Online Courses vs. In Class Courses - Page 2Register Today!
- Jun 29, '12 by lovedijahI think it really just depends on what class you're taking.
I wouldn't take a class that you think will be difficult, online.
For instance, the only section open for A&P was online.. so I took it online. It is so much information and I think I would really benefit from getting a lecture from a professor. Also we have about 9 lengthy homework assignments for every chapter. If this was in person, the homework would probably be "optional" and again, I'd benefit from a lecture. My teacher is the book, but in person I'm sure a teacher would have clever ways to remember things. Honestly, some days I find myself wanting to go to sleep when I log online to do the class. August 8th can't get here soon enough.
But then again, I've taken some pretty "easy" courses online and did well. But again, I wouldn't take a hard course online.
- Jun 29, '12 by dkmamato3I am taking 2 online pre-req classes this summer (nutrition and dev psych). These are my first online classes too. I like the format because it allows me to be home with the kids for the summer and not having to plan for childcare while I am physically in school.
I am a little nervous about it but determined to stay focused and do a good job.
- Jun 29, '12 by IndyElmerI'm not a fan of online classes. Whether or not it will be a good experience for you depends on a number of factors, including the instructor's testing writing style, the mechanism for testing, the way that the material is "presented," and factors from your own life.
PRESENTATION - some programs include video/audio/chatting that allow for a really interactive experience (however, that means you have to be there at specific times); some instructor posts PowerPoints along with audio accompaniment (so it's almost like being in a regular lecture; some post just PowerPoints and you're expected to read all of the material (PowerPoint slides and accompanying textbook chapters).
Most of my online classes were the latter (all reading) and I hated them. All of that reading and note-taking was MUCH more time consuming than just going to lecture. (In a standard lecture, I take notes on the lecture then use my textbook for clarification only -- I do not read in detail and take detailed notes.) Also, some instructors have provided TERRIBLE slides -- the same ones that they use in their in-person lecture where the slide is just the highlights and they fill-in/explain what the keywords mean. That type of PowerPoint presentation makes no sense at all and only gives you a general idea of what to make your focus when reading.
INTERACTION - some programs include online interactions where you post a response to an instructor "essay" question and then you might even have to critique/comment-on/respond-to one or more classmate essay answers. The instructor may or may not provide useful feedback on the essays -- some do, some don't and you just get a grade.
TEST WRITING STYLE - this is a problem for all instructors -- online and in person, but I think it's magnified by the online courses. Exams that are written with really simplistic answer options and weak wrong/distractor answers. Easy tests aren't very inspiring for really learning and understanding the material because you can rely more on your short-term memory. Even worse if your online tests are written so simply that you can easily look up each and every answer in the time limit and get >90% without having to do any reading/studying.
Exam questions written with answer options that require thought would make it impossible to just look up the answers on test day and would motivate you to keep up with the reading and really learn the material. I've taken some open book in person exams that had answer options with multiple facts per answer that were impossible to look up all the answers, but were still fair exams, so I know it can be done if the instructor wants to make the effort to write their own questions or at least choose a more diverse mix of text bank questions from easy to difficult instead of sticking to mostly lower level questions. (In one class, most answers were bold-printed keywords and they weren't even chosen from different areas of the book. You could usually find all four options on 2 adjacent pages so it was super easy to look up all four choices in just a few seconds!)
TESTING MECHANISM - online, open book vs. on-campus. Most of my online classes were tested via online, open-book exams. As already mentioned, those type of exams could inspire a student to learn (while still being fair) if only instructors would write just slightly more challenging questions. However, I did have one class that had on-campus, computerized tests. For each exam, there was a 3 or 4-day window (Fri-Sun or Fri-Mon) to take the computerized test in a "proctored" computer lab on campus. The exams for this particular class did not have terribly difficult questions, but knowing that it was going to be closed book was certainly inspirational in a way that none of my open-book, at-home exams were.
When it comes to studying, I am not a procrastinator. For my anatomy, micro, physiology and other science pre-reqs, I studied some pretty much every day. There was never a need to "cram" the few days before a test. However, as others have said, somehow these easy, online exams were just not very motivating to me. I didn't want to spend my time READING, I wanted to spend my time LEARNING the material, particularly the material that the instructor either purposefully or subconsciously stressed. In the end, I was really disappointed in my my 4 online classes, but I do know people who have taken classes at other schools and seriously LOVED it and LEARNED a lot. So like most responses on here -- it really depends on the specific class that you are taking and on your own personal circumstances.
- Jun 29, '12 by zoe.ysobeli think online classes depends on the subject you're taking. if it involves memorization and simple understanding then you may as well proceed. when you are doing online class, i suggest you have a specific time everyday, same time everyday if possible as if you are actually going to school and not just do the online thing whenever you're free or your schedule permits to do so. i understand we all are busy most of the times but following a routine schedule is a good way of acing an online class. you are on your own as they say if you are attending an online class, so discipline and sticking to a certain schedule will make you get a good and hopefully satisfactory grade.
- Jun 29, '12 by ummnasimThis Fall will be my first time taking a science class online (A&P 1). I have taken A&P in person years ago and I did pretty good. However, at the time I wasn't married, working fulltime, and mommy to a 1 year old! I am just going to have buckle down and really study and hopefully go to tutoring if I need it.
- Jun 29, '12 by MeriwhenI find myself learning more with online classes because I have to take more initiative in tackling the material. I can also do my classwork when it's convenient for me and at the pace that is best for me...so when I'm at "school" I am fully there and engaged.
Granted, you need a certain level of motivation and discipline to be successful in an online class. You also need a good degree of independence. If you're someone who likes to procrastinate, needs frequent interaction with your instructor or who just needs to physically be in a classroom 2x/week in order to learn, then online isn't the best for you...and that's OK.
- Jun 29, '12 by IndyElmerAlthough my previous post detailed the reasons I've found online courses to be subpar, I'm not actually the kind of person who needs/prefers to go sit in a classroom every week.
Ironically, I loved my "on-campus" classes that had lecture audio (and sometimes PowerPoints) posted online. I never went to lecture and felt I learned a great deal from all three classes that had this option (anatomy, physiology and microbiology). (I did attend all labs.) However, I think the reason I got a lot from the classes was that I didn't have to sit and read EV-ER-Y little fact (as was required for my online classes) AND the exams were closed book, "complex" answer option questions that required me to really KNOW the material to earn an A (rather than "easy"/"simple" open book exams as my online courses were).
I could listen and take notes on the lecture whenever it was convenient and immediately begin the learning process rather than spending so much time on reading/prepping to begin the learning process. I also wasn't being given exams that were too easy (as all of my online classes were) and the exams weren't open book. The more difficult, closed book exams made a HUGE difference in my motivation to really LEARN the material.
I think those three classes really spoiled online classes for me as I expected the same caliber as the 'on-campus' classes that I only attended for test days. Unfortunately, my online classes didn't even come close!
- Jun 29, '12 by NyLALoveWow, everyone has given me great input! Thank you! I guess it really does depend on a lot of factors. Well, I guess we'll see how I do with my 1st online class.
- Jun 29, '12 by Patti_RNI've taken many online classes and my experience has been very mixed. There are limitations to most online classes, including lack of real time discussions, no immediate feedback from your instructor, and lack of relationships (your classmates are usually names--sometimes with pictures, sometimes not). These are things that you can't control and must accept in exchange for the benefits of online education: convenience, flexible scheduling, no commute or parking issues.
The aspects of online education that you do have control over are your own motivation, your dedication, your organizational abilities, and your ability to remain focused. If you are easily distracted you might pick up your books and materials and study at a library, turn your phone off (and put in in the other room), resist temptation to check Facebook and other time-wasting websites, and study in a place where those distractions are minimal. If you're not organized do something to change that: buy a planner and write down every assignment and check it daily so you see how you're dealing with deadlines. Keep your study materials all in one place so you're not spending precious time searching in the car, on the desk, and under the bed for your books! Find someone else in your class to study with, even if by Skype. Don't procrastinate. Don't find yourself nearing a deadline and submit a hastily prepared essay or Blackboard post.
This is a great time to learn about your strengths and weaknesses, to capitalize on those strengths and to overcome the weaknesses!
- Jun 30, '12 by Blue Felt FedoraI'm taking my first online class this summer, and I admit I'm not loving it. Then again, I'm only taking the class because I had to be at least part-time for financial aid, so that may have something to do with it. Especially since I would rather dedicated all my energies to my A&P II Lecture and Lab classes on campus.
I've found I like the classroom atmosphere for learning. It may have something to do with the fact that I'm older and a mom, and when I'm in a classroom, I can turn all my energies to learning. At home, I'm constantly distracted by kids, or laundry, or dirty dishes, or a carpet needing vaccuuming... You get the picture. It's also why I've been staying at school long after class is over to study this summer.
With that said, I've signed up for another online class in the fall, only because it's all that was available for my schedule. I'm hoping I'll like it better, and it may help that's it's a class I need for my degree.