I just read the article in the Dec. 4, 2013 Globe regarding online vs. on-campus classes. I have an interesting perspective because I am a full-time student, taking both online and on-campus courses, as well as the administrative assistant in the eLearning Division. I am disappointed in this article and wanted to address some concerns.
First, there are points in this article that are not accurate. One inaccuracy is that there are several instructors who teach online who do not teach on-campus.
The second is the information given at the end of the article regarding who to contact for more information. eLearning has its own Support Desk. If a student is interested in online courses, we want them to contact eLearning so that they can receive accurate information regarding online classes. If they are interested in registering, then Enrollment Services is the correct avenue to take, but if they are interested in more information regarding “eCampus,” they need to be directed to eLearning. This article does not even mention the eLearning Division, let alone contact information.
My biggest concern regarding this article is that the writer, Bryan Gonzalez, did not interview anyone in eLearning. I’m not sure how an article can be written regarding eLearning (online classes), and especially a comparison article, without speaking to anyone in eLearning.
In eLearning, we have Instructional Designers who, along with Faculty, design the online courses. We also have Instructional Technologists who support Faculty with their courses in Canvas, a Support Desk who answer calls, participate in live chats, and respond to e-mails from students with questions and concerns, and classroom technology specialists who install and maintain things like projectors in classrooms. We also have the Learning Center in our Division who tutor students with problems in their courses, as well as Testing Services where students go to take their online quizzes and tests. This is valuable information that students should be made aware of. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Bryan did much research on this issue.
It is disappointing because, as a student, I want to be able to see pros and cons of both online and on-campus courses if I am reading an article which compares the two. There are two students who gave comments, which is helpful. A student’s prerogative is huge! Complete information on both sides is also extremely important. My hope is that there will be a follow-up article written for next month’s issue. I hope that complete and thorough research will be done to allow students the opportunity to understand both options. There are several people within the eLearning Division who would be happy to sit down and answer questions.
Thank you for your time,
eLearning Division Office
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to ‘The Globe’ on Dec. 5, after the final print issue of fall 2013. This letter was published in the first print issue of Spring 2014 on Jan. 15.