What It’s Like to Study Online

  • 1 week ago

The online education market is going through a real boom - it seems that soon universities, instead of students, will finally move to the Internet. However, only 15% of people complete online courses, and the quality of remote education at universities continues to raise questions. That is why we have to check if the student got a fake college diploma. In this article, we will analyze one of the particular examples.

Elena Mordmillovich

Studying online at the Berlin Higher School of Technology on a bachelor's program "Mediainformatics".

Berlin Higher School of Technology is one of the few universities in Germany that offers online bachelor's degree programs. There are only three: Media Informatics (where I study), Business Informatics and Business Engineering. There are also some other institutes in the country (better equipped according to friends' stories). But in terms of logistics, Berlin is the most convenient option. Classes are held every three weeks on Fridays (in the afternoon) and Saturdays.

I have two children, and most of the care for them lies with me, so full-time education is not an option at this time. Most of my classmates also combine study with work or family.

It was very exciting for me to study in Germany in principle: other traditions, expectations, there was a fear of just not fitting in. But I guess I shouldn't have. So far, there have been no difficulties either with the teachers or the classmates.




The teachers encourage us to communicate with each other and to make active use of learning forums created especially for students. Some tasks need to be done as a team - for example, one task for the four of us. My classmates and I try to support each other, but it is noticeable that the current study is quite different from that which we had in our youth and took all the time. There is nothing "superfluous" in our communication: we can have coffee at half-time or after class, but even this is not often possible. Also because of the more flexible system (everyone chooses how many courses he takes in a semester, can throw something if you overestimate their capabilities, and repeat at another time) disappears competition spirit, and to assess themselves relative to others becomes more difficult. One cannot rely on "charity" like writing off work as well: everyone understands that everyone is spinning as he can, and often cannot help others.

All questions can be asked to teachers by mail or at weekly web conferences. Some professors suggest discussing obscure points in the forum and try to start a discussion between students (this is certainly useful), others answer the questions themselves, in detail and in detail. I was fascinated by the linear algebra professor. Web conferences with her always lasted much longer than the time indicated - it was obvious that she really wanted to help us, was ready to spend her time, endured when students could not put two and two together, methodically explaining again and again, in different ways. In general, if desired and qualified as a teacher, the online format is not an obstacle at all. For the student, the main thing - to be able to ask, spitting on pride. The head of our direction says:

"No stupid questions until you start asking them at the exam."

In order to be admitted to the exams, you need to pass different papers on time during the semester, which solves the question with discipline and self-control. Those who do not have time are late. In the last six months my family has been sick for a long time, so I did not fit into the schedule and will repeat one of the courses next semester.

With my first education I am a German linguist and I think I wouldn't have dared to replace a live word with a technical mediator if I was a humanitarian specialty. But technical specialties are great for distance education.