Technological advancement has contributed greatly to a paradigm shift in education because digital technology has led to individualized learning. Online classes and distant learning has become an alternative option of attaining education as opposed to the traditional setting (Sequeira, 2012). Educational institutions are now offering courses that could be completed online without classroom attendance. In the past, I had no intention of taking an online class because I was accustomed to a classroom set up surrounded by other students while attentively listening to the instructor. I enjoyed the atypical academic environment and did not want to enroll in a course that would divert my attention from the traditional model.
However, I messed with my spring class registration time and realized that I would have trouble enrolling to the classes I had selected. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the two classes I wanted to take due to their small size and popularity. As a result, the online classes were my best alternative if I needed to timely complete my module. Nevertheless, I was hesitant of breaking away from the traditional classroom environment I had been socialized to know.
Currently, I just finished my first online class and the experience was amazing despite some few challenges for a first timer. The online class was designed excellently to provide a lot of learning opportunities, flexibility, and feedback. The substantial weekly readings, discussion posts, and peer responses ensured that I kept up with the course material just as much as a classroom format. Responding to student forums created a collaborative classroom feeling I was used to while physically interacting with other students. Most importantly, the professor did an amazing job by providing feedbacks to essays and discussion posts on a weekly basis, to make sure that we stayed on track. As a first timer in online classes, I just received three credits which is not a bad score.
Moreover, I feel that online classes offer an interesting, involving and flexible learning environment that gives students the opportunity to excel academically. Notwithstanding, I feel I could have performed better if I was more organized. Online learning requires students to be disciplined and possess time management skills (Sequeira, 2012). Having participated in the same and missing some deadlines, I believe it is true. In an online class, each student is his or her own last line of defense. Now am more informed and should have stayed on the tab with my calendar and logged into every class daily as opposed to a weekly pattern.
Similarly, I learned that finding new ways to engage is essential in online learning. In the digital setup, the lack of face-to-face interaction with classmates and the instructor is one of the hardest things for especially for first-timers. In the classroom model, engaging with the students and professors directly motivated me to invest fully into a course. All in all, I realized that email communication and chat rooms provide an opportunity to collaborate with fellow classmates and the instructors. In fact, my professor and my classmates were very responsive when I reached them via the discussion board or email.
In conclusion, online learning has changed my view on education in the sense that a student can excel academically irrespective of the setting. Most importantly, one has to be more organized, disciplined, have time management skills and engage with fellow classmates and the instructors to reap the best out of virtual learning. My fear for online classes has disappeared and I am ready for taking more virtual learning opportunities.
Sequeira, A. H. (2012). Educational Technology Brings Paradigm Shift in Higher
Learning. SSRN Electronic Journal. Doi:10.2139/ssrn.2049797
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Paradigm Shift Essay: Taking Online Classes for the First Time. (2022, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/paradigm-shift-essay-taking-online-classes-for-the-first-time
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