This semester I couldn’t fit all the classes I wanted in my schedule. The obvious fix? Take online classes. So I signed up for both Children’s Literature and Walk to Fitness.
On the first day of the semester I went online to check it out.
The First Day
At first, I admit, it was very confusing. There was so much reading to get through just for the teacher to explain everything. It took me a full day just to read the many, many posts that were required to even start the class. It made me realize just how much information you learn on the first day of class. What could be shared during a half hour conversation was now big blocks of texts spread out over five posts.
|I can take a look at my class|
Pic from Unspash
After reading all there was to be read, next was the assignment.
That’s when I started liking my classes.
A class discussion in a classroom is very different from a class discussion online. While everyone is expected to participate in class, that usually isn’t the case. It’s always the same five students talking while the rest of the class listens or, when called upon, mutters a couple sentences in order to get that participation grade up to passing.
When you’re online everyone has to participate. The professor can tell who has posted and when they posted it. They’ll see if anyone is putting off the assignment to the last minute or who hasn’t participated at all.
But you also get time to think. There’s no teacher putting you on the spot because you’ve been quiet for a while. I could take the time to write a post about what I really thought. Just that alone took so much of the stress out of the class.
However, the best part when it comes to classes online is the grading. In Children’s Literature I received all my posts back the to me the day they were due, fully graded. I know exactly how I’m doing, which posts I did well on, and what I didn’t do so well on. That’s not something that happens in even the best of classrooms. No teacher can grade every idea that comes out of your mouth. But with everything online I have everything written out for me.
I admit that when I decided to sign up for online courses it was in the hope that there would be less work to do than in a classroom. That’s definitely not the case. I have more assignments and readings to do for my online courses than for any classes I have to go in for. But I also have so much extra time to do them. What I would have had to write out in class is now a small homework assignment I can take a whole day to do. A class I would’ve had to wake up at seven to take is now available to me whenever I want it.
So there’s a little bit of bad and a little bit of good.
If you’re someone who needs a teacher guiding them (completely understandable) stick to your classrooms. But, if you’re a student who is good at managing their time and motivating themselves to get their work done, online classes are one hundred percent your thing.
|My new classroom|
Picture from Unsplash