As the digital world expands, so does online learning at colleges. At Ithaca College, more online winter and summer courses are being offered to students.
Though face-to-face interaction between professors and students is the most ideal for learning, online classes can be successful. Online courses are an effective way for students to make up credits. As an institution that prides itself on sustainability, online classes are also another way to help the environment. Students who commute can cut down on gasoline and save money by taking online classes.
In order for online courses to be successful, the college needs to make sure the classes are designed well. Professors should still have required readings. The work students complete for an online class should be comparable to the work completed in classrooms. In place of classroom discussions, there needs to be online responses. Taking a class online may allow faculty and students to slack off because the atmosphere is more relaxed. But there still needs to be instruction and dialogue — even if it’s through online messaging — about the course.
The college also needs to investigate more financial aid options for online courses. If there is assistance with the cost, more students will enroll in online classes. In the IC20/20 vision, the college should look into creating more successful ways to take classes online.
The traditional classroom with chalkboards seems to be almost obsolete. With more professors integrating social media and technology, classroom learning has significantly changed in the past few years. If planned effectively, the online world can be the next frontier for learning.