Re: NOW(-ish): Education

O. Razor (
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 16:12:17 PST

Hal wrote:
>Some colleges are starting to offer online courses. It would be
>interesting to hear if anyone has any experiences with them.

I'm taking an online class right now (my college offers a few, mostly in the English and Math departments). The one I am taking is a literature class. Our class uses a discussion board to discuss the different works we are reading. Compared to a live classroom it has some benefits and drawbacks. One of the benefits is the ability to focus your thoughts. Another benefit is the ability to ponder for a while what someone else said. One of the drawbacks is that a person can ramble on and on about something nobody cares about. In a regular classroom the instructor can guide the discussion. I would have to say the best benefit is the fact that a person's arguments are judged on the arguments alone, not on what they happen to be wearing that day or if they have a really annoying voice. These types of classes are only useful to those people who are motivated to keep up. You don't have an instructor giving you dirty looks for not doing your work. Most of the people who take these classes have many other engagements to keep, such as family and work, and so the flexibility is very useful to them. Basically the form of the class is very much like this mailing list except that the discussion board is a little more organized. If you want to check it out go to: Get Your Private, Free Email at