Friday, January 13, 2012

Online education

Mac is taking online classes at a local community college and it's been an interesting experience, and it's only week 1!!! Right now he has 2 classes online and one will end at the 8 week mark and another will start at the 8 week mark. (He's also taking 3 face to face classes at the local campus).

Online is interesting. This is his first time with anything like this, and I've never taken an online course either. I'm curious about learning how it all works and Mac has just given me his username and password so I can log in and poke around and see stuff.

He did all the assignments for the first week for both classes. He emailed his online instructors, too, telling them it's his first online experience and he wanted to make sure he did everything and was understanding everything so it will be interesting to see how they respond. He doesn't plan to do this weekly or anything, but he's trying to be safe rather than sorry (and I hope he has instructors who will understand and consider this a conscientious student rather than a stupid one).

Now that being said, I think the structure of the courses are interesting. He's taking Econ 101 and an Intro to College 101, which is required.

The Econ 101 is awesome. This instructor has it laid out beautifully and easily. Things are straightforward and simple. All explanations make sense and all the assignments are clear. The folders and tabs are all labeled in a way that makes complete sense. There's not a lot of extraneous information to sort through to get to the assignments, quizzes, presentations, projects and tests. It's blunt and ORGANIZED.

Then there's the Intro to College class, which is completely OPPOSITE of Econ. Ugh! This class even LOOKS like a nightmare. The instructor blathers and has "explanations" in the middle of an assignment. It's like train of consciousness thought. And that train derails. She rambles and it's unorganized. The folder labels don't coincide with what she calls them; for example she refers to the current assignments will be found in Week 1 folder and then it's actually labeled Session 1. I realize this might not be a big deal but for someone who has never taken an online class, it's a little confusing when everything else is all new and feels confusing. She highlights in colors, but to me what she highlights doesn't make sense. She also says "cut and paste blah blah blah" and that information is not "cut and pasteable" because of a security site. Everything is scattered. I think this class could be a nightmare just because she isn't organized.

I think I would like an online class if it's organized. Otherwise, I think it would be horrible. When I look at his Intro class I want to print everything and check stuff off. It makes me nervous. The Econ class, on the other hand, is just how an online class should be, so I think!

I hope Mac does well and I plan on keeping a close eye on this process for his sake, and for my own peace of mind...



Lilith said...

The Econ 101 class is a statewide class and the instructor has nothing to do with the layout. A committee put that together, the instructor just uploaded it and put in due dates and such.

Lilith said...

He should be able to cut and paste anything he finds on the site. Not sure why you can't.

Curley said...

Good luck Mac. I think it great that he is taking control of his future.

Maggie said...

Lilith- the place where cant copt&paste is a third party site& the quiz results were "secure"...

well, whomever came up with the Econ plan was brilliant. They need to give organizational tips to the Intro teacher cuz she is so NOT!

Curley- I'm hope the good habits and choices continue.

Bragger said...

As a former online instructor, tell Mac there is no such thing as too much communication with the teacher.

Maggie said...

Bragger- I will tell him that!!! thanks! I wish he had you for an online instructor! ;)