We Asked: online classes

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The Question: do you believe online classes will replace physical classes in your lifetime? Should they?

Austin Smith
History senior from Houston

I don’t think that they will, and I don’t think that they should. Because the experience you get with a professor, when he’s physically in front of you, makes you immersed in his discussion and in his passion in what he’s talking about, and you’re not going to get that in an online course where you’re staring at a screen.

Willa Kaough
International relations sophomore from Elgin

I know that there is a fear, especially among professors, that online classes will mean the downfall of physical classes, but I don’t think that’s true. I think there are always going to be people who will prefer physical classes. I definitely don’t think they should replace physical classes. I think the student-professor relationship is really important, and being able to communicate with your peers and your professor is really important.

Leon Leid
Latin American Studies graduate student from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

I don’t know that they will. I just registered for a course yesterday on EdX. I don’t plan to take the course, but I wanted access to the syllabus. It’s on global poverty, and there’s a great book that they’re using. So I access it through our library, and so I have this book to read. So, you know, I think it’s going to be supplementary for a while, if for nothing else, to the value of a degree. But whether they should? No, I don’t think they should ever completely replace the classroom. There is something to be said for being able to associate with professors, and being able to be with classmates, which I guess can all happen online as well. But I think that human interaction is always a good part of education, but as a supplementary material, I’m pretty excited about the future of EdX. If I’d been asked five years ago, I never would have thought anyone would offer this for free. I think it’s pretty exciting that anyone who has an Internet connection, which again is ignoring a large part of world population, but it’s at least an accessibility that hasn’t been around.

Andrea Faz
Speech language pathology senior from Del Rio

I’m not sure they’ll replace all classes. I think they’ll replace some classes, and I think it’s okay for some classes that don’t really pertain to your major. Probably more introductory courses, just to get you into your field or into other classes that you need.

Erika Cervantes
Public relations junior from Sugar Land

Well, I definitely think that, over the last five years or so, online classes are a lot more popular than they used to be. I feel like I don’t have one friend that hasn’t taken an online class. I don’t think they’ll end up replacing physical classes, though, just because I feel like, even though it’s always been that way, it’s a lot more effective to ask questions and being able to communicate in person. I don’t think that would really switch to online. I don’t think that’ll change. I don’t think it should change to being all online, because that takes away the human element. And I feel like we all kind of need that.

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