go through your notes with you can really suck sometimes, and if you don’t like the topic you’re learning, educating yourself is much harder than just sitting in a lecture hall,” Faxel said.
Another misconception many students may have is that an online course equals an easy A.
“Any student can succeed whether a course is face-to-face or online,” Hurd said. “But if you have a student who is unorganized or unmotived — an ‘I don’t need to focus’ student — they’ll be in for a surprise. Any serious student should be fine in an online course.”
Faxel offered similar advice to students curious about trying a class.
“If you are organized and can keep [up] with your work, then you’ll be fine in a class,” Faxel said.
Another controversy surrounding online courses is the concern that it will remove the need for teachers. However, Hurd wishes to dispel these rumors.
“People envision this day where technology replaces teachers, but I don’t see that happening. Education is an art and a science, part of my craft is modeling. I really don’t see a day where teaching will no longer need the artists behind it,” Hurd said.
“To use an analogy: If I was going to get a surgery, and I knew my surgeon had never actually performed the procedure, I would be concerned about my own life. In the same way, teachers need that real life authenticity for their craft. More still has to be done in the realm of online teaching, but I think it is heading in a good direction,” he added.