Mathematics and Online Learning

Sunday, January 16, 2011
I've decided that the subject of mathematics just doesn't lend itself well to online learning, at least for me.

I'm in the middle of my Quantitative Reasoning class, and, as happened during last year's statistics class, my head is all fuzzy from trying to learn the material straight from the book. I've started looking for a tutor, and I suspect whoever I hire will be coming by for the next two months or so.

Here's the thing - I can do this. I got an A in statistics, and once I had a live human sit down and explain the concepts to me and then answer my questions in real time, I didn't struggle with the material. I expect the same will be true with the material in this class, but simply reading the text and then attempting to apply it on my own is singularly ineffective with me.

It's too late for me to try and take this class on campus, and it's my last mathematics course for this program. But if a mathematics course is required for my post-graduate work (whatever that might be), I've decided to overcome my reclusive nature and actually take the class on campus. Live and learn - literally.

6 comments:

Phiala said...

From the other end, one of the biggest challenges in teaching well is learning to teach students with different learning styles, especially those who learn in ways other than you.

I learn well from books/online, but when I teach I have to remember that some people need a live instructor, some people need to see a bunch of worked examples, etc.

Your need to have a live instructor is neither unusual nor unreasonable, no matter how poorly it fits the current trend toward online instruction.

Janiece said...

Phiala, I actually do really well with on-line instruction - I've been an exclusively on-line student for over five years.

It's just MATH that gives me fits. But at least now I know.

Phiala said...

Absolutely. Learning style can vary by subject too, though I think people have general tendencies toward one or another.

Paul said...

As Barbie once said, "Math is hard!"

Janiece said...

So is the Shovel of Doom™, smart ass.

Anne C. said...

I'm an experiential learner myself (meaning I need to either do it, or see someone else do it), so I would need to have an instructor. I do learn from books, but it's almost accidental - a side effect of my enjoyment of reading.

So, good on you for being able to learn from online resources! Glass half full! ;)