Editorial: Issues with e-learning

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The rising costs of class materials has caused major inconveniences for San Joaquin Delta College students, particularly in this tough economic climate.

This is especially true of the books we buy.

We’ve noticed, though, a trend toward online learning in recent course enrollments pushing students to buy new books in lieu of inexpensive used books. Why? Access to online learning tools.

These online tools have added extra costs, as many classes now incorporate Internet-baed learning as a course requirement at Delta College.

Adding access codes to online learning portals, also known as companion websites, to the already high priced texts, not only increases financial burden; it also affects workload.

We believe that students take courses on campus because there is an appreciation of face-to-face learning. Other students take courses online because it is convenient.

Delta College lists some courses as “hybrid” courses, where there is an expectation that students will be required to work online.

However, we are finding that-as students -we are being asked more and more to log on and learn through our regular courses.

Because of this, there is an additional requirement to buy new textbooks that contain access codes, which enable us to connect to websites. These are only in new books. We are forced to buy a new version of the text to accommodate.

We don’t believe this is fair.

We see the campus leaning toward an environmentally friendly learning area, but what’s green about submitting one assignment electronically and then printing out another one and turning it in?

We know it happens on campus. Even more so, there’s an issue of access.

Although most Delta College students are technologically savvy, it is still a hassle for those who have limited access to computers to do homework and take time out of the day. This is especially true when a student’s schedule consists of working a job that allows him or her to pay for school. We know there are on-campus computers, but some have limited access.

Professors may argue the cost of books and course materials is part of education and necessary. We think it is still unfair to us as students to have to pay exceeding costs.

There are alternatives to lower the cost, such as renting textbooks, or visiting the Goleman Library if the professor has provided a text there, but once again, this causes a hindrance on our already taxed time.

Lowering book fees, allowing us to purchase used books with access codes, or changing the course requirements – maybe even letting us know before we enroll- would be the ideal solution for Delta College students who wish to succeed without going broke.