by Emily Goldblum.
Internet courses are exploding in popularity all over the country. CCNY has been relatively slow to move online, with few education, psychology, math, history and science courses offered via the web.
“Online learning has been the biggest trend in higher education in the last decade,” says Bruce Rosenbloom, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. “CUNY generally has been late to the game, so we’re playing catch-up.”
Right now at CCNY, students can take three kinds of classes:
- Total online course: 80 to 100 to percent of course content is delivered over the internet.
- Hybrid courses: 30 to 80 percent online.
- Web-facilitated course: Less than 20 percent online
Across the country, colleges are adding online courses at a rate of 20 percent a year, and CCNY is following suit by training professors to teach digitally. “Our current faculty development efforts in this area the future is bright,” assures Rosenbloom.
MCA is moving into the digital area, spearheaded by David Harris, who has online teaching experience. He points to the benefits of internet classes. “Studies have indicated that students, who learn in a hybrid environment, perform marginally better than those who perform in a traditional learning environment,” says Harris, an MCA lecturer. “It does take a bit more effort but the rewards are an advanced learning experience.”
Many students aren’t aware that CCNY offers courses online. Those that do have mixed feelings. The 2010 Student Experience Survey found that only 22 percent of student respondents strongly agree that they want online courses.
Nicole Ohm says she likes some things about the hybrid experimental psychology class she took—but not everything. “It’s really difficult because you have to know how to do the assignment without having instructions,” says the psych major. “Feedback is limited and if you fall behind you don’t have a teacher enforcing you to do it, so you sort of push it aside.
“At the same time, I feel fortunate to be able to take it,” she adds. “I think they’re convenient, but I think they would be better for lower level courses.”
Another psych major, Mario Limon, 21, says he missed the personal touch of the classroom, though overall he liked the class he took. “The work is often tacit but rewarding once you grasp the material that’s been implemented,” he explains.
Some of those who haven’t heard about online classes, feel wary. “I didn’t even know they had these types of classes for my major,” says Blade Bowman, 22, an English major. “The classes are too complicated waste [one] online. I’ll clear most likely steer clear.”