The Benefits of Attending Online Classroom Lectures
By Lauren Elrick on 11/12/2014
You’ve finished the reading for your business class this week and now you’re ready to move on. Watch the online lecture? Please! You’ve got Taco Bell runs to make and a GoPro camera to play with. Who has time to sit in one place for an online classroom discourse? (Of course, watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix is a different story.)
Odds are, you’ve been tempted to think like this when working through an online class at college. Online college lectures can seem pointless and more like a waste of time than a help if you feel you’ve already learned sufficiently from the homework or assigned reading. While it may seem like an easy fix to simply skip the lectures, the impact of avoiding your professors’ presentations time after time may actually cause a large deficit in your learning.
If you’re just starting your college career and haven’t experienced many online classrooms, chances are you’ll have at least a couple classes that have an online learning component or are completely virtual. It’s paramount to attend online lectures in order to fully take advantage of a class and gain the most you can from it.
So why are these lectures so important? you ask. Why can’t I go play with my GoPro right now? Read on, my friend, and learn how these lectures can affect your future.
5 Benefits Of Actually Attending Online College Lectures
1. Online lectures are important because they help you understand the material.
“Lecture is another way of presenting new information to students,” explains Brooks Doherty, dean of education at Rasmussen University. “[It’s] a more human, engaging avenue through which we are presented the big ideas which make our world and professional fields so exciting.”
Think of your Grandma’s apple pie: you wouldn’t just eat the crust and say you now understand pie and you’ve experienced that pie to its fullest extent, would you? Of course not! You need that cinnamon apple filling, warm kitchen glow and even your Grandma herself bustling merrily around the kitchen for the experience to be complete.
It’s the same with online lectures! You may encounter one side to the information you’re learning by reading about it, but by having that human engagement that a lecture provides, you experience the subject as a whole.
2. Online lectures are crucial for thoughtfully-created discussion posts.
An idea is useless unless it’s explored and discussed. Interacting with others online about the information you learn is key in teaching interpersonal skills you’ll use later on in the real-world work environment. Discussing lectures online gives you the benefit of increasing your ability to communicate via the written word, and it gives you the opportunity to think out your response in full before answering a fellow classmate.
“Without participating in the lectures, students will likely be unprepared to fully explore these new, big ideas and how they impact lives and futures,” says Doherty. “Lectures build the foundation for collaborative learning which, in today’s online classroom, may take place in a discussion forum or a live online space in which students communicate with and build upon each other until these new ideas come to life.”
3. Online lectures are helpful and convenient because of the technological advantages.
Missed what the professor said about a key graphic design principle? No matter! Just rewind! Have a different learning style than other students or need lots of breaks throughout the lecture? That’s okay; you can listen to the lecture in chunks.
Besides the fact that you can “attend class” while in your pajamas and spooning cereal into your mouth from your bed, online lectures can make learning fun and customizable. You’re not sitting in traffic or trying to find a parking spot, and you’re certainly not nailed down to a specific time of day. Therefore, you can watch online lectures at your leisure and learn in the best way that’s right for you.
4. Online lectures can help improve your technical skills.
You’re a pro at Facebook and Twitter, that’s for sure, but how are you with online forums and learning management systems? Because of the way online lectures are set up, you’re required to navigate the Internet through some programs and content you may not have experienced before.
The International News Media Association (INMA) has explored how millennials’ desire to seek out information, news and learning via their mobile devices and laptops is rapidly changing the landscape of blogs, newspapers and more. It’s important to have a good handle on posting comments, sharing documents and other technical capabilities as they may eventually translate into skills for your future profession.
5. Online lectures can offer a different and informative way of listening and communicating.
The anonymity that an online lecture and chat room offers can be a space for those who might feel too shy to dig deeper. Discussions and collaboration about a subject topic suddenly become active and energetic in an online forum, and more learning may abound as more people get involved and participate.
Not only will you get the chance to put your head together with someone who you may not have socially connected with in person, you’ll be able to interact with people who are geographically distant from you. Communicating and listening with others from more diverse and varied backgrounds can facilitate grounds for greater perspective and better learning. Not only that, but you might make a new and unexpected friend!
So are online lectures worth it?
Absolutely! While online lectures require you to muster up your self-discipline (which is a benefit in itself), the advantages that these lectures provide are many.
We all know that life is busy, and you may feel that you don’t have time to pursue a degree to its fullest extent. If you feel that online learning has more cons than pros, remember, your education is what you make it. With online lectures, you can work toward your educational and career goals at your own pace and enjoy flexibility that molds well with your busy life.