By Elsa Blanco
My name is Elsa Blanco and I’m from Pinar del Rio, Cuba. I’m a senior at Florida International University majoring in Public Relations. My interests include South Korean pop, manga, photography, graphics editing, and any supernatural book. My goal is to represent a major publishing house or a South Korean record label.
Over the years, I have seen a great difference between the expectations and strategies of online and in-person courses. These types of classes require different levels of commitment and individual responsibility.
From my personal experience, I have noted that online classes rely heavily on private study time and rigid deadlines. Generally, exams are very thorough, group dynamics are limited, and there is little to no syllabus flexibility. There is a great misconception that the online counterpart of a course will always be easier.
However, these students are unaware that generally professors are stricter online. For example, I have compared an in-class syllabus with the online-class syllabus for the same professor and the differences are staggering.
For Monday, the in-class schedule states: “read chapter and discuss thoughts in class.” Meanwhile, the online counterpart directs: “read chapter, participate in the online discussion with a set word limit, and do weekly quiz on chapter by Friday.”
Professors need to be sterner online to force students to do the reading; since they can’t hold a mass lecture and calculate what percentage of the class is actively keeping up and participating.
Another feature that I dislike about online classes is timed quizzes and exams. Although all assessments are timed in person as well, literally seeing the clock ticking down can be extremely nerve-wracking; especially, if you experience technical problems with saving your answers.
So, if you are a student who is considering taking an online course because you’re shy and don’t want to speak up in class—think again. Online courses are designed to demand your opinion at every turn; in the meantime, in-person courses might put you in the situation only a handful of times.