Okay, after yet another Skype conversation with my sons, I’m fed up. This face-to-face interaction beats the cell phone exchanges from my oldest son’s first term, but that’s not the point. I think they like to make me irritated. I’m pretty sure if we were on the phone and couldn’t see each other, a certain topic wouldn’t be brought up.
“Well, I’ve taken both online and on campus classes, so I know how much easier an online course is.” This from my oldest son who had a 4.0 in high school and finally got straight As in college for the first time – last term, fall of his junior year.
Comment number two is courtesy of my youngest, a college freshman (18-year-olds think they know everything!) “I’d ace my tests, too, if they were open book like yours.”Justification of poor test score or attempt to discredit my online education? I’m not sure I even care which it is, because either one makes me a little hot under the collar.
From Other Adults
I work at a school. Every teacher there has to take classes in order to keep their license current. Many of them have taken online classes and most of them take classes at a campus, usually during the summer. How about if we have some of them add their expertise to this discussion?
“I don’t know how you can do online classes. If I’m not scheduled to be there at a certain time, I’d forget to show up completely.”
“I need to go to class so I can hear what the professor’s saying and soak up the discussion around me. Reading things on the internet wouldn’t help me get it at all.”
“Plain and simple, I’m an audio learner, so unless they’re going to record lectures for me to listen to, I’m not going to get a thing out of it.”
“Online classes are too much work. Professors expect more written assignments from you because they can’t see that you’re making an effort otherwise.”
Now that both sides of the story have been laid out, I think we can narrow the focus. What makes online education seem too simple?
- Open book tests
- You don’t have to go to class
On the other hand, what makes taking online classes seem more challenging?
- More reading
- More written assignments
- No face-to-face interaction with students or professors
- No set schedule
- No audio input for people who learn best by listening
If I tally up those votes, online college classes appear to be more challenging at a ratio of 5 to 2. Perhaps this method of calculation seems unfair and doesn’t apply proper weight to the individual arguments. If it supports my position (which it does), then the methodology works perfectly well in my mind.
If you have a comment on this debate, please feel free to post it here. Which is more challenging? If you’re like me, you think both avenues present obstacles, and both offer benefits. In either case, some things will prove more difficult. On either path a respectable education can be obtained by the faithful pursuer.
My thoughts to those demeaning sons of mine (after questioning the ability to teach of the person who taught them respect for their elders) can be expressed simply, “You’re just jealous!”