UA-76843172-1

Virtual campus vs. traditional classroom learning

Diane Gallagher
Assoc. Features Editor

In a technology filled world, where information is constantly at your fingertips, everyone is extremely busy and everything is evolving quickly, colleges are trying to adapt and provide students the opportunity of distance learning or online classes. Distance learning utilizes the internet, and most of the time teachers and their students never meet eye to eye.
Though traditionally students would meet at a set time in a set location, times are changing and so are the needs of the students. Millersville University offers courses and select programs at its conveniently-located centers in Lancaster, York, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and also through an online learning environment available 24 hours a day; giving you the flexibility to study when and where your schedule permits.

Online classes allow for freedom to schedule around other daily events.
Online classes allow for freedom to schedule around other daily events.

“I’ve been doing online classes for a while now, since I don’t have time to sit in a classroom during the week. I think the main difference between traditional classes and having an online course is that it’s more reading for the online class. There’s no professor standing in front of you lecturing so you’re forced to read a lot more of the text in order to grasp the material,” shared John McLaughlin.
Requirements for successful completion of any online course, taken through Millersville University, are similar to other college courses you might have taken. In addition to reading and writing, you may be asked to review works in other media such as video, film, audio, photography, etc.
The University’s virtual “campus” is very much like a traditional university environment. There is a library, a bookstore, and all the administrative offices of the University are present online. Instructors are available for private consultation by telephone during regular office hours as well as by e-mail.

Not all students are capable to focus enough for online learning.
Not all students are capable to focus enough for online learning.

Some students do extremely well in online classes. They enjoy the freedom to come and go as they please and can excel in a class that has little structure. Other students prefer the traditional classroom setting, thriving on the set schedule, the physical textbooks, and the face-to-face interaction with classmates and the instructor.
There is no right or wrong learning environment. It all depends on the type of learner you are and what kind of classes fit into your current lifestyle. Luckily, in this day and age, students have a large variety of choices when it comes to getting an education.
Logan Radle said, “I hated my online class; I couldn’t wait for it to be over. The professor that ran it was terrible at responding to any questions. I didn’t like not having the face to face, it seemed less effective and I felt I did not learn as much as if it would have been a normal class.”
Most people choose online learning for the convenience it provides the student. There is no reason to rearrange your schedule for your classes. This is especially helpful for non-traditional students who are already established in their careers but are interested in furthering their education. With online education you don’t have to give up working full-time or rearrange your work schedule to take advantage of your classes. You can continue to work 40 hours a week and take your classes in the evening after work or at any other time found though out their busy day.
Interested in learning more about online learning at Millersville University? Visit the distance learning website at http://www.millersville.edu/services/distancelearning/.