Is online classes and books worth it or not?

It’s 2016, As I am labeled a millennial, many of us do things that are crazy and of course stupid but we also use many different communication technologies to do them but also to study, do research and also take notes for class. When you walk into a class at almost any college,

typing.gif
Accurate photo of me in class taking notes.

where students are in class, you will see at least 1/3 if not more students with their laptops or tablets out taking notes.

 

I know personally I am one of them. As a senior, I have been one of those that has transferred from taking hand written notes to typing. I think as I have grown up, became more involved, knowing that I can access definitions or other extra notes to add in my lecture notes, it bothers me. Granted, I can give up my phone from 50-75 minutes at any given time for class or a meeting but without my laptop, I cannot live without because if I’m not sure what something means or I need to look to at something, it’s accessible and there.

attention-span
Also another photo of how I interact when something interesting happens in class.

 

As I am in college, having communication technology play a role in my education, it’s easy to see how I was able to take classes while visiting my father overseas as well as work on them at my own pace. That’s the beauty of online classes, you can work as you have an internet connection, you can work pretty much anywhere. In one of the articles, we had to read for class from The Christian Science Monitor, it spoke about how Online learning is influencing colleges. One except from it, shows how I’m not alone when it comes to focusing for about 50-75 minutes. It also states that when doing some research, online students did more work than the average student who is sitting in a lecture class. This plays into MOOCs (Massie Open Online Course), where it’s a website that has college, business and teachers host and build courses, according to their website. The article raises the question about these types of classes, because how is fair that I pay roughly $20,000 a year for tuition, fees, books and housing and can go to these types of websites where I can watch online courses. Granted in the article it does state MOOCs are tracking how many people are interacting and watching rather than taking exams and what not. In a way, this demonstrates social presence theory because of giving the person who is receiving the communication a somewhat “real” person.

 I mention books as a part of price, think about the books you purchase from a bookstore for class- they are expensive but are they better than an on-line book? For me personally, I rather have a physical copy of the book than online, granted I wish I also had access to it online so if I’m in class, booksI don’t have to grab my book and go to that page, I can just click and highlight in the book. Online books are cheaper but you sometimes don’t keep them for so long and you cannot cite the pages as easily. In another article from USA Today, one of the comments were made about how it’s hard for them to site the pages and I totally agree, I rather pay the price for a physical copy than an online subscription. I think as they get more technology advanced, it will be easier, however you have many professors, creating their own “reading packets” which have all different kinds of excerpts that will be used in class. I rather have that than reading online in a scanned PDF.

In my French courses, they were hybrids, which is mentioned in the article from the Christian Science Mentor about how many colleges are going towards that and I love love love that idea, emphasize on the love. I think it helps because it had the book in a physical copy as well as online and also assignments that were different from the book and online. It was easier to see how I could use both and feel comfortable learning a new language.

Since the title of this blog is “Is online classes or books worth it or not?” To me, it is if used in the right way. I would recommend getting physical copies of books for any classes you have to take rather than online books. face-2-faceI also would say take online classes if it fits better in your schedule then take some but also go to lectures in person for the Face 2 Face connections.

 

 

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