Don’t Be Fooled By Online Classes

Matt Verrilli, Staff Writer

As another registration period comes and goes, it is important to understand exactly what your classes will expect of you, especially when it comes to classes that are online.
Online classes work on a week-to-week basis, offering “modules” that contain a variety of assignments that could range from homework assignments to discussion posts, to quizzes and tests. Most online classes are those that are deemed to be “easy,” such as most of the core curriculum classes. However there are also cases where students must take higher level courses for their major, online.

At face value, online classes seem simple. Every week is a new module, and every module contains different assignments, which vary depending on the class. I have taken four online classes at this point, and I have seen most of what they offer, and it’s honestly not much. I took two more basic classes – American Government and Politics and American Humor – and both shared a similar, basic set-up: by Wednesday, a discussion post and homework are typically due by Friday a quiz, and by Sunday, replies to the discussion post, test, and anything else the professor deems necessary for that week.

However, with the classes specific to my major, they were more intense than I anticipated. Not only that, but they were also half-semester course, which I was unaware of until after the semester had already begun. Trying to keep up with my three online and two regular classes as well as my extracurricular activities and a new job proved to be difficult, and assignments ended up slipping through the cracks, incidentally in both those online classes. At this point, the classes were already halfway over, and I had to keep up with every assignment from there on in if I wanted to pass the class.
Even doing so, it was still extremely difficult to pull those grades back up.
However, I learned a powerful lesson that other students likely agree with, that online classes simply don’t provide an adequate learning experience for certain subject matter for certain students.

As with all online classes, the responsibility of learning is completely on the student; they must go through whatever lectures and readings are posted in order to gain the knowledge necessary for the class. The issue with this however, is that there is no way for the student to instantly interact with the professor if they have questions or need clarification on something. The ideal classroom setting is lost, and it’s likely you will learn a lot less from an online class than you would from one in person.

With registration coming to an end, take note of what online classes will provide you as a student and decide if it’s going to work for you. If there is an in-person session of the class, it may be more beneficial to opt for that in order to get the entire experience of the class, especially if it is one that pertains to your major.