Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Is this How English Teachers Feel?
The totally online learning experience has been an interesting one, for sure. I've taken online classes before, but totally online? Where the lecture halls are replaced with chatrooms? Nah. The classroom discussion has been replaced with discussion boards. I am required several times a week to post in these discussion boards on the supplied topic. As a part of my assignment, I also have to post several replies to my classmates' posts. Shouldn't be a problem, right? I can usually write. This little blog is not the place to judge, where I type how I talk: run-on sentences, fragments, and more interjections than one ever should put in any piece of writing. But for academic purposes? I am the Queen of the Paper. So I can do this. I get my cup of coffee, which has become a staple of my diet, and I sit down to do the deed. I had posted my original post early on, and had to wait until my classmates got it together before I could finish my requisite responses, so by the time I get to it, virtually the entire class has posted their posts. So I just plan on picking a couple to go with..... Wrong. Very, very wrong. There were only 2 classmates to which I could submit a valid and well-thought-out response. Only two. Because the rest were so jam-packed with grammatical errors, mispellings, comma splices, and more, that I couldn't even make sense of what the writer was actually trying to say in the post. Seriously, I have never seen anything like it in my life, especially in a senior-level college course. For a business degree. One girl even typed in ebonics. This is an actual sentence from a post: "I be thinking they is going to go out of business cause they is shady people." This was in a reaction to the business ethics of some well-known national companies. She be thinking....Really, people? How does one get through life when they are unable to string a couple of sentences together in a manner that can be understood? How do they type resumes and write letters? And if they cannot write properly, I would hate to hear them speak. I'm having nightmares about prospective job interviews, parent-teacher conferences, and more, with these people. Scratch that. I'm even more concerned with how I am going to finish this class, when I have several of this same assignment type due weekly. I was complaining to John about it, and to illustrate my point, I read my post aloud to him. Then I followed up with some classmates' posts. John was weak with laughter by the time I finished the second one. I was honestly starting to question the caliber of courses in which I enrolled and if my BSBA is going to be a complete joke. John pointed out to me that, for all I know, all of my classmates to date have had similar writing. I would never know: I simply turn in my assignment to be graded and never read what my classmates write. Is this why I always get A's on papers? But then I started thinking about all of the teachers out there forced to read piles upon piles of writing from students. To make sense of the drivel people write, the seemingly nonsense words that people string together. And I suddenly had newfound appreciation.