At the Free University of Berlin I got in touch with so called online lectures for the first time. I was attending a course on E-Business and my professor was absolutely into new information technologies. We had classes like usual but once in a while he was not available to give the lecture because of some other appointments.
For case the professor asked us to listen to his individually designed online lectures that he out online on the E-Learning website. It was a video with two screens. In the first one you could see the professor talking like in class and on the other screen you could follow the power point presentation. What is the good thing about that way of teaching? The probably most important point for us was, that we could arrange our time individually and listen to the lecture whenever it fitted into our timetable. Another big advantage was that you could watch the video over and over again and it there was a topic that you did not understand immediately you could simply review this part or stop in between, read some information on the internet and then continue the lecture. Everyone of us appreciated that opportunity. Nevertheless, there are also some negative aspects and that was firstly, that the video and audio quality was not sufficient. Another point is that the videos were only available as a stream so a fast internet connection was necessary to have a good watching experience. In my opinion it would have been better to offer the videos for download.
In another course but with the same professor we had an international project with many Universities spread all over the world. It was kind of a case study which was to be worked on in international teams. The students have never met each other and held contact via Email and other communication channels. At some stages the whole class had a video conference with the other universities where they exchanged their progress and presented their results.
On this blog I found someone who also wrote about the advantages of online lectures and he thinks that it is the responsibility of colleges and universities to offer more online courses. The author says:” Another opportunity that could be presented with more online classes is the possibility of students pursuing jobs or internships away from campus while continuing with their coursework“. Considering the fact that companies and also universities want the students to gain a lot of work and overseas experience, the provision of online lectures would benefit both sides. Therefore the investment in online lectures is highly promising.