Opinions

Are Baruch’s digital courses effective?

We live in a modern day and age that has become dependent on technology. Schools have started to utilize technological resources such as computers, iPads, digital presentations and, more recently, online classes. Baruch College has hybrid and online classes that require access codes for online e-texts, homework and quizzes.

A hybrid class meets once a week and the rest of the assignments are usually completed online through teaching platforms like Blogs@Baruch or Cengage. An online-only class does not meet in person and requires the student to be enrolled in an online teaching platform and complete all designated assignments online.

This is definitely a turning point from the traditional methods of teaching. Students who have tight schedules and cannot physically sit in a classroom now have digital courses as a viable option. This allows students who work full time or students with children to progress in their education without it interfering with other components of their busy lives.

Additionally, online and hybrid courses provide information on a digital platform that can be accessed all the time. Therefore, a student can simply go back to the e-text or online notes to review their course content. With a lecture, a student cannot go back in time to hear the professor discuss the topic all over again — it’s impossible.

Although online classes make the impossible possible, there are still many components of which we must be wary. These classes require the use of an access code, which can be quite costly.

For instance, many MyMathLab from Pearson access course codes and books cost upward of $250 and the Cengage access course code for a basic book on business law can cost $120. These online access codes must be purchased so that the student can complete the assignments synchronized with the e-text.

However, during a conventional lecture, the student almost always has a choice of purchasing the text book at a cheaper price or even borrowing it from the library. The online and hybrid courses require students to pay a lot of money for these digital course contents, which may or may not be effective. As this is a fairly new method of teaching, we cannot be entirely sure that this will help students learn.

Thus, the transition from a traditional classroom to a digital one should take place gradually. Students should be encouraged to research the course assignments and costs beforehand. The college should provide this important information for each course. This will allow students to decide whether or not a digital course is right for them.

September 13, 2018

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Farah Khan


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