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Online Lectures vs Attending Lectures?

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  • Jul 22nd, 2015 12:17 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 18, 2015
37 posts

Online Lectures vs Attending Lectures?

My current course load is looking to be very erratic, and I probably won't be able to attend all of them every week. Assuming my particular course has an online lecture available, how much more beneficial would it be to actually go to class compared to not going? This will be my first year in university if it makes any difference.

I also have no idea whether this thread had been done before or not, so I apologize in advance.
11 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13885 posts
1360 upvotes
That really depends on you. You need to commit to doing all of the assigned work. If you can stick to that, then online should be fine. If you find you're easily distracted and like to procrastinate, then maybe stick to a traditional classroom setting.

Also, given the choice, I would take what you might consider to be the 'easier' classes online. When the notoriously difficult courses are offered online, they are usually just as difficult, but you have less resources to learn the material (like tutorial, lecture and study groups). Also, it's tougher to self-motivate to learn difficult material.

I find that when I'm doing my online stats course, I get lots of dishes done and feel the sudden urge to run errands. Suddenly the idea of doing chores just appeals to me.
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Member
Sep 29, 2014
223 posts
192 upvotes
Toronto, ON
What program are you going into? Many lectures can be skipped for arts and science courses (unless they have iclicker participation grades).
Member
May 31, 2010
405 posts
22 upvotes
It really depends. I had an A- average last year and I only attended 2/5 courses each semester. The most important thing is to go to the first few classes for every course and get an understanding of how you will be evaluated. It is also important to make a friend in the first few classes, even if it is a total random sitting next to you, and exchange emails so you can send each other notes if you miss class. If your prof posts notes online, chances are you can skip those classes. But makeup for it by staying in fairly constant contact with your profs (through email, and drop by their office hours occasionally) to get a sense of what you need to do to be successful, how you should study for tests, etc You might find out that your prof will only test you on the material that comes up in the notes. (that is a huge time saver if you get that information)

One of the worst mistakes I see students make is to directly study from notes (which are usually not in-depth), without actually looking up the definitions/concepts themselves, to get a more nuanced understanding of the material.
Deal Addict
Oct 12, 2006
2066 posts
460 upvotes
Alberta
Like others have said, it depends on how you learn.
I learn best when I listen to it being taught and taking notes. Probably skipped less than 10 classes through university.
However, lots of friends skipped and just learned from online resources and the textbook and did fine as well.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
3059 posts
1730 upvotes
Kingston
I teach at a university. I often go over problems in lectures where you can only find those solutions in the lectures. My notes are posted online but this is my way of "rewarding" students who come to lectures and are attentive. I also emphasize topics that may be important for exams. You won't get that emphasis just from online notes. I have colleagues that do similar things.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 9, 2011
1989 posts
361 upvotes
GTA
JC69 wrote: I teach at a university. I often go over problems in lectures where you can only find those solutions in the lectures. My notes are posted online but this is my way of "rewarding" students who come to lectures and are attentive. I also emphasize topics that may be important for exams. You won't get that emphasis just from online notes. I have colleagues that do similar things.
but do you bring that to your students attention so that they are aware?
Newbie
Jul 18, 2015
3 posts
Toronto, ON
Syne wrote: That really depends on you.
It really does.

Online courses can be very practical. The problem is your workload can get heavy and it's far easier to be motivated to pay attention, get to work, pay attention to the subject when you are in a lecture hall or small tutorial classroom.

If you are a self-starter, motivated and not easily distracted go online. If not, take the classroom course. In the class you can also meet people which is helpful when it comes to getting into a study group when exams are on the way.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
3059 posts
1730 upvotes
Kingston
imflying12 wrote: but do you bring that to your students attention so that they are aware?
First day of class...always.
Newbie
Jul 18, 2015
3 posts
Toronto, ON
First day is always easy...so it the first few months.

I would like to see a well-researched study of true drop out rate of online classes on various levels.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 26, 2014
5219 posts
1674 upvotes
Toronto
JC69 wrote: First day of class...always.
so if you switch in after that early monday one you get screwed? :P
Deal Fanatic
Jul 26, 2014
5219 posts
1674 upvotes
Toronto
online profs can be good or terrible. I have two or three that literally do nothing, have old work from semeseter ago just repackaged... my grades list in one class is so confusing cause it goes back to 2010... such laziness.

sometimes they take a week + to respond or never answer an email... others are really active - but its hard to get an idea before you sign up.

i just take easy crap online, i have had to drop one this summer as i was taking 3 and it got a little hectic with too much due at once and i didnt really need that course.

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