Wednesday, March 25, 2009


In a way, one could say I'm home-colleged. My course work is completely online. Everything is learned at my cozy desk, fickle computer permitting.

Assuming from all the snide remarks I've been hearing about, "Not brave enough to go to real college," and, "Just taking some easy courses on the internet," most people do not consider online college real college.

Ahem. I'd like to say a word, if I may.

I am enrolled in Grand Canyon University Online, which is one of the top-ranking online colleges in our nation. (Number Five, if my memory serves me right.) Their learning system is very tidy and efficient, but by no means "easy".

Foremost is the technical knowledge necessary. Navigating tricky systems such as the Angel Classroom may seem easy at first to the observer. But remember the first internet forum you ever joined? Remember than panicking emotion of, "What to click first?!?!" Take that feeling and multiply times ten. And then combine it with the confusion you feel when first trying to navigate your campus... online without a map or roomie to aid you.

That's the first day of virtual college for you.

Another concern we online students have is trying to squeeze inhuman amounts of reading into our schedule. At GCU, we read about three times as much as the average college student, trying to make up for lack of lectures. Only, we have lectures too -- virtual ones with PowerPoint slides. Not to mention the online forum discussion (which we're supposed to participate in at least twice daily.)

But these are petty, trivial whatnots compared to the daunting monster every online student faces... self-motivation. We have no roomies to wake us afer a late night, no handy friend to pop in and say "Back to studying!", no hands-on experiences to enhance our love of learning. No, the online student better have an incredible love of learning to begin with, or else they fall flat on their face in the first week (and I've been watching some poor, unfortunate students do this.)

College students are constantly being told that they are responsible for their own learning experience. This is especially true for online students. We push ourselves on.

So, as a matter of fact, I do consider myself a real student. Sure, I may be missing out on the college social experience (which isn't much, in my opinion) but missing out on learning? Not in the slightest.


BooksforLife said...

Way to defend your way of learning! :) I love it. :P


Elraen said...

I completely agree about online college, even though I've never done it - I personally believe it's harder, and I admire those who can get through it more than I can say. Don't let anyone tell you your efforts are worth any less. One thing I've found is that the "traditional" students who live on campus and so on tend to be very convinced that theirs is the only "real" "college experience." They're dead wrong. I'm not in as different a position as you are, but as a 17-year-old freshman who is commuting rather than living on campus I can still relate somewhat.

Oh, and in response to your comment on my blog: that is so cool that you're familiar with Bryan Davis! :-) Yes, he's Legossi's father. I've met him twice now, and Legossi three times. They're a great family. It's funny, I knew Legossi before I knew about her dad's books, so he's never really been "famous" in my mind - he's just my friend's dad. :-P He actually came down to Texas and did a writing seminar for our homeschool group a year and a half ago.

Eä said...

Hola FM, actually I just wanted you to know that I'm still reading (stalking!) your blog. I haven't talked to you lately, but I pay my regular visits here to read about a world so far from my own. I learn new things, get other perspectives - and just enjoy the well-written pieces of your life!
Keep it up, my dear! :-)

Katie Beth said...

Thank you! I completely agree. I think it's important to get out and do stuff away from home (well, for me at least, because I have a hard time doing that :-) ), but I can't say how thankful I am that I get to stay home for college. Why should I go out of my way to "experience" the stupidity of the majority of university students?