August 14, 2020

Opinion divided about online versus on-campus learning

Whether to take classes online or on campus is a major consideration for many NCC students who have jobs and families.

   “Well, as much as I would agree attending physical classes offers an interactive space with meaningful human interaction, I would have to say that human interaction is under transformation and online spaces are becoming that equivalent, said Maximillian McGuire, a second-year English major at NCC.

   “Therefore, in addition to maintaining the same level of interpersonal interaction, online classes come with convenience and adaptability to change,” he said.

   Some students argue that online classes allow more flexibility for those juggling jobs and education.

   “I work full time at Walmart and therefore consider online classes, (which) are more convenient than coming to class,” said Sara Zana, a second-year Art major.

   Opinions vary about the virtues of online classes for learning. Some maintain that online classes provide fertile ground for individual engagement with the professor and that student performances and learning curves can be monitored and built on to produce the best possible outcomes.

   Others say online classes don’t have adequate checks and balances to ensure best quality of learning outcomes.  “In most cases, there is not much to gauge the authenticity of work done by the students,” said Mike Culver, a first-year Business major.

   Taking classes online breeds incompetence and academic fraud, Culver said.  “Looking up questions by most online students on Google encourages cheating. Most of these students end up getting results that they don’t deserve.”

   This view about productivity is challenged by a number of university professors. In a research paper by Katrina Meyer of The University of Memphis, many said their teaching productivity had increased as a result of online design choices.

Mike Culver, first year business major

   So, which leads to more productive outcomes – online or on-campus instruction?

   “It is an ongoing debate that is set to pan out in the near future as online platforms are set to evolve into the mainstream,” said Max Tamper, a research associate at Google’s Alphabet Corp.

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