Does Asynchronous Learning at Farmingdale Make the Grade?
February 4, 2023 – Abdul Fahim
Farmingdale State College is a well-regarded school on Long Island, New York. However, like there would be with most colleges, there are underlying issues with it. The current state of online teaching is one of the most important issues, in my opinion.
When applying for classes at Farmingdale, students are shown a variety of options on formats and days to take specific classes. One format available is asynchronous online classes, in which the student and the professor never meet or join a call; instead, the student is given work and pre-recorded lectures on an online page.
There are many advantages to asynchronous learning. One of the key advantages is that students can participate at their speed and at their desired time and location. This enables instructors and students to prioritize whatever obligations they may have aside from training, such as taking care of their families or attending to their regular work duties. Since the majority of learning occurs on the learner’s schedule under asynchronous learning, instructors can lead engaging discussions outside of the classroom. Asynchronous learners can also post questions to discussion boards or send emails and receive answers later, even when it doesn’t take place in a social environment. Despite not interacting in real-time, there is still potential for peer collaboration and instructor involvement. Individual experiences are what matter in the end and how our learning is affected by asynchronous online classes and the professors who teach them.
One huge obstacle to asynchronous courses has to do with the ability of the student to learn in this way. I have experienced a lack of motivation and procrastination, firsthand, when taking an online class at Farmingdale. This is not entirely because online classes are bad, overall, but also because some professors do not even attempt to get in contact with you, leaving students with the impression that they do not care for your performance in the class.
According to Bay Atlantic University, asa result of social isolation and a lack of face-to-face interactions with peers or instructors, students may feel unmotivated because there is no sense of pressure from the teacher. Lack of pressure is a serious disadvantage since it makes it easier for students to give up on their academics. Although continual prodding by professors can be annoying for some students, it is a useful strategy for raising performance.
To find out if I was the only one with this experience, I interviewed my fellow Ram, Christian Paucar to find his opinion on online learning at Farmingdale. “There is absolutely no learning going on,” Christian told me. “They just leave work out for you and expect you to finish it by the end of the week, sometimes if you’re lucky there’s a discussion board so you can emulate conversing with your peers and your professor.”
Christian went on to say, “I think a big part of learning is the interactions you have with people who are learning and the person teaching you, sometimes I feel as if I’m just passing these online classes because I end up teaching myself all the material on my own the day before the test,” as hefelt it was important to voice our opinions on this matter to try and see if a difference can be made.
Asynchronous learning can be very inconsistent. The effectiveness of a training session is entirely dependent on the instructor in asynchronous learning. This ultimately means that asynchronous learning quality can vary from professor to professor. I have had an instance of a good professor, who responded to my questions and concerns and was very hands-on with the class.
Another problem with it is that there is a lack of individual attention. It’s easy to experience the requirement to compete for an instructor’s attention when several students are also all taking part in one class. Favoritism toward some students may also result from professors not paying enough attention to them. Communication is key and some professors may just feel like they need to be contacted first by the student during these classes.
After taking a deep dive through asynchronous learning at Farmingdale, I have concluded that purely asynchronous classes cause more harm than good depending on the professor. There is a problem of professors just not giving it their all during these classes which in turn makes students not give their all either, which affects their learning and future careers.
A good compromise would be to go for an online hybrid approach, where you can meet for class remotely for one week and be completely asynchronous for one week. This ensures the optimal learning experience for students looking to work on their own time but also allows them to make connections and interact with their students and professor.
Farmingdale is a great campus and is full of great professors and staff, asynchronous learning is only tampering with their reputation. At the end of the day, the goal of a college class is to make sure you retain information so you can use it in the future which is important for our careers.
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