I am sure that many of you have taken classes online. I have taken my fair share. I have a love hate relationship with them. On the one hand you can’t beat the convenience. Look what happens when the weather is bad. You get stuck in traffic and end up arriving late to class or worse case not at all. And then there is snow when all the colleges cancel or delay the start of class. (Darn a snow day who wants down time anyway). I can’t tell you how many times I have left work to go to class and run into significant traffic. Walking in once the class has started and apologizing to the Professor is not a comfortable situation.
If you are taking an online class you don’t miss a thing. There is also no commute. You can get home from work, put on your sweats, sit down at your computer and take class. Wait a minute you can change into your sweats and go to class but there is still the issue of the commute.
The biggest downside of taking online classes is that you lose human interaction. I love sitting in class and hearing different points of view. It adds so much to the reading assignments and lectures. You also meet people you would never meet anywhere else. It’s fun to make new friends and you already share an interest, the class.
Our society has become impatient. People just want to get the information and move on. I am often guilty of that myself since I work in Information Systems and my job demands that I find answers and find them quickly. But I still love to be in a collaborative learning environment that is face to face with other real people. I love the immediate feedback you get when you are sitting in an actual classroom. I took a writing class this past summer and the Professor was excellent with feedback and answering questions but it took 24 and sometimes 48 hours.
If our college age children get their entire education online how will they meet friends that might last them a lifetime or where would they get the life lessons they get from going away to school. Many people meet their significant others in an educational setting. What will take its place?
Then I read this article about taking cooking classes online. I often go to you tube to see how to make a dish that requires a little more skill but somehow it never looks the same. I am a barely average home cook. What I mean is that I can prepare fairly healthy meals for my family that they eat and sometimes enjoy. So I have taken cooking classes. These have been in person and they are so much fun. Maybe because each time I went the people were great and the chef had us drinking margaritas or wine. I don’t know I just like being there.
I know I will continue to take online classes. It is just to convenient not to but I will also still take classes in a real classroom with real people. Here is an interesting article you may want to read Virtual College.
Read this article about taking online cooking classes. See what you think.