Online vs. Face-to-Face

Posted on 01 July 2013 by admin

Students have options for classes

By: CORY MUEHLEBACH
Opinions Editor

Physically going to class can be a hassle for some students. Luckily, there is an alternative at STLCC-Meramec and many students are finding it convenient for their lifestyle.
Online classes are a way to learn just as much from classes without actually attending them. It relieves the burden on students from having to wake up and drive to class. It is the best solution for students who like to take classes on their own time. Along with this, students can have a flexible schedule to complete their work.
“It was better than I expected. The class was set up so I could work on assignments whenever I wanted in the one-week time frames. The assignments weren’t mundane busy-work formatting either. They actually engaged the students in what was the main focus of the chapter and had relevance to real life situations,” Meramec student Eric Benner said.
Most of the classes are set up on Blackboard – the STLCC content management system. This website spans grades, assignments, syllabi, emails and additional course materials that instructors use at their disposal to help the students. Though this system is used by all students, it benefits online students.
Students should note that online classes are just as important as “face to face” classes. The same credits, hours and time are dedicated to these classes. Students do not get off easy. There is work involved with any type of class.
The cost of an online class is the same as a traditional one. Factoring in the fact that most online classes are the same by the receipt, physical classrooms may seem better for the price. However, with the cost of gasoline, some students may prefer saving a few bucks a week. Staying home in their pajamas solving math problems.
Students can also save money on books and course materials.
Some students may feel awkward in a physical classroom setting, mingling and meeting new people; this is a solution for them. No more awkward group assignments or having to present in front of class. These classes require assignments to be turned in and tests to be taken.
Even the testing seems to be more popular in online classes.
“The workload seems a bit higher,” Benner said. “But there is no class time to get in the way of the work.”
If a student is tired of hearing a professor lecture, then perhaps an online course with resources such as MyMathLab or Graphics Online is the solution. Instead of the hour in class, students could be reading and completing assignments.
“I felt that since I wasn’t forced to show up at a certain time and waste hours in a classroom, that the homework assignments weren’t such a chore,” Benner said.
On the other end of the spectrum, some students find online classes inaccessible.
“I wouldn’t have the motivation to take an online class,” Meramec student Sara Tallyn said. One issue is that some universities do not accept online credits.
“Students who need the atmosphere of a classroom to feel motivated will lack the motivation to take an online class. Going into a typical classroom, for some students, is a necessity to pay attention and learn,” Tallyn said.
Some faculty also recognize the lack of face-to-face communication to be a problem for a healthy learning environment.
“I really think a face to face setting is better for communication,”Meramec Professor Jacki Barker said. Barker teaches Communication Between Cultures as an online class.
“Some online classes are great for certain subjects, but others such as communication require a physical classroom to be effective,” Barker said. “Whichever the student chooses is ultimately up to him or her and the classes being offered.”
Benner said his classes are all headed to an online format.
“All my classes from now on are probably going to be online. I just enjoy the atmosphere of my own home more than a classroom,” Benner said.

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