Classes, General, Student Life, Study

Online course groups: A savior or a sin?

Living in a digital world only makes it natural that you bring your laptops to class to enhance learning. It helps you take down notes, research during class, if required, revise and summarize notes. It seems right that you be given and use this advantage of technological progress.

Technology certainly is a tool for the modern world and it also helps you learn some important skills that will always come of use when you graduate. It also helps you in studying especially when you have missed a class, because you could depend on notes shared within your group, or the summary of notes that one of the group members be circulated.  And yes, you have all that you missed out because of your absence in class.

So you miss class once and then you miss it again, because it’s so easy to make up what you’ve missed. Technology saved the day! You managed to get what you missed and hope that you have made up for the missed class.

I know we like to live in our little bubbles believing that this is fine – it’s easier like that. However, over the last two years I’ve found that this is not sustainable in the long term. Class time and class interaction serve as important means to enhance meaningful learning. Interactions with professors help your mind grow and develop and discussions in class help attain critical evaluation skills.

Sometimes technology can be a deterrent even to the best learners because distractions are always popping up when you research. Every now and then you imagine that the teacher is doing something very easy so you allow yourself to get distracted and in the process miss out on some vital information — So the notes that are being circulated in the group are themselves not adequate.

But stay on in the group, the group was made for this and more. It will help you confirm deadlines for essays, assignment submissions and caution here – it also gives you a false sense of  security that you are on track with doing what is desired and required of you as a student. But this is exactly where you might be getting mislead, because information that trickles down often is inadequate and imperfect.

And whilst these groups may even record the lectures and post them, they might to make you lazy and compliant with your current state and very importantly they fail to replace the authentic classroom experience.

So yes, Facebook groups are a life saver for those last minute deadlines and term tests but it’s worth thinking about if they’re actually doing more harm than good in some cases. Technology is great and can do wonders to help you with note circulation and instant discussion but keep in mind how easily it could distract you and get you off track. It’s not about getting rid of it, it’s about finding the balance.