This week, we had the opportunity to look at some of the ways distance education can take place. From our class discussion, it seemed like for the most part all of us that have taken online classes have had relatively the same experience. Traditional online classes often feel depersonalized and without in person connections to teachers an other students it can feel like you’re teaching yourself material with little support. However, trying out
One of my classmates raised an interesting question about the cost associated with synchronous learning technology, and I was surprised to hear how affordable it was. In addition, considering how it might be a less expensive alternative to other solutions was particularly interesting.
I think it’s also worth considering what courses are well suited to being taught online. Sometimes it might be the only viable option, but how close it comes to mimicking an in class experience depends on the subject material. For example, my experience taking Physical Education online taught me a lot about phot and video editing, and putting together presentations, but I learned almost nothing about physical health or wellness. The fact that it was possible to work through the class successfully without actually doing very much significant exercise or trying any new activities indicates to me that the course was not particularly effective. However, even a course like PE might work in an online format if done well, maybe in the form of video check ins with a teacher paired with actual gym and outdoor activities.
Overall, I’m far more on board with online learning options than I was before going into this class. I think the idea of synchronous learning is key, and it addressed my concern about online learning being an isolating process. I’m not sure if I will ever seek out the opportunity to teach in this format, but I’ve realized it might work for me more than I would have ever thought.