Posts Tagged ‘online classes’
Colorado State University’s Global Campus announced on September 6, 2012, that it will accept full transfer credits to students who enroll in a free computer-science class offered by Udacity, an online education company.
This is big news for the United States higher education system because it marks the first time that a university here has offered academic credit for a Udacity class. Austria and Germany, for example, already accept the credits.
To receive the transfer credits, which can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University, students will need to obtain a certificate of accomplishment from Udacity proving they passed the course. Afterward, they will need to pass a proctored exam, which is administered by the Pearson VUE testing group and costs $89.
Colorado State University’s Global Campus is an online university where students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school has a separate accreditation and allows students to transfer in when they have received more than 12 college credit hours. Faculty members in the information technology department reviewed Udacity’s computer science course and assessed its methods of student learning before announcing that the class met CSU standards.
The course, called “Introduction to Computer Science: Building a Search Engine” and taught by Professor David Evans of the University of Virginia, will aim to teach students basic computer science skills by taking them through the steps of building a Web search engine similar to Google. Around 94,000 students took the course when it was initially offered earlier in 2012, and an additional 98,000 signed up for the second class that began in April.
“We have students from well over 100 countries, from 13-year-olds to 80-year-olds, sharing in the experience,” Evans said.
CS101 is the first course that Udacity offered, and includes guest lectures by Sebastian Thrun, the company’s founder.
Thrun was a computer science professor at Stanford University who shocked his peers when he left his tenured position at one of the best universities in the country to create a start up that offered low-cost online classes. He experienced the potential of digital education at Stanford and got hooked, which led to the groundbreaking idea.
“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” Thrun said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill and I’ve seen Wonderland,” The Chronicle reported.
The option to take a class online is still a somewhat new idea! As a result, there are a lot of opinions out there regarding the quality of this kind of education. You’ve probably seen those commercials on TV with girls in their sweatpants on their beds, laptop in hand, telling you that they’re earning their degree, and it’s that easy! Put that up against the countless articles written about how classroom teaching is the only way to provide adequate socialization, group learning, and teamwork skills. It’s no wonder that as students scroll through their college catalog and learn that one of their courses is offered online, they aren’t sure what to believe. Check out these myths about online courses so you can make the best decision for your future!
Online Courses Are for Lazy People
Yes, there are students who will sign up for an online course just so they can stay in bed one more hour. But that’s not all this kind of education is good for. Students who are already taking a full amount of credits, have a full time job, or are taking part in extra-curricular activities will find an online course to be a good way to help manage their schedule. Some students have personal obligations that make physically going to class at a scheduled time a bit more difficult than the average student. Other students might just want to experience a class in the peace and quiet of their own off-campus apartment! Everyone’s reasons are different, and few come down to laziness.
Online Courses Are Easier/Harder than Regular Courses
There are some who believe classes online, especially in areas such as math and science, would be too difficult. Others believe that content would have to be dumbed-down with fewer requirements to be offered online. It’s important to remember that online courses, just like traditional classes, will have different degrees of difficulty depending on your college, your professor, your knowledge, and your ability to learn new information. Changing the medium at which new information is taught will not automatically make it easier or harder than the traditional class.
Online Courses Aren’t as Good
Taking a course online could be a positive experience for your education, or it could be a negative one! It really comes down to how you learn, and what the course is in. If the course is something you know very little about, you’re someone who feeds off of others in a classroom setting, and you like to have in-person access to your professor, online courses are not for you. If however, you already know a thing or two about the subject at hand, enjoy being left alone to do your work at your own pace, and have no problem conversing with others over the computer to gain knowledge, then you might want to give it a go! It all comes down to your comfort level with the course and how you learn!
As online courses and degree programs gain in popularity, you might find yourself faced with the option of choosing to take a class in the standard lecture format, or taking the class online. They both provide the same amount of credits. They’re both equivalent in workload. They both cost the same in tuition dollars. So which do you choose? If you have never taken a class online, you might want to consider it by checking out these 5 benefits to online courses:
One of the best benefits to taking a college course online is that for the most part, you are not scheduled to be at a particular place at a particular time. If you are taking the maximum number of credits, are involved in groups on campus, and have a job, an online course can be the best thing for you. You study when you can, and complete assignments when you can, taking some of the stress off of your already crammed schedule.
Equal Amount of Help
Just because a course is online doesn’t mean you won’t be able to access the professor when you’re stuck. You will find that online courses provide many mechanisms that allow you to get extra help when you need it, just as if you had spoken up in a lecture.
Your Own Environment
When you can take a class yourself, you control your environment. You might be the type of person who learns best when it’s quiet and you can focus, in which case, a crowded lecture hall may not always be the best place. You could prefer to learn in a relaxed environment, wearing sweat pants eating a banana muffin, in which case, a strict classroom will not be your ideal setting. With online courses, you get to decide what works best.
There’s something about communicating over a computer screen that makes it far less stressful and intimidating than communicating face to face. With online classes, you can ask your “dumb questions” without feeling like the smart kids are rolling their eyes or the professor is holding back a laugh. Online courses could allow you to offer your input more frequently and more honestly without embarrassment.
We’ve all been to a class where there’s a couple in the middle of the room, angrily whispering to each other about their own private matters. There’s the girl who always strolls in fifteen minutes late with a coffee and a bagel because breakfast is more important than getting to class on time. You will experience days where you are dying to tell the guys behind you to be quiet because instead of hearing what your professor has to say, you’re listening to how hot the girl is in the first row. Sometimes the people in your classes will be down right annoying! In an online setting, you won’t be subjected to any of that nonsense!
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