LIS 201 was my second experience with an online course. Over the summer, I took Managerial Accounting through my local community college. In this course all lecture content, discussion, and homework was completed online but exams were in person in the community college’s testing college. I found this format to work well with my busy summer schedule; however, reflecting back on it I don’t think I actually learned that much. Therefore, I much preferred the hybrid approach taken in LIS 201. I really value having in person discussion and lecture because this is how I learn the best. I find online lectures to be dull, and easy to get behind on.
Also, I value interaction with real people prior to having an online discussion. Over the summer when we had to post and comment on classmate’s posts, I found it really strange that I didn’t even know these people. All I had was a picture of them and I was expected to have online discussions with them. In LIS this wasn't a problem because any online posting/ discussion was with people that I had met in real life. However, I still found the in person interactions with my classmates to be much more beneficial than the virtual interactions. Also, I didn't find the virtual portions to connect too much with the real life portions. The portions that worked really well in my opinion were peer editing on the wiki, the disconnecting from your cell phone assignment, and posting 500 word article summaries. Overall, I think I was a more effective communicator in the physical space rather than the virtual space and I also found the interaction I had in the physical space to be more beneficial to my learning. One benefit of this blended approach was I learned how to use technologies that I hadn't had much exposure to the past such as blogger and wiki.
Although, I was able to learn a lot about these websites after taking this course I would caution professors on adopting a online course. I would not recommend making any courses completely computer based but a blended approach may work for a course. The only courses I would recommend this approach to learning would be one like LIS which focuses on information technologies. In order to learn about information technologies it is vital that students actually interact with them in the course. For example, it would be beneficial for a statistics course to incorporate on online portion with Excel training; however, I do not see much value in using an online approach to an introductory economics class. Overall, the readings and lectures brought to light information that is very relevant in my own life.