Online courses effective when willing to learn

Credit: Keith Williamson on Flickr.

Credit: Keith Williamson on Flickr.

Ashley Marie Lardizabal, Reporter

Many people have trouble deciding if online classes are worthwhile. The success of the course depends completely on the student who must keep up, test and study independently. This may scare some who are not quite as disciplined as they should be.

Students who are considering online classes should consider their study habits and their ability to learn in the unstructured, online environment. Online courses are solitary and completion of work depends solely on the student.

Sophomore Kylee Jervis, who has taken an online class, said, “Most of the time learning is difficult for me. Because of that, I took the opportunity of  running through the lesson more than once to understand everything since I didn’t have other people to help me.”

Online courses require more responsibility for students as well as the instructors.

Chinese Teacher Lilly Zhang-Micco has taught an online course before and has an opinion about the method of online learning.

“It really depends on students. If they are willing to learn, then online courses are enriching for someone. If they are not, then it will be difficult. It’s a different experience that [varies] for all.”

Jervis said, “Taking an online class could be a lot harder for others since [the student] would have to devote more of their lives to learning. You must keep track of everything you are doing. There is no one to remind you when something is due.”

The value of an online class depends on the self-sufficiency of the student.

Sophomore Shelly Aquino, who has also taken an online class, felt learning, whether online or in a classroom, was the responsibility of the student.

“In regards to the content that is being taught, no matter if it is online or in a classroom, it all depends on what I choose to do with it,” Aquino said. “It wasn’t impossible unless I made it impossible. ”

While students are involved in the process of making online classes worthwhile, instructors also assume a role in the effectiveness of the course.

Zhang-Micco said, “In a traditional classroom setting, all I need to do to prepare is organize my lesson into bullet points and then present it. If you’re an instructor for an online course, you can’t simplify things. You have to clearly type everything you’re trying to get across.”

Overall, online courses and traditional classroom settings provide a sufficient amount of information for a student but both depend on individual responsibility, persistence and commitment to achieving the goal of learning and passing the class.