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Classroom setting still takes the winning vote

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 15:01

The Ram Page Staff voted 6-1 for classes in a traditional classroom setting versus online courses.


For Traditional

When it comes to the university life and counting down these wonderful credit hours, we believe that traditional classroom courses are more effective than online courses.

Online courses are a struggle to most people. It undermines the purpose of having a class with a professor. A professor is supposed to explain the material, using analogies, and dumbing it down for those who need it. We come here for an education, if we were just interested in the topic and wanted to read, maybe we would drop the classes and read the $100 book to ourselves. A student has to interpret the book correctly and the teacher is there to make sure the interpretation is correct. Some students feel it is easier and much better for the instructor to explain the material face to face.

It is helpful when a professor talks about what they expect from their class and what they expect for each assignment. Other students may contribute to someone understanding by asking beneficial questions during lectures. Interpersonal communication is much more effective than reading a book, taking a quiz or test and contributing to a discussion question.

With online courses, there is not a huge opportunity for students to develop relationships with other students, or the professor, like they would in a classroom setting. This situation could be detrimental to lonely freshmen students. Working and studying in groups can help them break the ice and bring them out of their ‘home sick stage,’ or most importantly, make them a better student because it keeps the class material interesting and engaging.

You pay more for distance education classes and it is something you never have to leave your home for, but in the end you learn a lot less.

A professor might send their class a message and half the class may not understand what the professor is trying to say. So now the professor either has to send out another mass message breaking down the material or individually answer each question the student(s) have, which may lead to more questions. Yes, the professor still gives office hours and tries to make you feel welcomed to come by but it almost seems like a joke to meet face-to-face unless you necessarily have to.

Traditional courses give you something to look forward to. It is much more organized in terms of time. You have a set time to attend them, which gives you a reason to roll out of bed. On the other hand, online courses do not, which makes the online class easier to forget about. Having to physically be in a classroom holds students more accountable than sitting in front of their laptop, where they can scroll to Facebook or checkout their friends’ Pinterest. For most students, quizzes in online courses are extremely hard because there is no lecture and no notes to go along with the reading assignments they were assigned. We would much rather listen to a professor give a lecture and take notes than read a chapter and try to remember the material it covered. Either you will be in charge of making your own lecture outline or after reading three chapters you will still be completely clueless.

People sometimes underestimate online courses by not reading the assignments and thinking they can cheat their way through the quizzes. Most of the time it is not as easy as it looks. For the most part, these quizzes and tests are timed and skimming through a book slows you down. Why take that risk and end up with a bad grade or even academic suspension? Be smarter. Take a class on campus and sit through those lectures that you may think are boring because in the end they seem to help you most.

Overall, we feel the classroom is a more suitable place for learning and students will be able to understand what they are supposed to do.

We recommend students only take basic courses online and then take harder subjects in a traditional classroom setting. If you struggle with a subject do not even think of signing for online classes just because the only time it is offered on campus is 8 a.m. Do better for yourself.


For Online

For some people, online courses will get the job done. They are convenient and accessible for those students that cannot be catered by the “normal student” schedule. It is great for when those unexpected emergencies arise and you cannot make it to campus for whatever reason.

Not everyone is a people person. Some people are angered by side conversations during a lecture, especially when they need extra help because the topic is one they don’t quite understand. Some people may be angered by students taking the good seats in class only to sit and text while the professor is teaching something essential. Sadly, the students sitting on the back row may not have had many seat options because their class before never lets out early enough to get the “listeners” spot, tough luck. So for those people who are always ready to explode due to their personal problems, maybe online classes are best. Offering online classes to those who need a completely quiet environment is a brilliant idea. Online courses are also beneficial to those mothers who have just enough time to read a few chapters after putting their children to sleep shoot for online classes if that is all you have time for.

Maybe one day online classes will be respected as much as a classroom setting but until that day we say keep looking forward to climbing out of bed.

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