OPINION | Online Courses Worth Considering

More and more online classes have popped up in the last few years across college campuses.
Butler University has not avoided the trend.
The school should follow these new developments in higher education.
But college administrations should keep in mind the details that make the university experience what it is.
Online courses offer opportunities that are not always available otherwise.
They can open up classes to people who work during normal class times.
Students with disabilities may be able to take classes more easily.
These are the reasons we should pursue online education.
Higher education should not solely be the realm of those who can afford to take classes full-time or can get to and sit through classes.
But I also believe that the classroom experience is vital.
It is much more powerful and meaningful to interact with others than it is to just read and write papers.
I know that a huge part of my growth as a person has come from talking with classmates and teachers.
There is a feel about the physical classroom and group discussions that an online class cannot duplicate.
And I know I am not the only student who finds it easy to just breeze through readings and assignments without absorbing much.
The classroom has the ability to demand our engagement as students.
Class discussion can directly demonstrate to teachers how their ideas are being received.
Professors see firsthand how well their points come across and can hear immediate feedback.
Online classes have their benefits.
But any major switch should preserve the best parts of real classrooms as well.
If being exposed to the real experience of working with others helps people grow, then it is a vital part of the classroom.
There does not seem to be an impending switch from real classrooms to virtual ones in Butler’s future.
The university has only just begun offering online courses.
Hopefully, these will be used to make the university more inclusive.
It would also be marvelous to see Butler incorporate all the benefits of the traditional classroom with online courses.