Online Classes a New and Important Trend

A guest blog entry by Amy Shaw (student, world citizen)

The experience of taking an online course creates both a feeling of independence and dependence at the same time.

As a person taking an online course must be responsible to teach themself material, they must form a sense of independence and a plan to get all of their work done in a timely fashion. Although this is true, the person taking the course also finds themself dependent on technology to get through the course. This is somewhat frightening in a world full of growing artificial intelligence.

Participating in an online course brings to light the quick advancement of technology.

In the last half century, people have turned from paper banking, going out to shop, and sending letters to doing all of these tasks online. Taking a course online seems like a brilliant addition to the long list of things that people are now able to do online. The pace of this transition seems alarmingly quick, but only about a sixth of humankind is really using this technology (Mills 2000), so these advancements may not be as rapid as they appear.

Further, whether all world citizens are on the Internet or not, the amount of information available to all is astounding; with a click of a button, it is effortless to find out almost any fact needed. The age of information makes shifting perspectives and understanding others very possible. This makes taking an online course and applying the sociological imagination that Mills (2000) speaks of fairly easy. Any question about another culture or a viewpoint from another culture in now available in a matter of milliseconds. This makes looking at concepts from another culture’s perspective and understanding their history much easier than it would have been in the past. This ability to use information is the quality of creating lucid summations of events in the world that Mills (2000) mentions.

The use of the internet creates instant connections between one’s life and many other people in the world.

As these connections continue, Mills (2000) would argue that more structural changes will occur.  Perhaps the connection between societies will soon bring new ideas to the conflicts of same-sex marriage, divorce, or the system of classes. Even through an online class itself, people can be exposed to new ideas on these topics, as well as other.

Exposure to new ideas is what is needed to inspire social change no matter what the societal arena.

As society becomes more centered on technology, the impact of taking a self-directed online course becomes clearer – lifelong learning skills are being created. For years to come, information will be all over the media, the internet, and whatever technology comes next; knowing how to direct oneself in this learning method will prove helpful with regard to connecting with other people and cultures.

After all, it is just one small world.

Reference

Mills, C. Wright.  1959 (2000).  The Sociological Imagination, 40th Anniversary Edition.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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16 thoughts on “Online Classes a New and Important Trend

  1. I particularly do not like internet classes at all! I think these classes take away the true meaning of school and forces people to sit behind a computer and isolate themselves from others. Yes maybe it is very convenient for people’s schedules, but that is about the only thing it offers in my eyes. Being in a classroom setting to me engages my body and mind and makes me feel like I am part of school, not part of a computer. I like school to be somewhat fun, I like to laugh and hear what the teacher brings to the table every semester. If I am going to pay for a class, I want to be in the class, not in the computer, I do that enough anyways. Having a teacher right in front of me to guide me is a reassurance that what I am doing is good, an e-mail, to me, sounds “iffy.” I love getting my exams back with the A on them, not looking at a website to see the grade. Some people can do this online schooling, but I think it takes a special person to succeed and I applaud you all, because I just couldn’t it, I’ve tried twice.

  2. I have come to see that today people are dependent on technology. Also, the information that is available to us is widely ranged and unknowingly accurate. I do not believe that online classes have much to do with our researching on the internet for information. Online classes are approved professionals or colleges that also include a text book with accurate information. Students in regular schools have access to the internet like anyone else and use it for the quickest way of information accurate or not. If anything these online students are having the benefit of learning test taking skills other than those who are put in classes with teachers. Online students have to constantly read and evaluate information unlike schools where teachers lecture to their students. The internet is making people more intellectual by allowing them to view other opinions and experience other cultures.

  3. In the past year and a half that I have been at COD, I have taken a total of five online classes. I work pretty much full-time and go to school full-time, and I enjoy taking online classes. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who doesn’t really have time to physically go to class. I would say that you have to manage your time accordingly and stay on top of things, because it is EXTREMELY easy to fall behind. Yes, it allows you to feel a sense of independence, but I do agree with Amy that your really depending on technology. Its very inconvenient if you have a test due by midnight, and your internet is down!

    1. I would agree that it would be recommanded if you have an extremely busy life and work full time or even have children. Taking an online class is probably the best path to go. But if you are some regular college student I would not recommend it the slightest bit. Most college students think that this will be easier to take online and there isn’t any worry of attendance and they can turn there work in whenever they want. Little do they know that’s the WORST part of it. You end up falling behind quickly then you would in a normal class. You forget to check up on the class to see what is due and what homework that has been posted. You need to be able to stay updated with the course, and if you are a regular college student, chances are you won’t. I know so many people who have dropped the course for how behind they got. It’s extremely stressful. Especially if you are an incoming freshmen taking an online course would not be your best bet because you don’t even understand the system yet. My freshmen year my brother made my schedule and added an online class, I dropped the next week because I was a lost cause with the system.

  4. It is true that technology is and always will be continuing to grow. It is a convenience for us, especially now, to have online courses. We all have so much to do in such little time, and having a flexible class is a good option to have when working multiple jobs, and possible raising children. One downfall to taking online classes is that if you don’t know what you are getting into, your easy attend to learn could result in a monsterous failure. If you don’t take the time to pace yourself to actually learn all of the material yourself, you might as well just gone to class the hour or two, twice a week. In my experience, if you pick a class to take independently that you understand easily, then it is a good way to go, but there is more work than attending actual lectures. But I can only assume that if you took a class that is your worst subject, it might not be as easy as you thought it would be, and might end up being more work than you bargained for. But in the end, online classes could be a blessing in disguise for some, or the worst invention on the planet for another, it just depends on your priorities.

  5. In the High-teach world people tend to depend on the Tec-knowledge more than centuries back. Nobody has time to interact. The whole time I am at home, I would be sitting in front of my computer. That much I am depend to computer, but I would not like to take online classes. For me, somebody has to explain to me what to do in a math problem or I have to read it by myself to understand the problem. There is no way I would learn a math problem from computer. I agree that there would be people out there who could prefer that, but it is just not my thing. I think our class teacher our peer groups have a big influence on us. Online classes would not give us a chance to ask questions, or clear a doubt. College life is all about fun and those would be the most unforgettable days of life, how could I miss that by taking online class? I would never ever do that. Class environment gives us special interest to our studies and we are able to make that special bond between our teachers and our subject. Online class would give me the feeling of being left out in the unknown Island. Classroom helps us to explore to the world of opinions. We should not think that only our angle of view is right, in a class room we are getting a chance to hear what others what to tell us about the same thing. It is something like when we look the same thing from different angles. And after all, I believe that success of life is not about gaining knowledge from book or the online-class, what we need is the real life situations to apply our knowledge. Our classroom gives us a chance to have more situations in our life. For example learn to respect the entire ethnic group and all the religious believes. To have that special bondage, to have that fun clip in my memory, and to have explore to the world of opinions and knowledge I prefer not to choose online classes.

  6. That is also the same with me. I Find that I learn so much more when I am in a classroom, with a teacher and students. I’d rather hear the teacher’s lectures, and most of the time teachers refer to instances in their lives and ours, to make a subject more clear. When I teach myself, I’m mostly trying to memorize, and I feel like in the end I don’t learn very much. Like my teacher Bonniejean says, sometimes by hearing a person’s voice say something, I can remember that voice next time I need to remember that fact. It is just a different way of learning, and a better one for me I think.

    1. True Dana I would find that in a classroom it is better because if I have any questions I would ask questions after. However, some people don’t have time to be in a classroom environment. Some online classes are effective as well. I like online classes because I can go on my own pace. I can focus more alone. I would rather take an actual class than an online class.

  7. I do agree that one must depend on technology when taking an online class.

    Personally I am proud to say I have just completed an online class with an A. The class was English 1101 online and while I found it to be easy I have tried taking another online class and it was just not my cup of tea. I feel as though a person has to know how to manage their time appropriately as well as know the basics of the class before even considering taking that class online. I attempted to take psychology online and within the first two weeks I realized i could not do it. The class required me to read 100 pages every 2 weeks then take a timed test leaving only 2 minutes for each question but didn’t go into detail as to what I specifically needed to know.

    While online classes can be easier to do since your work/class can be made portable they are not for everyone and I agree it can be very easy to fall behind.

  8. As time goes on people have become more and more reliable on technology. Online classes is a perfect example of all this! I personally am not the biggest fan of them. I tried taking one, but it just wasn’t for me. I like being in a classroom and having interaction with my teachers and classmates. I also like having that privledge of asking questions and getting input from others. Online classes just don’t have that. I think they are also harder to take because although you have the advantage of having it work with your schedule, I found that it was harder to maintain. At least this was the case with me. Being in a classroom and verbally being told to do something is how I know to get my work done. However, when no one is there telling me this is due on a certain day, I tend to put it off. I always fell behind on my online classes because I would just forget about it. It’s not like I had to go on on a certain day and that made it difficult for me to get things accomplished. I am a much bigger believer in the whole classroom setting. This way, I go in on certain days and get assigned things and I know exactly what needs to be done. Online classes take away from the whole classroom setting, in my opinion. If I’m going to be paying for classes, I want it to be for a class that I’m actually going to learn something in and where I will have the opportunity to voice my opinion and ask questions.

  9. I think that online classes are great for people who do not have the ability to go to regular classes. However I feel as though online classes take away the true meaning of classes. Your supposed to go sit in a classroom for a certain amount of time and learn first hand from your professor. I’m not saying that online classes aren’t good, I am just saying that I feel like online classes take away from a person’s learning experience and should only be taken if the person is one hundred percent unable to attend a formal class. With that said, I have found that people often take online classes just because they are too lazy to go to a regular class. I’m not saying that everyone is like, that but a lot of people are. By taking online classes I also feel like people will not develop the proper skills of communitarian because online classes require only a little bit of human interaction.

  10. I think online classes have good intentions however, I don’t think you can get the same amount of learning from them then say a traditional class room experience. I have experienced online classes first hand, and you don’t get the personal relationship you might develop between the students in the room or the professor. It’s very impersonal and it’s all about you in the end. Plus you can’t get help from the instructor, it’s dependent on you being discipline on the internet and you can easily forget about it since you don’t have class time to go and see the instructor. In conclusion, I think it’s a novelty of future ideas going way to fast for the average person today to actually utilize in an efficient fashion.

  11. From my opinion, I love online classes (depending on the course, of course). I have taken several and have been successful in every one of them. It teaches you independency. You are in charge of your own education and have no one else to rely on. I think in some areas you might get a better education. In classrooms most teachers will discuss the reading material and then you can use that. In online classes you must go into the book yourself and make your own opinion of it and use it. The information is retained better. Online classes also teaches you discipline and time management. I also love the fact that it’s on your time and your classroom can literally be anywhere.

  12. I believe online classes are a good idea because you have one on one training. Some people don’t have time to go to college so they take an online class. Some people want to finish faster which is a great idea and they take online classes to do so. Many teachers don’t really teach nowadays so taking an online class shouldn’t affect anything. The information is better online and it does teach you independence. I wouldn’t take all my classes online however. I would take an online class if i truly need it.

  13. I do agree with some of the thoughts and opinions that Amy has and where she is coming from. However, I also do disagree with some of them. I feel that the use of technology is becoming such a scary issue as technology itself is continuing to evolve as we speak. Although I do find that online classes and technology is a wonderful benefit for numerous different individuals based on their own personal circumstances, I feel that there needs to be some sort of restriction that have to go along with it and technology as well. In particular, currently as of today, technology has gone through such a tremendous transformation and evolution where it can be seen in driving us as individuals to become too reliant on it from most of the time to literally all of the time. Yes, I do agree that technology and the internet allows for instant connection with one individual to another or with a group, but it’s making such an impact on us as individuals within society. Personally, I believe that each individual person has their own way of learning and acquiring their own knowledge, however, we eventually learn to become so reliant on technology that we tend to lose the meaning and purpose of the intelligence that we have and are gifted with. In fact, in today’s day and age, children between the ages of possibly five to thirteen are already exposed to using technology the majority of time during school, that the old methods of teaching and educating students are already changing the curriculum of education in both positive and negative ways. Furthermore, with this massive exposure to technology and its other components, it brings such an effect in our abilities as educated learners, students, and as human beings.

  14. I think that too many people do rely on the internet and technology to know answers to questions. I know that I rely on technology more than I would like to. I personally think that being in a classroom where you can see what is being written, and also being able to interact with people face to face makes a big difference. It is a difference that not everyone seems to care about anymore. If every day one person stopped relying on technology a little less it may make the world a better place.

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