With the continued growth of online teaching systems and integration of massive open online courses (MOOCS) into higher education, college study will never be the same for both professors and students. The following are opinions from both sides. Read the excerpts carefully and write your response in about 300 words, in which you should:
1. summarize briefly the opinions from both sides;
2. give your comment.
Marks will be awarded for content relevance, content sufficiency, organization and language quality. Failure to follow the above instructions may result in a loss of marks.
The University of Washington (UW) in the US isn’t shy about the benefits and drawbacks of online education. UW concedes online courses may be more effective for self-directed learners, and students who are not organized and in possession of good time-management skills may struggle. Thus, students should ask themselves whether they are capable of learning independently before signing up for online coursework.
UW also mentions online courses may not be able to accurately replicate the vibrant sense of intellectual community that has been at the heart of higher education for ages. This might lead some to miss out on learning and networking opportunities.
Jasmine Barta of Arizona State University: I take about half my classes online each semester, and I’ll tell you why: Online classes are the secret to a happier, fuller and less stressful college experience. Some students complain about the lack of social interaction and the ease with which they can forget to meet a deadline. But for me these concerns fall flat in the face of the convenience, flexibility and independence online learning offers.
Chang Hanyi of Boston University: In order to squeeze in some extra learning without taking the focus away from her major, I enrolled in a pass/fail online reading and writing workshop. The coursework is actually as demanding as my other regular language classes. But what I have learned so far is beyond my expectations. My professor assigns weekly assignments each Monday, and I am required to do readings, write study blogs and take quizzes regularly. I am also required to respond to comments from my professor and classmates. So, taking online courses doesn’t means zero physical interaction with your instructors. My professor even invited me to face-to-face meetings four times to address article structure in my writing assignments. My professor also uploads video clips to review class content and audio files to clarify some thorny points. Despite the hard work, I still enjoy cyber interaction with my professor and classmates.
Yang Yang of Peking University: With MOOCS, we are no longer confined to a classroom at a certain time slot. Whenever I feel in the mood to study, I take out my laptop or iPad to watch course videos. I am now taking Legal Writing and Research on Coursera, a popular MOOCS platform. Each week, four or six courses videos are released for us students to learn. Apart from the teaching sessions, there are also quizzes to assess whether I have grasped the knowledge well. Quiz scores make up 32 percent of my final score. The great thing about the quizzes is we even have them before each course. This encourages me to finish all the reading and preview the class early. Although MOOCs are improving my learning experiences, this new form of teaching cannot compete with traditional ways learning in terms of teacher-student interaction. I used to ask questions immediately after class. But with MOOCs, we only have office hours for question and answer sessions. Most of the time, I won’t bother to go.