Posted by Martino Britt
I am taking my first online course this term. I am a person who learns a lot from the in-class discussions – the main reason I thought I would never take an online course. There are other reasons I was apprehensive about taking an online course. The discussions weighed heavily on me because an online discussion is not the same as a face-to-face discussion. There are definite pros and cons to taking an online class.
One of the definite pros of taking an online class is that I don’t have to commute to school that extra day out of the week. I am at home with my family a day where I would normally be gone. Even though I am doing homework or posting online for the discussion, being at home is definitely beneficial for my family. We are always happy to see one another. Although I enjoy this aspect of the online course, the discussions are kind of hard for me because they seem so detached and unoriginal because they are being typed and not spoken. There is definitely a lot missing when you remove the face-to-face interaction of a traditional classroom and move it online. However, I do think these classes are necessary and the end sure enough does justify the means.
I feel that the means are justifiable because the same resources available to you in a traditional classroom setting are still available to you in an online course. The Writing Center, the library, the tutoring center, all of these resources are still available to you. The one thing I think you must have if you are taking an online course is self-discipline. Learning in an online or traditional setting is totally up to the individual. What you put into the class you will more than likely get out of it. It is much easier to go to class, listen to a lecture, and take notes than it is to be responsible for putting this information together on your own.
I think determination is the ultimate factor. How determined am I to pass this class? How determined am I to get this degree from SLU? How determined am I to succeed? Everything pretty much boils down to the one person whom it ultimately affects-the student.
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