online_class

For me, the hybrid online English course I took this year was the biggest blessing, but slightly a curse… and the curse part was only a self inflicted issue, so really, I’m all for these classes. It taught me a lot, not in the traditional grammar sense you normally are stuck learning in a normal face-to-face English course, not a ton of somewhat pointless material from books that happen to be older than  your actual school,  but in the way of new, relevant information on what’s happening in the real world around us- not the literary world. I so appreciate the fact that most of our assignments were based on relating the literary world to what’s happening in our world around us right now, it made the work feel a little more meaningful. It also helped that my teacher constantly introduced new social media and outreach platforms to us, which is helpful because I know college most likely expect us to know various platforms and how they work. Most of the knowledge I walk away with having gained from the online course I took has to do with communicative skills in technology. These things are important for a high school student to have access to and know;edge of, and therefor I feel like this course should’ve been taken sophomore year in order to apply the new knowledge and skills to various relating courses Junior year. It’s great for students to get the experience because most college and career activities in the future will be online based since that is the day and age we are learning in. Although I sucked at it, I’m definitely glad I got this experience in high school to prepare for my future. Painful at times, but definitely needed. My favorite part about the class is the fact that t was extremely flexible with my crazy schedule, and not at all time sensitive. In this sense, my life would be much less hectic if all my other classes were like this too. I definitely needed the extra time to take care of things around the house, for my job, my sport, and my nieces and nephews whom I help raise. I can’t pinpoint anything I’d really want more of in a future online course, except structure, but I went into the class knowing there wouldn’t be much of that because the teacher was as new to teaching an online class as we were to taking it, so we were all learning. I’d tell future online course teachers that online learning feels more intimidating and challenging to students because we don;t have the security of thinking, “oh it’s okay if I don’t get this, I’ll just ask him/her tomorrow in class.” Often times, I found myself frantically asking my fellow peers what to do and how to do something online because, well, to put it simply, I’m technologically challenged. I’m not complaining by any means, just bringing other online course teachers to attention that that is why we need you to be extra patient with us, just like my online teacher was. I think some students experience more success in an online course than others because some students simply have better self discipline when it comes to turning in work with a teacher that is super lenient with due dates. I, for instance, was terrible at that. Online classes are so much less stressful in this sense because for other classes, I sometimes stay up until 2am and wake up at 4am doing projects that I have to physically hand in in class the next day. On nights like those when I have at least 20 gallons of Starbucks coffee in my system just trying to keep a centimeter of my twitching left eye open to continue my projects, the last thing on my mind is finishing an assignment for another class. That was the beauty of the online class. On stressful nights like those, I could tel myself, “It’s okay, turn in the online assignment tomorrow night after you get some sleep and it wont even make any difference.”, where as to my other classes, teachers would take off 10% of the grade of the assignment regardless of if I got a combined total of 3 minutes of sleep the past 4 days or not. So, to teachers that say online classes are a joke, I’m sorry, but your grading system is a joke! If online class gives me the chance to turn in something a few hours late if it means learning about the subject instead of rushing to hand some half-effort work in on something I just made up to get a grade and not be scolded, then so be it. School should be more about learning than it is about grades. Students aren’t going to school to get an education anymore, they’re going to school to get a meaningless grade, and that’s sad. Online class saves us from classes with ridiculous logic like that which make us put a letter grade on a sheet of paper before our education. I would take another online course at the same time if I could, and make my schedule that much less stressful. However, I would stay away from taking an online course in a subject that I know I struggle in and need to speak to a teacher face-to-face for on the daily (take algebra for instance in my situation). English online was a good fit for me because English has always been my easiest and most favorite course. So if you’re a student considering taking on online class, I say go for it… not everyone tells you this, but you’re definitely going to need this experience. And to school admin considering adding more online courses, I also say go for it. In my opinion, it teaches students more than a class does that we rush to get a grade in for. And last but not least, Mr. Theriault, thank you for this experience and for being patient with us.

Advertisements