Vernon Vine

The Effectiveness of Online Classes

Brittany Downey, Editor

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With so much technology at hand, opportunities are emerging for students to learn in an online environment instead of in a traditional classroom setting.

 

Online classes are available throughout the school year, but most commonly during the summer. Often, students take the online classes to avoiding attending classes throughout the year.

Other times, students take online classes to get ahead in classes that are necessary to graduate.

 

However, online classes come with several challenges for students, specifically to their ability to learn effectively. Even though online classrooms can be effective, they aren’t as effective as traditional classroom environments.

 

Sophomore Casey Zanowic, who is hoping to graduate early, took a health and P.E. class online. She said that her online class was not nearly as effective as teacher-led, traditional classroom environments in terms of actually teaching the material.

 

“You don’t have the teacher experience,” Zanowic said. “You can’t go in and get help, so it’s less personable. There’s also no expansion of knowledge, so it’s less interesting.”

 

However, Zanowic expressed her satisfaction with the light workload and how straightforward and easy the class was. She did enjoy the independence of performing

 

Although physical education teacher, Christopher Lolagne, said he thinks that doing well in an online learning environment is an important skill to have, he added that online classes can’t be as effective as traditional classroom environments because of their limitations in terms of face-to-face communication between the teacher and the student.

 

“Since there is no teacher, let alone daily homework checks to motivate students to do their work, students looking to do well in an online class should be motivated and disciplined in their study habits to not fall behind,” Lolagne said.

 

“[The teacher] cannot build a relationship with the students, and you lose the piece of having relevant group/collaborate efforts,” Lolagne said. “The instructor cannot check for student understanding and the student cannot ask questions or engage in a discussion as effectively. Some learning truly requires verbal explanation and discussion.”

 

There’s a very specific relationship that develops between a teacher and a student, which is an crucial part of the learning process.

 

Not only does that relationship allow the student to better understand the teacher and his/her teaching process during class time, it also builds a certain level of comfort between both of them, which allows for better interaction.

 

At the moment, however, that relationship is not present while taking an online class. There is very little interaction between the teacher and the students, let alone face-to-face interaction. In its current state, an online classroom cannot be as effective as a traditional, teacher-led classroom environment.

 

“Students may miss out on true learning if they take an online class versus one at school,” Lolagne said. “It depends on the student and the coursework.”

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The Effectiveness of Online Classes