Version of the 10 Myths of Online Education Video
#1 Ė Anytime, AnywhereÖWell Not Exactly
I can do my work anytime I want to from
any place in the world! Iím so glad that these online classes donít
have deadlines! That means
I can just submit assignments whenever I feel like it at my own whim. What a great way to take classes!!!
of the nice things about online classes is that you can take it from
anywhere in the world. That opens the door for lots of diversity that
might not happen in the traditional classroom.
You can have someone from China, someone from Seattle, someone
from New York all interacting together, however, in order for this to
happen most online classes have a very structured learning environment
with deadlines set by the professor.
This is to ensure the best online experience for everyone so that
everyone is at the same place at the same time, interacting with each
other. Not twenty-five
people doing their own thing. Deadlines
and due dates are what help to keep the class together.
Myth #2 Ė
Cramming Your Work Into One Log-on Session
These online classes are perfect
for my busy schedule. Since
time is tight I can log on one time a week and cram all the work into
one sitting. I am sure
Iíll get a lot out of that experience.
I am sure I will learn more doing it all at once instead of
spreading it out like in a regular class.
online classes require students to log on several times a week to ensure
active participation and maximum learning.
It is very difficult to take in all the material in one sitting.
And because of the nature of the class with no physical contact,
it is important to maintain contact by logging in several times a week.
Students have expressed excitement logging in several times a
week to see if there is email or new discussion responses, questions
that have been asked that need answering so logging in several times a
week stimulates learning by keeping students in contact with the
learning environment. Online
classes are not just about gathering information, they are rich
integrated learning environments just like the traditional classroom and
as such require attendance several times a week.
#3 Ė Online Courses Are Easy Credits
(with schedule in hand) I have signed up for five regular classes and
that is quite a load. Iíd
like to take another class so speed things along.
I think Iíll sign up for one of those online classes as an
extra. I am sure it is not as much work as traditional classes so it
will be like getting free credit not much work to put out.
Taking an online class as an extra would be a big mistake.
Because of the nature of online classes with so much reading, these
classes tend to take more time than a traditional class.
Students are encouraged to take no more than two online classes
at one time due to the intensive reading required and the extensive time
commitment. Many students
find that an online class takes between seven and ten hours per week.
Certainly taking a full load and taking an online class would
interfere with student success. Students
need to go into an online class knowing that the class will require as
much, if not more time and effort as any traditional class.
Myth #4 Ė
Online Courses Do Not Follow the Regular Semester
My family is planning a two-week
vacation to the Bahamas that falls at the beginning of the fall
semester. I think I will
take one of these online classes because I have heard that they donít
follow the regular semester schedule that you can just start and stop
whenever you want. This way
I could go on vacation and then start the class.
And, there is a camping trip with friends that comes during the
last two weeks of school. Since
these online classes have no start and stop dates I can do these online
classes between my vacations. What
a great opportunity these online classes are, they let us do it all!
Most online classes follow the
traditional semester calendar with beginning and ending dates the same
as traditional classes. In
addition, professors online also have similar attendance policies as
traditional classes. Students
must long on a certain number of times per week to ensure they meet the
attendance requirements. While
some classes have more lenient attendance requirements, most professors
feel that students need to be as present in an online environment as
they would be in a traditional environment.
Camping trips and vacations should be planned during semester
breaks. An online class is
not just about information. It
is an important and viable community of learners.
A community that students need to join right at the beginning and
stay with right to the end. Students popping in and out of class at whim
will only lead to feelings of distance and isolation and could result in
an unsuccessful online experience.
Myth #5 Ė
Broken Computers Are Great Excuses
(holding broken computer monitor, all wrapped up in wires) My
computer broke last night and I canít get it fixed until next week.
I have two assignments due at the end of this week.
Well, Iím sure Iíll get an extension because it is not MY
fault that the computer broke down.
Iíll just call the professor and ask for an extension for the
assignments. I mean, after
all, how can he or she expect me to do assignments on something that is
broken? Itís not like I have two computers.
computer accessibility on the rise, students have many options in
dealing with breakdowns of their own system.
Most instructors will not accept excuses involving broken down
equipment. Most colleges
have a computer center that students can use. In addition, public
libraries provide Internet access, Kinko rents time on computers and
provide Internet access and Internet cafes are beginning to pop up all
over the world. With this
much availability, the motivated and committed student can always find a
computer to complete assignments on time.
The same standards are set in traditional classrooms.
Students are not given extra time if their printers break down,
or their typewriter ribbon has run out.
All students in all classes are expected to deal with the
calamities of technology and to produce assignments accordingly.
At the beginning of most online classes instructors suggest
students have in place a backup plan in case of a computer breakdown.
If students heed this warning then when, and if this happens, the
student will implement the backup plan and proceed in the class.
The need for an extension is a moot point. This type of critical thinking on the studentís part is a
necessary skill in dealing with technology in all facets of life today.
#6 Ė A Computer Will Be Provided
(student saunters in, sits in chair looking very self-satisfied).
Ok, Iíve been waiting for someone from the college to contact
me about providing a computer so that I can begin my online class.
School starts soon and I havenít heard anything yet.
Iíve called a friend who says I can use his ďsometimesĒ if
I need to, but that would be kind of a drag if heís not home, so I
guess Iíll just wait for the college to deliver mine.
If itís not here on time, then I canít do the work.
Iíll just wait until someone calls me. (Student folds arms
Most colleges arenít required to provide computers to students
to take online classes. Students
are required to provide their own access to a computer and the Internet.
As stated before, there are places students can go for emergencies, but
students should have their own computer for the bulk of the work.
Consider the computer part of the materials required for the
course. Trying to work
around a friendís schedule will only lead to frustration and an
unsuccessful online experience. Students
must have a working computer up and ready to go by the first day of
class. However, it is a
good idea to have a back-up plan just in case your computer breaks down.
Learn the hours of the
#7 Ė You Will Be Taught How To Use A Computer
(computer with monitor facing away from student. Student looking
frustrated as she/he tries to locate the on/off switch. Generally looks
confused) I have never used a computer before, but I am sure that I can
learn while I am taking this online class.
And whatís the Web? I
hear all this talk about the course on the web, but I guess someone will
explain it to me when I start the course.
I never learned how to type, but that shouldnít be a problem as
I can hunt and peck pretty well. Iíll
figure it out. It canít
be that hard.
Students need to have minimal computer competencies such as
knowing basic word-processing knowledge and a working knowledge of the
Internet (what it is, how to get to it, how to navigate around it, how
to send an email, etc.). In
addition, because of the amount of writing required in online classes,
students should know how to type with some accuracy and ease to avoid
endless hours of frustration. These
are not skills that can be learned in conjunction with taking the class. They are skills that should be mastered before the class
#8 Ė I Can Hide Out and Remain Anonymous
(student with scarf over head, or arms over head, something
hiding his/her face, maybe whispering) I very shy, so Iím glad these
online classes donít have any discussion. I usually sit in the back of the room and hope the teacher
doesnít call on me. Thanks
goodness all I have to do is writing assignments in this online class.
No one will get to know me.
Most online classes have a discussion component.
Students are required to participate in online discussions and,
according to students who have done so, are able to get to ďknowĒ
each other in a very open and honest way.
This discussion, while not ďface to faceĒ still allows a
wonderful exchange of ideas and the opportunity for ďshyĒ students
to open up in an unthreatening and protective environment.
Often shy students respond that the online environment helps them
gain confidence in their ability to interact with others, a confidence
not available in a traditional class.
#9 Ė It Is OK To Procrastinate
(with legs up on desk, computer turned off, reading some comic
book) I have trouble doing my homework without someone pushing me, but
Iím sure this aspect of my personality wonít interfere with taking
an online class. I always
get to it, eventually. When Iím done with more important things (hold
comic book in front of face).
Students who take an online class need to be very
self-disciplined and motivated. Students
need to be independent learners who can take responsibility for
completing assignments on time and meeting set deadlines.
It is very easy to get behind since there is no teacher standing
up at the front of the class reinforcing whatís due when.
Students must be able to set their own schedules and stick to
them. Online courses
provide flexibility, in terms of when the assignment is done, but
students need to be able to manage this flexibility accordingly and not
use that flexibility to put off doing the work.
Online classes put more of the responsibility on the learner.
#10 Ė There Is No Personal Attention From Your Teacher
I donít want to take an online class because there is little or
no contact with the professor. I mean, itís not like sheís going to be on the screen
talking to me, so how will I know she is there?
I need to feel as if someone is really paying attention.
Iím sure that canít happen online.
Actually, students who have taken online classes say they feel
more connected to their professors than in the traditional classroom.
Most professors are logging on daily, checking for questions,
assignments, problems, and usually get back to students right away.
Students have commented that the online environment feels like
someone is ďalways thereĒ instead of just there twice a week as in a
traditional class. There is still the option of calling the professor on the
phone for clarification.
submitted by Anne Hughes
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