Should I rethink Online Education?

I was really excited about taking my second online class this semester.  I already know that from the previous semester that online courses require much more time and effort than regular traditional on site education.  I made sure that all of my equipment was purchased well in advanced and I knew I had to finish any big projects concerning the house before the semester started.  Unfortunately, I still have to paint the bathroom walls and cabinets but I am resigned to see that project happen over a couple of weeks.  I will not pressure myself to complete those quickly although with the way I feel today….I might find that more enjoyable.

So what’s eating me up inside is probably what you are wondering?  Well, I was all prepared for the type of instruction I experienced last time and well, that is not the case.  I am not really sure where I stand.  And this is a bad thing for any student that wishes to obtain good grades and continue through school and gain some kind of proficient understanding of a subject matter.  The previous instructor gave very timely feedback and so we all knew where we stood.  If we were not drawing our ellipses correctly, she told us before we got into the next assignment, so that we could adjust or change what we were doing so that the next assignment would not be a complete disaster.  My current painting class does not seem to be that way.  My grades are getting worse and worse, and so is my emotional outlook towards the whole semester.  And I am finding myself asking, am I the kind of person who can make online education work for me?

Perhaps this is not the right kind of education for me.  Maybe I need the close interaction between the instructor and student.  Perhaps I need the moral support of my fellow students as we slog through the trenches of homework and exercises.  I had a tough time last semester, but the instructor was able to bring me through it all and that is a credit to her professional experience and teaching abilities.  So I guess I that leaves me with even more questions.

Is this instructor a good instructor?  Will I have him for more classes in the future?  Am I capable of improving my skills and making the grades I need to succeed in this format?  Am I wasting my money on these classes?

So far I do not find the current instructor to be engaging or even very active in his role as instructor.  We have a very small class too unlike the drawing class which had more students.  And since I want to get my MFA in Painting, then the chances of me having this person again as an instructor would seem very high.  But I do believe that I am capable of improving, although I am unsure if I will be able to get the good grades required.  And finally and most pressing and emotionally distressing is the waste of money.  Unlike most of my classmates, I am not in a situation where money flows freely.  So every dollar spent is invested in something that will contribute to a better future.  Failing a class is not an option.  There are no “do overs”.    Is this education bringing my family closer to a better future?

I have no idea.  I believe strongly in education.

I feel as though I am simply left with more questions than answers.

I am waiting to hear from my graduate adviser concerning matters about this class.  Let’s hope she has some useful and hopeful consultations, or else this may be one of the shortest lasting blogs around.

G.Winkler ©2012

Gretchen Winkler is a Writer, Artist, Radio Show Co-Host on User Friendly 2.0, Cosplayer/Designer, and ordered Knight. She is currently working on several Star Wars novel projects and does editing and proof reading for Bill Sikkens & KPAM the Answer Portland radio. For the past 20 years she has authored several informational websites, started several technical companies, and has been an avid student of art, literature, history, technology.

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Posted in Art, Education, Online Study

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