Saturday, January 14, 2006

AP: Some Students Prefer Taking Classes Online

Thanks to one of my classmates for the pointer to this, via our class forums:

Some Students Prefer Taking Classes Online

Interesting article. The profile a senior working on his undergrad in Business. The article seems to unofficially focus on undergraduate degrees online. Personally, I think for your traditional college undergrad - 18-22 years old or so, no exceptional circumstances - in-person is more valuable, if nothing else because it takes care of the discipline for you. Yeah, you actually have to wake up and get out of bed, but that's about it - between taking attendance and knowing that may be the only way you'll get the material, you have plenty of external motivators to participate, without self-discipline of your own accord. With your average 18-year-old undergrad, discipline is not usually the first thing on their mind. With online, you must have much more discipline - You have to overcome the "I can just do it later", or "There's no attendance" factors. This is also noted in the article:
Then there's the question of whether students are well served by taking a course online instead of in-person. Some teachers are wary, saying showing up to class teaches discipline, and that lectures and class discussions are an important part of learning.

But online classes aren't necessarily easier. Two-thirds of schools responding to a recent survey by The Sloan Consortium agreed that it takes more discipline for students to succeed in an online course than in a face-to-face one.
Personally, having done both, I feel qualified to agree with the Sloan Consortium' findings. ;-)

Anyhow - The aforementioned profiled student did do his first two years of school in-person - this is more amenable to me. A lot of maturing goes on in those first two years. I did take one course via distance (old-school - by video) while pursuing my undergrad, in my third year or so. It also took more discipline - I did it while co-oping - so after a full day's work, I had to come home and pop in a Thermodynamics lecture - not exactly your exciting evening entertainment. ;-)

I'll close with one last quote, from ASU:

Administrators say the distinction between online and traditional is now so meaningless it may not even be reflected in next fall's course catalogue.

I know I've said it 963 times, but sometimes I enjoy beating a dead horse: Online continues to gain more acceptance, and universities not distinguishing like this is both indicative of that and enhances that acceptance.


Denise Robinson said...
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Denise Robinson said...

Thanks for sharing this useful information. I will come back in a few days to see you have post some new articles.And I must say that it is really informative.