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I was having a discussion recently about certain schools not offering remote access to classes. I am curious as to whether or not people who have experienced it find it to be comparable to being physically present in class. With the availability of tools such as digital tablets and software for sharable screens, I can think of many benefits of remote learning, and maybe a few drawbacks as well.
I can imagine that certain professors make attendance mandatory for a similar reason that certain people doubt the effectiveness of remote-learning: they believe you need to prove your presence via participation in order to learn.
I have found that the converse to this belief are students who view college as a transaction of “money for degree.” Some feel that not only should they not have to be an active participant in class, but they should not have to attend class at all – as long as they can pass the tests. (this statement ignores classes with laboratory components)
I can see the reasoning behind both point of views. On one hand, a professor may explain that everything they want to teach cannot be reasonably expected be added to an exam, and therefore attendance for lecture periods is required. On the other hand, a student may believe that “if it isn’t important enough for you to figure out how to test me on it, then why should I even need to learn it anyway?”
This same framework of questions and doubts can be applied to professional development courses in the working world as well. For example, I have found that certain webinars I attended from my home were very informative and educational, and conversely have been in the situation where I have spent time, money, and resources to fly across the country for in-person professional development, and have gotten nothing more out of the experience than what I could have gotten if the class had been offered online.I believe that these questions touch on a number of different topics about the value of being in person, using an "in-person requirement" as a form of job or cost justification, and the different outlooks on learning in its current forms as a holistic and worthwhile pursuit or just a series of hurdles to jump through with minimal possible friction.
What do you think about the benefits and drawbacks of in-person vs remote learning, in either academia or the professional engineering world after school?
I have found that the converse to this belief are students who view college as a transaction of "money for degree." Some feel that not only should they not have to be an active participant in class, but they should not have to attend class at all – as long as they can pass the tests. (this statement ignores classes with laboratory components)
I can see the reasoning behind both point of views. On one hand, a professor may explain that everything they want to teach cannot be reasonably expected be added to an exam, and therefore attendance for lecture periods is required. On the other hand, a student may believe that "if it isn't important enough for you to figure out how to test me on it, then why should I even need to learn it anyway?"
I am a Professor of Engineering and the owner of an engineering consulting firm of 400 people. The online elephant in the room is that some students (and more than you would estimate when comparing engineering students pre-google) are academically dishonest. I don't even give credit for homework anymore. There are too many apps and online resources for every textbook and solution manual on the market. Too often, I experienced students with perfect homework grades and failing quizzes/tests. The classroom environment is usually more dynamic and allows active debates and participation, whereas my experience with online learning is that there is not nearly the same level of engagement. Online classes usually have one-way communication, in which the teacher provides required materials and instructions to the students.But the undeniable dirty little secret is that there is no reasonable way to proctor online quizzes/tests. Phone apps like WhatsApp allow instant access to professionals worldwide to provide real-time assistance DURING THE TEST. Students message each other, have dual monitors and access to the internet and find many different ways to cheat, even with AI technology scanning their behavior.Worse yet, while these students may pass the course, they struggle in subsequent advanced classes with prerequisites. Even if they do pass (presumably in much the same manner as have been used in the past) and receive an engineering degree, they cannot pass their Board exams, rendering them glorified technicians and reflecting poorly on the professors and university.Academic dishonesty always has been an inconvenience within the university system, but my experience is that resorting to such methods is on the rise. At least in the classroom, it can be somewhat controlled. I allow an index card for notes and provide a page of unit conversions and possible formulas for their use. Otherwise, they gut it out the old fashion way - with a pencil and calculator.