Letter of the Day (Dec. 31): Online learning

  • Updated: December 30, 2012 - 5:54 PM

Online work enhances (does not replace) classroom learning.

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To a college student facing rising tuition costs and terrifyingly high unemployment numbers, the relative ease and inexpensiveness of "massive open online courses" (or MOOCs) are certainly appealing ("Editorial: Should college be a remote experience?" Dec. 19).

However, even in an age when billions of pieces of information are readily available to anyone with a laptop or smartphone, the majority of my learning as a student continues to take place in the traditional classroom, where students and professors are able to engage in lively and thought-provoking discussions, uninterrupted by the distractions that present themselves online.

My ability to remember, understand and enjoy new material is far greater when I'm physically present in the classroom. While the World Wide Web can and has enhanced the college learning experience, it's unlikely that the benefits of the traditional classroom experience can ever be replicated entirely.

WILLIAM BORNHOFT, MINNEAPOLIS

The writer attends the University of Minnesota.

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