Online classes provide students with exam benefits

March 4, 2015

Upon choosing the correct class, it can be difficult to find the right one. Registration can be a confusing time for many students, especially with today’s technology; there are so many different options.

One option is an online class, offered during both summer and regular semesters. Students say there are advantages and disadvantages to enrolling in an online class. This is true, but there is one major difference: exams.

Signe Trewyn
Commentary
by Signe Trewyn
Assistant Opinion Editor

One thing that all students on campus loathe the most is exams, but good news! Online classes do have exams, but they are on D2L, and some classes allow students to take exams a couple of times.

Professor Wildermuth offers practice exams with up to three attempts, though this is not always the norm.

This gives students a huge advantage since the material for the exam can be viewed prior to the real exam when a student views the electronic lecture.

In face-to-face classes, there is no practice midterm unlike online classes in my experience; instead there is a study guide and a hope in the gut for the best. Exams in these types of classes are often taken once and then a student may never see the exam again until it is handed back to the student. All students would relish a second chance at something as challenging as a final exam.

A practice exam can act as a study guide since students can see what questions they miss most and what the bulk of the exam is all about. In traditional classes, the professor hands out a study guide for students which can seem intimidating.

With online classes, students can have time to take the practice multiple times, so they can get solid practice in. One thing that is true is most of the time, making a study guide and questions can be time-consuming.

The daunting act of putting every single term on the study guide in question form can build up all the way to the night before. With practice, a student can see right away what they need to know and expect.

Another advantage is that the exam remains open on D2L for several days, which is a lot different than face-to-face classes. This gives a student time to review the material for the second attempt if the first attempt did not go as desired.

This way, the outcome is much better and the student may learn more if the material is different on the second attempt.

One thing to remember is that most of the time, the worst grade is dropped and replaced with a better grade upon the second attempt. In real life, there rarely are no second chances, and the same goes with exams and quizzes if you’re lucky.

With an online class, students have the chance to use their notes, a thing most students do not get to do since professors demand students put their notes away. Having your notes out during an online class can help a student find answers and learn more while taking the exam.

This feature also reduces stress before the exam, since most students would have their notes in front of them and would be able to focus more on the exam questions themselves.

This would also increase the success rate since students would focus better and take their time during the exam.

According to http://wp.lasalle.edu/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-online-testing/, an online test can be more accessible to students with disabilities who have assistive technologies built into their computers.

Students can take it at their own pace since they tend to need much more time on exams.

With this advantage, exam success rates would most likely skyrocket along with peace of mind, but of course, it all depends on the student and whatever floats their boat.

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