The solution to a more balanced life may mean more time with technology.
As technology becomes more integrated into classrooms and daily lives, the ease of a virtual lesson is more appealing. Educational institutions like Salt Lake Community College now offer more online classes than ever before.
“It makes it so convenient for me to choose when I do my coursework for the day,” says SLCC sophomore Andrew Lash. “I can go to work, spend time doing other responsibilities, and not have to worry that I need to be in a classroom at an exact hour.”
SLCC offers over 200 online courses, most of which use a learning platform called Canvas.
Canvas lets students access course information, grades and calendars. Students may also participate in class discussions and communicate with peers and instructors. Assignments turned in to Canvas allow instructors to provide feedback without the hassle of physical paper copies.
Canvas is also available as a smartphone app for added convenience and portability.
Hybrid classes are also offered at SLCC campuses. Hybrid coursework consists mainly of an online learning experience through Canvas, but includes a reduced amount of classroom commitment.
While the amount of online classes is on the rise, traditional classroom settings are still the norm for many students.
SLCC freshman Caroline McDonald prefers a focused classroom experience.
“I like following a schedule where I meet with my teachers and other students in person,” McDonald says. “I’m not the best with computers and like … to use Word or something simple like that [for homework].”
SLCC students or faculty who need help with Canvas can talk to e-learning support technicians on campus.
Advisors are available to help students customize their schedule and decide what type of classes work for them.
As students balance school, work and family obligations in the 21st century, online classrooms are a way for students to get an education at their convenience.