Online College Courses: Treasure AND Trash – Blog 10

(434 Words)

Online college courses have been around long enough now that I have long since heard about what a double-edged sword online courses have become. I’ve heard the inspiring tales of triumph and crushing stories of betrayal. So while we can all find cases where online learning is optimal, we should absolutely not push for a system of 100% online courses.

In class learning has value beyond that of the credit itself. Getting up in the morning, making yourself presentable, getting to the classroom for a predesignated time, interacting with the other students, and most importantly being able to question and verify things with the instructor on the fly. Sounds almost like practice for having a job. Not only do the people who need that ‘practice’ that most lack the drive to successfully complete online courses, but they sorely loose out on those more minute benefits to learning in class. In the summer of 2019 I required a high school math credit with mere weeks to meet a college registration deadline. TVO’s ILC courses smelled like a bargain at $40/credit.

My God! The horror! Turnover time on emailed questions was often days. The convoluted instructions on how to submit assignments became costly in both time and marks. By the time the college’s deadline reared its ugly head, the registrar’s office had become inundated with students in a similar position. Thanks to some face time, with the more than helpful administration at the college, I was able to sort things out. I was considered lucky.

Online courses are acclaimed for their versatility and flexibility, but they CANNOT become the sole choice for aspiring students. They have a place, but they CANNOT be the only place.

With the rise of the Online College, many brick and mortar colleges have speedily sought to regain the market by offering online courses. While I’ve heard many hail the online classes as the way of the future in a digital world, I’ve also heard the opposite. Online classes are priced at only a hair cheaper than real world classrooms. I’ve experienced first hand the credit/certification mill of online learning. In 2010, for mere pocket change, I became a ‘Bronze’ Level Twist Conditioning Certified Coach. Great filler on a Personal Trainer profile. Abjectly useless in application. It is a college’s job to care about getting your money, whether they care about how prospective employers view your ‘online courses’, is up for debate.

So while online courses are lucrative and have a place, when it comes to getting a ‘useful’ education, I advise considering the merits on some old fashioned ‘in class’ learning.

And heres my name to say so.

D.A. Mills