Condensed Online Coursework: A Necessary Route to Graduation or Educational Evil?

So for the first part of this course, I’ve had to get used to the crammed and fast-paced nature that goes along with a summer course. Being that it is my first time participating in said estival coursework, I feel I have been swept into a whirlwind of knowledge and information input. The funny thing to me however, is the fact that all we are reading about so far in the Mass Media edition of Annual Editions has to do with information overload. Does this not create an issue worth discussing? My mind is absolutely fried after reading 20 pages of various articles whose authors are experts on their given topic. With all the jargon used, references cited and statistics presented, it’s hard to make sense of what the hell I’m reading!

Given such a short period of time to complete assigned readings and projects, I have no choice but to sit in my chair and open my mind to the deluge of endless information. I get that we have to condense an 18 week course into 6 weeks but wow! Had I known the amount of time required to literally not move from a seated, reading posture, I would have opted to take an extra semester just so I could adequately process the information I’m learning. Information paired with discussion, I feel, holds a great amount of importance to my understanding of the media environment and professional future as a whole.

To top it all off, it’s a online course. For such compelling and full-bodied information, I need an outlet for banter. Someway to verbally and spontaneously discuss the words that I’ve been shoving into my head. I mean, I find myself literally at a loss when it comes to clarification of certain topics. Being unable to voice confusion without having to type and wait for a response is something I believe takes away from the educational process as a whole. To me, education is all about learning and digesting the different opinions and interpretations that exist in the world. After, taking that information and making it into your own, very unique outlook and understanding of life. Don’t get me wrong, reading and writing are paramount facets to what we do in college. However, the collection, dissection and impromptu examination of the thoughts gained from reading provide a swath of knowledge important to the reliability for the writing on the other end.

The gist of my rant is that time is precious. Education is precious. In my mind, the two go hand in hand. Our constant desire to expedite patient processes has taken away from the educational goal of attending college in the first place. The loss of face-to-face conversation and debate is something that is overlooked when it comes to condensing education and putting classes into a completely online format. In my eyes, I’m here for more than a piece of paper validating that I’ve put in my time. I’m here to learn; to better myself as an intellectual and well-versed human being as a whole. For this reason, never again will I submit myself to a summer course or an online course for that matter. If it takes a little more time to reach my goal then consider me a patient person. The sacrifice of true understanding for an expedited means to an end isn’t worth it. I’ll stick it out for now but after this summer, I’m going old school.

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