Vail Daily letter: Online classes not ideal
Ryan Summerlin December 10, 2013
I have had four years of online and live classes and online classes are a hassle in many ways. Plus the online courses have given me little, if none, educational benefit. Online classes are also counterintuitive and waste an estimated 30 percent of my time. This waste of time includes resetting assignments and tests, contacting teachers and waiting for pages to load. Not to mention the Internet sometimes doesn’t work and the website may not respond properly. Sometimes glitches in the website can take days to resolve, and students cannot do their work. Online courses require a great amount of responsibility and patience because one must teach themselves the material and wait for almost every page, teacher, website, video, etc., to load.
Live classes give students a better in-depth understanding of a single subject, which helps in learning the topic faster and more efficiently. This is beneficial because as a student learns and comprehends each in-depth concept, one is able to get through more material. With a live class, there is never the thought of, “Is my course going to work today?” or “When is my teacher going to get back to me?” Live courses are reliable and effective for many types of learners. Online classes are normally geared toward visual and auditory learners, meaning those who need “hands on” learning will have a very difficult time. A recent study shows 42 percent of students in the U.S. need visual, auditory and “hands on” activities to learn best. Twenty-five percent said they need just visual and auditory to learn best and 33 percent said they need hands on learning. These are significant numbers, so why are online classes playing a larger role in our schools? It may be because of budget cuts, but why does it have to be at the expense of students’ education? There is no need for them; live classes offer “hands on,” auditory and visual learning.
Although some may argue responsibility and patience are great characteristics to acquire, should one be learning these traits at the expense of their education? I don’t think so. Education is so important, why sacrifice it for characteristics that can be learned in other ways? Online courses are great, except they don’t teach the information one needs to learn. If one is not learning at school, then what is the point of school?
How will I get the career of my choice if I am unable to learn what I need to know? Online courses may be an easy way out for school budgets, but I don’t want them affecting my future plans and goals in life and I assume others don’t want that either. So what can we do about this? If you have a choice, always choose a live class over an online course. If an online course is your only option, research different companies and find one with good ratings and reviews. The best learning environment is one taught by human beings, not an electronic keyboard with a LED-lit screen.