I was pleased to read the rebuttal (I liked my online classes, Feb. 23, Letters) to my previous criticisms of Gov. Browns proposed centralized Virtual Campus for community college students. I am thankful that the Sun-Star is providing a venue for this debate.
It is great that the author has positive associations with online courses at Merced College. Our online courses are governed by our local Academic Senate and Faculty Association, which assure that student-per- faculty ratios remain the same as traditional courses.
What this means is that our online courses are not less expensive to provide. The agenda in Sacramento is to use online courses to save money, which occurs by raising the student to teacher ratio.
That said, the author's experience suggests bigger problems. She used the adjective "enjoyable" rather than challenging to characterize online classes. Online tests are timed so students have to "more or less know the material" because they cannot look up each answer.
Traditional testing requires students to know all of the material as they cannot look up any answers. Finally, no one knows if the student enrolled online is the one taking the tests in the first place.
Professor of Philosophy, Merced College