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Opinion

Online course offerings lacking at University

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April 9, 2009

Your favorite season is here! It’s once again time for hectic chaos and fighting for your seat in a process known as, registration. My schedule looks to have worked out well, even though a few of the classes I wanted to take overlapped each other.

Every registration season I check out the options for online courses. I’ve taken two here at River Falls, which were very well put together and run. I have no complaints about how the classes are run. My problem exists with the variety and number of classes offered.

Fall 2009-2010, there are four online classes offered here at UW-River Falls. FOUR. I’m sorry if I find that a bit ridiculous. When I’ve brought this up before, I’ve been directed to the University of Wisconsin Colleges Online courses. I took a look at the courses that were offered next fall.

Yes, they offer some of the general courses we need. However, I’m going to be a senior (credit-wise), next year and I’ve got most of my general credits covered. Therefore, I had no need to register for those courses.

What I don’t understand is UW-River Falls isn’t exactly a secluded campus. We are 30 minutes from the Twin Cities right? A lot of people do commute. And even if you don’t commute, online classes may benefit you. I have the problem of classes overlapping. I’ve heard seniors tell me that they might have to end up sticking around an extra semester to take one or two more classes.

This is simply because they weren’t offered or didn’t fit into their schedule. That’s the benefit of online classes. You can do the work when you want. It takes an extra amount of responsibility. It may take a bit of extra work, but wouldn’t you rather do that than stick around to take one class?

I also feel that by limiting the number of online classes, the college is missing out on a niche group of individuals. Community colleges are attractive to those with a “real-life schedule.” No offense. I’ve personally picked up some classes at Century College in Minnesota so that I can hopefully graduate next year. In comparison to River Falls, Century (a community college) offers 109 online classes. The difference is unbelievable. 

I have a major problem with River Falls offering four. We need to accommodate those who have real jobs and a family at home. I believe it would bring in a whole new crowd to UWRF. I’ve heard the complaints. I

f you take an online class, you don’t have to do the work. You can cheat. Number one… you have no conscious if you do that. Number two… there are programs to “lock-down” your browser when you take a test.

Online courses offer you the ability to work at your conveyance, use the best method of learning for you and flexibility. I would appreciate a few more options. I’m not asking for 100, but even 10 would be nice.

Cristy Brusoe is a student at UW-River Falls.