Though I have been working in education for a long time, ugh, I haven’t been an actual student alone for some time, and never before in a distance education type of setting (unless you count my adviser being AWOL). Last semester and during the next couple of weeks, I will be trying out two different types of distance education. Since Kent State’s MLIS program is the only one in the state, it offers programs for the entire area, which means that it provides various ways for students to attend classes. Last semester I was in an on-line management class and this intersession, I am in a video conference class.
Years ago, I graded classes for an on-line class and helped with running it, so I thought an on-line class would be easy peesy. However, it was not so. Neither the work nor the readings were particularly onerous, but the direction of the class made it incredibly difficult to complete the assignments. The professor’s expectations were never fully explained, and when questioned he provided little feedback and even less personal assistance. My thoughts on this, is that it is partially due to the format of the class that makes it difficult for some people to pick up the implications of questions. In an in-person class, the teacher can see and hear the ways the students are asking and responding to directions.
Despite this, I am signed up for a video class, where the teacher is teaching a full class in Kent and a full class in Columbus. Today is only the second class, but I’m hoping that the communication will improve between the students and the teacher. In the first class, it was very difficult for the Columbus students to respond to the teacher and the Kent students. As the two classes have students at very different levels of experience in libraries, and distance in the program, it should be interesting to see how the materials are presented.