The Lack of Awareness about Online Classes

By Chan Lee Chan Leel승인2010.05.03l298호 0면

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"I take two online classes on purpose." "Why?" "Because, I'm busy with doing part-time jobs, so I'm going to earn the credit through online classes. In any case, attendance is very easy just by playing the video clip." It's the conversation of two students and this illustrates student's awareness of online classes. How many students are there who consider online classes as important as general classes in school? According to the research towards 100 Dankook university students, 64 percent of the respondents revealed that they prefer general school classes than online classes, when they are asked 'Which class do you prefer? : online classes or general classes.' Then what's the reason that online classes are considered lightly compared to general classes? First off, lack of concentration in class can be a huge problem. At the following inquiry "Do you fully focus on lecture during online classes?", the negative answers took about 83%, and with the question of "Have you ever done other works during the online classes?", 78% responded that they have. This shows that the problem of the online classes is quite serious. Can the currently operating online classes be seen adequate enough to replace the general class? We can doubt about the necessity of online classes as there are some students who do not take advantage of benefits coming from online courses, and try to resort to an expedient.

 

   
A Student is taking online class while checking his mini homepage.
 

 

But it doesn't mean that the online class is bad. If you use it well, it's very useful. Above all, you can take a class anywhere equipped with the Internet, beyond time and space. In other words, professors don't have to prepare the class and students don't have to go to their classes. Second, students can listen to the lecture several times. There's no repetitive explain in general classes in school, but online classes can review the lecture in some part where you can't understand. Third, unlike general classes, we can take the class time efficiently, and we can prevent other students mentioning things that are not related to the lecture. In general classes, a student who wants to build a close relationship with professors makes some non-sense jokes, or professors might say things that aren't related to the lecture if they want to emphasize some specific concepts. But in case of online courses, professors prepare the lecture previously, and the class is for many non-specific students, so that the probability of teaching not-related-to-class materials is low. Fourth, schools do not need to make a lot of classrooms. Schools can create high-quality online classes from the money saved by reducing the number of buildings for classrooms.

 

 

 

Next, we compared general class students with online class students.

Gomdol who takes general classes is always busy with going to his class in time. Moreover, he is impatient since he left the class materials at home, so has to photocopy them. When he gets the class materials and arrives for the class, there are no convenient seats to listen to the lecture. Helplessly he takes an inconvenient seat and listens to the lecture. He dozes off a little, and the class is over. Gomdol transcribes his friend's note, and treats him a meal again.

Gomsoon who takes online classes hangs out with her friends until the evening. She comes back home and turns on the computer. She changes her clothes to comfortable clothes and logs on to school homepage to attend online class while eating some snacks. If she dozes off, she can replay the lecture, and she can even take the notes with the screen being stopped. Gomsoon finishes her day happily with completely understanding and taking notes of the class materials.

Can you see the difference between Gomdol and Gomsoon? As you can see, if you have a good purpose, the range of online class's utilization is infinite.

 

 

 

Then, what should we do to solve the problem that students don't concentrate on online classes?

The staff of e-learning campus, Gyem-Young Nam, said "If the class is interesting and well-prepared, there would be no problem that students don't concentrate." She continued, "To advance the quality of the class, it may require lots of budgets. However, if we work on to advance the attendance system in a short-term, and bring the flash type class in a long-term, I'm sure that we can solve the problem of the online class." She mentioned that we need to change the system and the type of the online class.

Also, Prof. Jong-Hwea Byeon(Dept. of Molecular Biology) in Jukjeon campus who has taught online classes for 2 semesters, said "I think the fundamental problem is a matter of students' consciousness. As students chose their classes by themselves, whether it is interesting or not, learning hard is a desirable attitude as a student." And continuing, "Therefore, students must look back on themselves. Also, not only students, but also professors have to put their heads together, so that students can motivate themselves and participate in class well." He mentioned that students must change their consciousness, and professors have to discuss the problem more deeply with each other.

Prof. Sang-Woo Cho(School of Liberal Arts) in Cheonan campus who has taught online classes for 3 terms, said "Lots of efforts are required to change that kind of students' attitude. For example, handing out various assignments, and dividing the grades more detail. And in a sense of evaluation, if there is a system that assignments are divided and evaluated for several times, students can make up their marks, even if they messed up some previous works." And continuing "In case of myself, I hand out some assignments that students couldn't work on and hand in, if students didn't take the classes. Also, to prevent taking the all classes at once, I limit the taking time of the class through managing the attendance every week. "He mentioned about the solution which is managing the attendance completely, and the change of the grading system.

Prof. Moon-Hee Yang(Dept. of Industrial Engineering) in Cheonan campus who has taught online classes more than 5 years, said "We have to bring new programs, and professors have to put their effort to make their lectures interesting." And continuing, "It is difficult for school to use lots of budgets on online classes. So I thought about the program which needs low budget, less complicated, and requires students to be more concentrative. Also, it is a good way for professors to attract students by doing interesting lectures, if it doesn't affect the lecture." He mentioned that advancing the system would be beneficial in a way of bringing programs that require low budgets, adding more interests to the lecture.

 

 

 

As you can see above, the solution about 'The students not concentrating on online classes' can be different to each other. However, the first thing to do is that students must improve their consciousness about online classes by themselves. It would be the best scenario if students can concentrate on the lectures by themselves without other's helps. If not, those students must need other's help. Moreover, professors must put their efforts to make students fully concentrate on the lessons that students can understand easily and feel interested. Schools can't support budgets for online classes instantly. So, it is a good way to change the attendance system and apply the program that can attract students, which can be done with low budgets. If students, professors, and school do their best, couldn't we be able to find special value of the online class of its own?


Chan Lee  dkherald@gmail.com
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