Now that I’ve completed one, let’s talk about what it was like.
I’m only speaking from the experience of one online class, so I can’t definitively say what it’s like to take an online class at Harvard Extension. But I’m very happy to talk about my one class.
Things were laid out in a very straightforward way. We had a clear syllabus. We had to post to the discussion board twice throughout the week – once with our initial answers to a prompt, and at least once more to interact with other students.
We had two TAs for the class, who worked great as a team. They were always there if we had any sort of question. I loved their passion and helpfulness!
They held online study sessions before both the midterm and the final, to go out of their way to be extra helpful.
Usually for every lesson, there’d be a series of videos, some online articles to read, and then sections of two different books. I liked getting the full picture of everything we were talking about. However, sometimes by the time I got to the second book, I’d start to zone out a bit as it could seem like a review of stuff we’d been talking about, without much new information being added at that point.
Of course, it’s not unhelpful to review things, or to have things said in a different voice. Still, I sort of wondered how you plan a class, and how much repetition you want. Where’s the line for enough to make sure people get it, but not enough to make anyone feel sort of bored?
(I really hate using the word bored, as I always hear that only boring people can be bored. But I’m just trying to get across a thought here…)
I don’t want to sound too harsh, as it was a wonderful and extremely interesting class! I’m just sharing general observations about what it was like taking a class again…
The midterm was open book. My feeling was that there was really no excuse to get less than 100 on an open-book quiz. Unfortunately, I got a 99. (Embarrassing, right?!)
In the short identification section, while I did explain what something was, I was told the answer would’ve been better with an example… (I’d been worried about being too wordy, which is why I hadn’t elaborated any more.)
I took that lesson to heart during the final. I filled all the margins, I was writing so much.
I’ll finish up talking about this soon.