As the University attempts to stay relevant and increase online learning opportunities, students say online courses are easier and more convenient.
The University currently offers online learning for graduate programs with 17 students enrolled, but that number should increase in the fall and next spring as the University “ramps up” its efforts, said Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management David Kurpius.
“Higher education across the globe is going through dramatic change, and online education and technology are major factors,” said Interim LSU System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins. “Students are looking for more course accessibility, whether they are online or part of hybrid classes, and it’s important for universities to meet those needs.”
Mass communication sophomore Jessica Brouillette said online classes are easier.
“I went to a high school where we used laptops all four years,” she said. “I know how it works. … It’s convenient. You do it on your own time, and you go at your own pace. I think it works well because it works for you.”
Sports administration senior Chris John agreed, saying he was in favor of online learning.
“You basically can do it on your own time and when you’re available, instead of missing class and going to class,” he said. “If you’re online and stuff comes up, then you can do it on your own time.”
But kinesiology sophomore Jonua Clark said while it may be more convenient, she dislikes the online class she is taking.
“It works better for scheduling, but it’s not my favorite class,” Clark said. “I completely forget I have the class. …It’s good for some people, but it doesn’t work for me. I like actual classes.”
Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Planning and Review T. Gilmour Reeve said it is important for the University to catch up to its peers.
“Major research institutions are fully engaged in online education,” he said recently at a meeting. “LSU needs to be a player.”
But adding more online classes does not mean that Jenkins endorsing online-only learning.
“While online education is important today, it is also important that students still receive the college experience and have the opportunity to interact with others, join clubs and organizations and learn to work together on team projects,” Jenkins said.