BY DANIELLE ERTLE
SC Staff Writer
As advances in Internet and computing technology makes accessing them more affordable and widespread in use, online collegiate-level courses are becoming more common.
However, the convenience and quality of online courses has been debated among both students and professors.
While some students enjoy sitting at home in pajamas and doing class work over trudging to class every day, it can be questioned whether or not online classes take away the connection between students and professors.
At ESU, online classes are available during all semesters. The classes are run completely through D2L, with some of the professors requesting certain times for students to go online and “go to class.”
Students who plan to take online classes should have a good computer system and a stable high-speed Internet connection.
Also, it’s recommended to keep in contact with the professor as much as possible about class assignments, what the course will be about before the semester begins, and if a face-to-face meeting is required at any time during the semester.
Students’ opinions on online classes seem to vary. For ESU student Meghan Braun, she has taken two online classes and holds mixed views on them. Last semester she took a reading class online that she genuinely enjoyed.
“We met online as a class once a week,” she said. “I would prefer to be face to face but this class was not that different since there was a lot of communication with the professor.”
“In this class we didn’t communicate with the professor the same way. I had to be self-motivated and it was difficult to ask questions if I was confused on assignments,” she said.
These difficulties caused her to drop the class after the first weeks and take it on campus during the fall semester.
English professor, Sandra Eckard, says that she is a “people person” who enjoys getting to know her students’ strengths and weaknesses, basing them on a community of people coming together and learning new subjects.
She prefers the on-campus classes, but she does mention the advantages of teaching online classes, which she does during the Winter and Summer sessions.
“I have some students work incredibly hard, and the format online does seem to work well for them. However, I do believe it takes motivation and dedication to independently complete a class successfully online,” she says.
With 20-30 students signing up for her online classes each semester, she would hope each student would follow the advice she gives to those wishing to take an online class.
“If I could give students advice on taking an online class, I would encourage them to start early on tasks, work on class reading or assignments daily, and contact the instructor with questions to build a relationship so that the same outcome of learning can happen both online or in class.”
Depending on how a student learns, an online class could either be something they’ll excel in, or it could serve as a detriment to their learning process. The quality of online classes depends on the class and the professor teaching it.
If students wish to take advantage of online classes, a whole list of classes for the Winter and Spring semesters are available online now. Registration begins for the Winter semester on November 4 through December 2.
Email Danielle at: