Diana Anaya, Contributing Writer
It’s clear why online classes continue to rise in popularity: accessibility. You can do your work when you want and where you want, whether it’s due to laziness or a difficult schedule. They may have an extra cost attached but many students, especially those that have a job, find the additional charge to be minor when compared to the freedom of an online class, not to mention the money saved on gas and other expenses.
This modernization of education and advances in technology is helpful in some cases, but the system is being abused. Students take online classes in order to fulfill unnecessary requirements or because they don’t want to attend lectures or because they’re easier.
Online classes were truly meant to benefit the working student that cannot attend class due to time conflicts, not slackers that can’t be bothered to get up.
But are online classes as beneficial as an in-person 50-minute lecture? Like when novels are translated into different languages — a long ordeal due to words or phrases that don’t translate well — is something lost in translation when transforming an in-person lecture course into an online class?
I believe so. The human touch, the community and discussion of a classroom and the immediacy of a professor to provide more analysis is gone when taking an online class. Of course, students may still email or call the professor for clarification, but the in-the-moment opportunity to ask for help is eliminated.
It may be that I’m just traditional, clinging to ways that are quickly falling out of popularity. But for me, the idea of an online class where you may never see your professor or fellow students, in this culture that advocates the philosophy of ‘do you’, is frightening.
A university is supposed to be a center of learning, of people coming together to better themselves intellectually and share their information, from professor to student and student to student.
Online classes and even hybrid classes have forums where they often require discussion posts, but how often do those posts actually lead to a real discussion? Instead, everyone throws in their minimum posts, disregarding what others might have said, and throw in the towel.
I mentioned earlier that online classes are prime targets for slackers, but is it really that the students are slackers? Maybe the real question is: why are there classes considered ‘bulls**t’ requirements, and why do students not want to attend lectures anymore?
Obviously a fair percentage of these students genuinely don’t care to learn the material, but could there be some truth in these statements? That some requirements provide no real learning or advantages to the student regardless of major, or that the material includes information that students should already have coming in to college?
Online classes are invaluable tools in the fast paced world we live in, but not useful for every subject. There may be a push to make more classes available online, but I hope they’re chosen with discretion. Maybe we need to wonder less about why there aren’t more classes online, and more about why in-person courses are being sidelined.