Article Discussion #1 by Leona Perry

                  

http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/10-advantages-to-taking-online-classes/

This article outlines ten advantages to taking online classes and include points such as no travel, being able to continue with your work and study at the same time, less associated costs etc.

In the early 90s, I began working on my nursing degree through a distance education program from  St. F.X. University.  Things went relatively well but I got discouraged when I realized that in order to complete my degree, I would have to actually leave home to attend a university as there were a number of courses that were not available through distance ed. Because of that, I did not complete my degree. Today, with so much learning available online, my experience might have been different and I would probably have kept at it.

I took my first totally online course, The Adult Learner, in the winter of 2015.  If you look back on the weather conditions during that time, I am sure you will agree that I couldn’t have picked a better time to take an online course!  I loved the convenience of it.  Living in the western end of PEI means I travel a lot…for shopping, my children’s activities, meetings and education.  Not having to make that 4 hour round trip to Charlottetown each week for class was a godsend.  So this article totally makes sense to me when it talks about the learning in the comfort in your own home plus not having to worry about travel.  

Another thing I liked about the online course was the feeling I had of being in control.  I could set my own pace (within the limits of due dates) and never had to give a thought about the progress of the rest of the class and whether or not I had to slow down to let others catch up or struggle to keep up myself.

I was surprised to hear that a good number of the students who took the class the same time as I did were not that impressed with it.  The main issue was the lack of face to face interaction with the instructor and other students.  However, from my point of view, the instructor provided adequate support by being available by email, answering questions during our real time classes and connecting us together as classmates in various ways.  The class material was well organized and easily located. The only drawback was the occasional problem with the technology, Blackboard Collaborate in particular. There are always glitches with technology but then, there are always glitches in real life as well.  I would do an online course again without any hesitation.  

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