Technology has made people’s lives convenient, so convenient, in fact, that they now can earn college degrees while sitting at home in their bunny slippers and fuzzy robes.
This technology in the form of online courses isn’t for all students though. It takes initiative to be successful in these classes.
For example, I started my first fully-online class this quarter and as the first few weeks went by, I discovered I had trouble remembering to do classwork.
I got so caught up in all my bookwork and assignments for my two on-campus classes, I sometimes would forget that I had an online class.
When students attend class every day, or even a few times a week, it stays in the front of their minds and serves as a reminder of the tasks they need to complete.
Once I realized I was forgetting a crucial part of my schedule, I rearranged my activities so I could set aside a specific part of the day for my online class. Knowing that I am going to work for an hour every day makes it more like a class, I need to “attend” in order to do well.
This is not the case for many. Some people have the discipline to effectively apply themselves to their work (in a way that I only dream I could do) without the reminders that you normally receive in class.
Rolling out of bed and being ready for school is a perk that I think I will sacrifice in the future, just to guarantee that I don’t get distracted. However, completely online classes are not the only option. There are other types of courses that are partially online, referred to as hybrids. A hybrid course is a class in which the majority of the work is done online, but meets in a classroom one to two times per week.
Although I have yet to take a course designed like this, I think I would enjoy it a lot more. A scheduled meeting once a week and the rest of the time, my feet keep my bunny slippers in the company and comfort of my own home—or wherever else I may want to study.
Other classes that are common at Pierce College are web-enhanced classes. In my opinion, these are the best kind of classes. There are probably very few students at Pierce that have never taken a class that required them to use Angel or WebAssign as a resource. It’s a popular method of teaching, and there are advantages for both students and instructors.
It’s possible to make grading much quicker for the professors, by putting quizzes or assignments online, they can enter all the correct answers once and then the computer grades the students work as they turn it in. Also, any miscommunication or new announcements can be promptly announced on the class website instead of at the next class.
Students are also at an advantage in web-enhanced classes because having any kind of additional resources can be helpful with completing assignments and other parts of the course load. Aside from being able to contact your professor, you also have a way to communicate with other students in the class if you have questions for them.
The most important thing to remember is that the type of class you take is your choice and what works for someone else, might not work for you. Try everything out and see what environment you find to be most successful for you.
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