Overcome 5 Obstacles of Live Online Classes

Bradley Fuster for US News World Report writes:  There are many methods to bring online professors and students together in real time. They include chat rooms with just text, video, voice conferencing and virtual worlds such as Second Life.

A colleague of mine bravely taught a synchronous graduate course in Second Life. In the beginning, he hadn’t yet mastered his avatar’s movements. He accidentally sat on a student and in an attempt to get up, delivered what might be described as a virtual lap dance. Imagine the student’s confusion!

While there are benefits to live online learning, such environments are not ideal for all students. Here are five things to watch out for when considering live online classes.

1. Scheduling: In a live online class, the instructor and student must be available at the same moment in time. For students with erratic personal schedules or who live in a vastly different time zone than their college, there is a loss of freedom when compared to asynchronous online classes. Students who work, have families, provide care for someone else or have other pressures might find the rigidity of live scheduling to be cumbersome.

2. Technology failure: Technology has become more reliable, but it’s still not perfect. In live online classes, connectivity for both student and professor is essential.

If there is a service interruption with a device, or a power or Internet outage, this will result in lost information and might place students at a disadvantage. Students and professors must try recover whatever was missed. If service interruptions occur during an exam, this further complicates things.  SNIP, the article continues @ US News World Report, click here to continue reading….

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