Monday, November 17, 2008

Online Graduate Class Rant

Hey everybody!

I am finally finished with my online class! What a pain in the arse. I would rather take a "real" class any day. The on-line work was not difficult but it was constant!

Every night, after work, commuting, making dinner and schlepping the kids around I had to sit down and work on my classwork. I had to post in classroom discussion or check in with my little group. Why do academics insist on "group work"? I would much rather work on my own, thank you.

I I had my druthers I would not take another "on-line" class. I have three more classes to go before I earn my masters.

Upon checking the schedule I realized that there are very few "live" class offerings. The vast majority of the available classes are on-line. I found a "live" class in January. The other ones either run during the same time or are over daughter D's birthday weekend. So I will probably have to take at least one more.

At the moment my motivation to finish is greater than my motivation to take "live only" classes. So if I disappear from blogging again you'll know why. At any rate I am finished until after the holidays. Hopefully I'll get a painting or two posted in the meantime. Stay tuned!

8 comments:

MmeBenaut said...

Just thought I'd pop in to say hi! I'll be back ... online again at last. Thanks for your lovely messages on my blog too Neetzy.

Shazza said...

Welcome back sis - we missed you!

dive said...

How right you are, Neetzy.
I searched long and hard for a real class for my Japanese language studies and in the end could only find one in such an awkward location that I needed to negotiate a day a week working from home to be able to attend (it's 120 miles from my office).
But it was worth it. I'm now in my third year and loving every minute. I doubt I'd have lasted a year learning online.
Good luck!

neetzy said...

MmeBenaut,

Thanks so much for visiting. I've been reading about your travels with Dive and have enjoyed your comments on his site. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting yours!

Shazza,
I've been exhausted. That class took way too much of my free time! (Not that I had much of it!) I'm free till January 10th!

Dive,
I found a class I can take about 15miles from my house in January. I may have to take another on-line in the spring. Online learning is definitely overrated!

Shan said...

Hi Neetzy! I'm glad to hear your opinion on online classes. I've have been toying with finishing my ever elusive degree but I just can't seem to get my full interest up! I hear you write a ton of papers schooling that way and I REALLY don't care for those at all. That probably wouldn't effect grad school work as that tends to be papers out the wazoo no matter what you do. EEK.

Good job getting this close! You are on the home stretch now any way you slice it.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Neezy, glad I found your blog. I teach online courses, so I hear these sorts of complaints all the time. I think online classes are more challenging that "regular" classes for the very reason you cite--you actually have to attend more, read more, write more, AND work independently. These are NOT easy course as some would have you believe.

Group work is also not easy online. It is too easy for students to become disconnected which is bad considering they depend on one another for a grade! I've had better luck with discussion groups which don't require as synchronous dialog or as much student reliance on one another for success.

Learning teamwork online is another skill entirely, not one most students are accustomed to. It's more difficult than live teamwork (which is difficult enough)IMHO and doesn't translate well into a general online class. I think virtual teamwork needs to be a separate class with students knowing what they are signing up for understanding before enrollment that their success depends on the success of the group. I've worked with "canned" curricula in which group work was mandatory. I found myself having to work around this all the time and resolve student conflicts-ever try to do THAT online?

I could write all day long on this topic! Keep the faith! You will get through it. Just make sure you ask plenty of questions if you have them.

neetzy said...

Shan,

They are tougher than they appear. I think I managed with a 98.9% (if I tallied my points correctly. I do think actual classes are more fun. I did correspond with my classmates, but there were no jokes. I miss complaining about the professor. Everything we did was monitored.

neetzy said...

Katherine,

Thank you for responding. It's interesting to hear from a teacher of online classes. I think it was challenging because of the daily posting. I am used to taking a class, doing the research, submitting my assignments, etc. a few days or a week later. I usually have days off in-between. There are no days off in online classes. A course on "on-ine group learning" might not be a bad idea.