Even before the pandemic, education has been transitioning to online classes. This allows students from around the world to take special courses at Ivy League universities. It also allows learners to be fluent in another language as native speakers teach them virtually. But much more than that, the flexibility of online learning allows working students to gain knowledge that will help them climb the corporate ladder. This means that even stay-at-home moms continue with their learning and rejoin the industry later.
But of course, e-learning is not without its faults. The pandemic showed that. As universities and colleges are forced to offer online classes even for their most technical courses, students need to face the fact that this is another challenge they have to face. Technical courses must be taught in a classroom, in a face-to-face setting. Yet, many are still taking online computer engineering courses because the demand is great for graduates of these courses.
Since the world is being run by computers, bots, and software, any computer-related course will be the future of industries. That’s why even though students may have a hard time taking up technical courses online, they still enroll in these. From engineering to robotics to programming, students are pursuing their interests and passions without qualms.
But Are Technical Courses Hard to Study Online?
The problem is that technical courses were not designed for an online classroom. Technical courses need the guidance of professors or instructors. Programming computer software has to be under the guise of the leadership of the professor. Or how about aeronautical engineering? Can you take a course like this online?
While the challenges are there—and they are bigger than if you take writing classes—it is not impossible to pursue these courses in a virtual setup. After all, the advances in technology allow any course you can think of to be taught online. There’s also the possibility of conducting hybrid classes. These are classes that mix online learning and face-to-face learning.
The students can take the theoretical classes online while all hands-on classes will in a face-to-face approach. This will be difficult for those living outside the state or country, but the professors can make the necessary adjustments for these students. This is why technology needs to continue supporting virtual learning. It’s not because of the pandemic, but the accessibility to better education.
How Can Professors Accurately Grade Projects?
There’s another side to the story. Professors are also having a hard time measuring the success of a course. How can they decide on the grade they should give to you if they haven’t seen your process? Should they only depend on the output? And yet, if they take the time to monitor the process of your programming or coding, for example, professors will waste an enormous amount of time.
Of course, technology and other devices exist to make this a convenient process. It is not without its challenges and difficulties. Professors use a variety of email, project management apps, chatrooms, and online forums to communicate with their students virtually. When it comes to technical courses, however, the challenges are as tall as a mountain.
So, Is It Impossible to Take Technical Courses Online?
No, it’s not impossible if you want to take technical courses in a virtual classroom setup. Technology exists primarily for this reason. The more demanding the academic institutions are, the more that technology tries to fill in the gaps. From teleconferences to screen sharing to virtual simulations, there’s nothing that universities and colleges will not want to try to create an immersive experience for the students.
At the end of the day, three factors affect the effectiveness of these online classes. The first one is the talents and skills of the professor. The second one is the patience and resourcefulness of the students. Lastly, it all boils down to the availability of resources, and how both sides try to maximize them. It is not impossible to learn technical skills in an online class as long as these three factors work hand-in-hand.
If you do have plans to study a technical course online, don’t be intimidated by the lack of face-to-face learning. Read about the programs and the methods the classes use to make online learning as effective as a face-to-face class. You can talk to students—both past and present—and learn about the course and the teaching methods. The more you find the answers to your concerns, the more that you can carve a place for yourself in the virtual classroom.