I tend to work my tush off no matter what the class. Reading all of the articles, on line discussion and journals. My papers have been about the same on and off line. (Yes, I do know how to formally write a great five paragraph essay.) Still, it is not the same on line as in a classroom. My finding is that most on line students are " checking the block". Their discussions are lame, at best. They do not get to the gist of an argument. In the classroom we were embarrassed if we had not read the materials or knew how to intelligently comment to another student. There was the pressure to have information at the tip of your fingers instead of, "I have until midnight to google and give what I think the professor wants".
Talk about grade inflation.
I am unsure that a student on line gets near what they need from a university course- even a junior college course. University is about trading ideas- not learning a skill.
There are great universities out there- most with very good endowments. It saddens me when people think they are priced out of the market- holpucky!
I am old fashioned. I think everyone should be taught to think on their feet and meet people who disagree with them.
This last class was on technology in the classroom.The conclusion that I made, after reading about 400 pages and reviewing on line articles, was what makes our country the BEST educational system is that we expect people to think in the end. You can have all of the technology in the world- but if you don't know what to DO with it or how to move it forward- you will never be better than the rest. When other countries have good thinkers- they send them to the US to think with the best.
University is NOT about a skill- it is about thinking.