In the last article, we reviewed the basics of online coursework, also referred to as web-based instruction, and how and when it can be employed in the academic setting.
As we already know, technology is the driving force behind just about everything we do in our lives each and every day. This includes our children's academic experience.
Many students have a sense of fear when technology confronts them in the academic setting. It is our job as educators and parents to ease the nervousness of technology, such as online coursework.
The online coursework experience can be very rewarding for both the educator and the student, but it also can be disappointing at times for each entity.
I have personally been enrolled in web-based courses and also have helped create web-based courses. My experiences have been positive for the most part. I found that the first or second time taking web-based courses was somewhat intimidating, to say the least. If you are not strong with computer technology and operations, I suggest that you avoid a web-based course until your skill level has increased, as you will become quickly frustrated.
When you decide to take a web-based course, it is essential that you have an up-to-date computer with enough memory and speed.
You have to remember that online course dynamics take a lot of memory and speed to run quick and efficiently. You do not want to be constantly waiting to get logged in or to submit assignments.
Most web-based courses will involve chatting with other classmates on teacher-assigned topics.
This is where good writing and typing skills come into play. A strong-willed and independent student will most likely excel at this type of coursework, because you are free to forge your way through assignments under minimal direct guidance. The student who is more dependent on having the instructor within an arm's reach will sometimes feel alone and lost, which untimely builds higher levels of anxiety.
Now that we have listed many basic parameters and a few caution points, I want to share some positives.
If you are very savvy with computer applications, then using a web-based program will come with great ease.
One priceless characteristic is you can access your course 24/7 and do it from the comfort of your own home.
The thought of having complete control of your course experience through a keyboard and monitor is stimulating for many students.
A common misconception is that web-based courses are going to be much easier than the traditional classroom-based instruction. I am here to tell you that in most cases this is not true.
The workload in the web-based course is going to be heavily enriched with writing exercises and assignments. This essentially makes up for the physical classroom component being absent.
A blended course is an excellent way for a student to become more comfortable with web-based instruction.
It allows them to have the best of both worlds and build their confidence with education over the Internet.
If you are deciding to take a web-based course in the future, take a moment and think about some of the points I have elaborated on in this article.
In the next article, I will discuss the dynamics of bullying in school and its impact on the affected child and his or her parents.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 1020 Arthur Road, Montoursville. He may be reached at 506-9998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.