Online Classes

online 1Online classes are not for me.  I know some people love them, and thrive in them, but not me.  I am a social person.  I need the camaraderie of a class.  I need people with whom I can commiserate and complain about the workload.  I need study groups and whispers about the professor.  I need teacher-student interaction and instant gratification when I ask a question or have a comment.  I need to physically go somewhere, leave the house.  I need a classroom!

I know many people like online classes because they can complete the work in their own time, at home or when they are free and they can work independently.  A lot of people live in remote areas and can’t possibly get to a class on a regular campus or in a school.  Thank goodness I am not one of those people.  I do not work well on my own.  I am my worst distraction.  I am always looking for something else to do, rather than what I should be doing.  Any time I have been registered for an online class (and it’s been 3 times), I have not completed the class.  I never logged in when I was supposed to, nor completed the work in time.  When I asked a question of the “teacher,” I couldn’t wait hours for an e-mailed response, I gave up.  In addition, there wasn’t any interaction; it was all posting and commenting on others’ posts or watching taped lectures and viewing canned PowerPoints.  It was horrible!

online 2online 3Some companies have made their fortunes offering online courses, even full online degrees.  Some of my friends and colleagues got their degrees completely online, doing the classes in their own time.  This disturbs me, as teaching is inherently a social profession, and to get a degree from an online “university,” such as Capella or the University of Phoenix doesn’t foment that social aspect of teaching.  If anything, it stifles it!

I’m constantly amazed at the number of people I meet who got their Master’s degrees online, or who did their Bachelor’s degree online.  It’s becoming ridiculous.  It’s another way that the world is becoming less social and more hermit-like.  It’s like the family that sits around the dinner table, all on their smartphones texting and playing games.  They don’t say a word to each other, and if they want to speak to each other, there’s WhatsApp for that.  Online “universities” work the same way….they promote non-interaction.  They allow people to be by themselves and take classes with “classmates” they will never meet nor speak to in person.  I can’t do it.  I have tried it, even small 5-week classes are not my cup of tea.  I know now that I need a classroom environment and I need the interaction.  I can’t just sit home in my underwear typing away, pretending I’m in class.  I don’t understand how people can do it, and I know I can’t!

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