Zach Ruden

Being from a small town, I could never have gotten the diversity of classes and also the skills that came with it in just my traditional classroom setting.

Online learning courses are able to bridge certain learning gaps with students. For me, that class was Spanish. Coming from a very small school, we lost our Spanish program my sophomore year. Through online classes, I was able to finish out my last two years. My online Spanish teacher was also one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had.

Another learning gap online classes helped me cross was advanced classes. The classes our small school offers are limited, and only a few were considered “advanced.” Online learning allowed me to take a few courses through a local community college that both challenged me and allowed me to get ahead.

At first, I was nervous about taking online classes to be without a teacher to ask questions of. Little did I know then that I would end up taking eight college-level online courses.

As a student who has taken Spanish, History, Psychology, Sociology, Science, and Writing classes in an online environment, I can say there are various reasons I took each of them. Western Civilization and Medical Terminology were simply courses that I had a high interest in but could never take at my school. With the online format, I was able to get well ahead in my Medical Terminology course. Psychology and Sociology were both courses that could transfer to my college of choice from Western Iowa Tech Community College. Finally, I took Composition and Spanish, classes that I knew were challenging but necessary for improving life-long skills.

There are benefits to both the traditional and online classrooms. In a traditional classroom, you have constant guidance, a reliable help source in the teacher, set due dates, and face-to-face learning. There are, however, beneficial qualities in an online classroom that cannot be found anywhere else. In some courses, there is self-pacing. There is also a surprising amount of instructor interaction. Finally, there is easy review of material because everything is online and can be saved quickly.

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FROM
Remsen, IA

HIGH SCHOOL
Remsen St. Mary's

POST-SECONDARY
University of Iowa

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2018Lisa Mullis