Online courses…I, as well as many of you completed them during undergrad or grad work. Sometimes we loved them. Sometimes we hated them.
Online courses are awesome for busy people who can’t devote hours out of their day to sit in a classroom, and then devote even more time to their studies outside of the classroom. This, friends, is exactly why I completed my graduate work online…through reputable universities and programs, of course!
Sometimes, online courses get a bad reputation…students do not physically attend classes and therefore do not receive traditional “face to face” instruction. This leads critics to question whether or not online students receive the same education. Online students also complete their coursework in an asynchronous environment, which we know leads to more student centered instruction…which I think is awesome!
A question I often received during my graduate work…especially from my husband… was “so you can cheat on tests, right?”
Throughout my experiences with online courses, I can count on one hand the number of “traditional” tests I completed. Even these tests were not based on simple recall level questions…the type of questions that students could easily utilize readily available resources to correctly answer.
In order to prove I had mastered a concept, I was required to complete a variety of activities.
I might have been required to read a selection from a text, answer a broad question about the concepts addressed in that text, and then participate in a conversation with my fellow classmates about that topic.
Perhaps I was required to complete essay questions that required me to analyze primary and secondary source material and construct a cohesive and complete response.
My favorite assessment activity, and I am 100% serious, was the research paper. This activity also forced me to analyze a variety of resources, answer a question (most likely created by me), and successfully explain that topic or prove my claim.
These assessment activities made me work harder and forced me to understand the content at a deeper level…which is good!
These courses also forced me to participate. As I’ve said before, I was the student who knew the right answers, but was content sitting in the back of the classroom, silently begging the teacher not to call on me! In an online environment (at least courses in which I participated) students must be engaged and involved in discussions and activities.
What are your thoughts on the future of education in online courses? Let me know in the comment section.
Check back soon for my post on creating online/independent study courses with Schoology.
Thanks for reading 🙂