College offers variety of online courses

By Maria McDonald
October 15, 2009

Cabrini College does not just offer the standard in class lecture style of classes, but Cabrini also offers online classes.

Technology is ever-changing and Cabrini, like the rest of the world, must try and keep up. Online courses are a way for Cabrini to be advanced in technology.

Undoubtedly, Cabrini offers a wide variety of courses to choose from and now that wide range is even wider with the online courses that Cabrini has been offering for a few years now.

However, out of all of the classes Cabrini offers, only 12 are online.

“I think online courses offer flexibility and convenience to students who have busy schedules and obligations outside school. If the College finds enough demand I will definitely teach an online course,” Dr. Janice Xu, assistant professor of communication, said.

For the fall semester of this year the online classes included one language, China culture and language, eight business courses, two masters of education courses and one religion course, Continuing Approaches to Religious Development. Student and teachers alike have mixed feelings about taking classes online.

Stephanie Skunda, senior communication major, attempted to take an online course during her sophomore year.

“I am more of a visual learner and I felt it was more difficult for me to have a good understanding of the course’s materials, when taking an online course and teaching myself versus the in class learning experience. It just wasn’t for me,” Skunda said.

“You have to be able to have a good amount of time and discipline to sit down and actually do the work on your own; it’s not like a class where attendance is mandatory.”

A survey is currently being conducted across the United States by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. So far, 67 campuses have responded, and 70 percent .felt that learning outcomes in online courses were inferior to in-class learning.

Teachers at Cabrini also have opinions about classes being taught online versus inside the classroom. Many teachers feel that they do not want to teach online classes because their students would benefit less from online instruction than actual one on one instruction.

“I’ve been using hybrid methods to teach communication courses, including directed study. Technology is not a problem. On the other hand, while the student has more freedom in terms of the pace of learning, it takes a certain degree of self-discipline to keep up with the progress online,” Xu said.

“Some important and fun aspects of the classroom learning, for instance, group work or presentation might be difficult to replicate online.”

Maria McDonald

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