Third Essay on my Impressions of Distance Learning - March 31, 1995

This distance learning class has been an interesting experience for me this semester. It has been a unique opportunity for me to me to share a class with students at the University of California - Berkeley. However, the issue of the cost of this class continues to concern me. Although it has been jokingly alluded to in class, we have not discussed the actual costs associated with distance learning. Although it is important to research for better educational experiences, we have to consider if the costs are justified by the benefits in the long run.

As a class, this has been similar to many other traditional classes that I have taken. The distance learning aspect of the class really has not added much to the class, although the potential for it exists, but perhaps in a different type of class. From my experience with this class, it seems that distance learning only brings another set of students into the classroom, but does not effect the class much except for providing occasional distractions or temporary setbacks due to technical difficulties.

In other respects, this distance learning class has been a lot like watching television, especially when the professor is on the screen and not in the classroom. It almost seems like I should be in my living room with the remote control. Television has become something like a background noise for me, not something that I need to put a lot of thought into, but that I can tune in and out of. I think this is one of the dangers of distance learning, especially if you get many students who are not very interested in watching television.