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I love how online texts, demos and videos are increasingly available to students. But I believe that MIT courses should never totally be online. Online material offers incredibly valuable supplements, but an MIT education would simply not be an MIT education if lectures were moved offline.

I find that having a set class time to go to helps me keep up with my academics. This is one of the biggest problems I have with online education--it requires self extra self discipline. I have had classes with lecture-videos only before, and I found that I tended to skip them or delay them until later, which was detrimental. While not all students will have this problem, it is definitely part of the reason I chose to attend college instead of educating myself online.

Additionally, the classroom is a dynamic and changing experience. In class I can ask questions, shout out answers and talk to the professor afterwards if need be. This would all be diminished with online education. Perhaps someday an acceptable simulation of the in-class experience could be made online, but I feel that it will never be able to replace actual in-person interactions. One of the places MIT does not perform well is student-professor interactions. Many students at MIT feel that they don't know 3 professors well enough to ask for a recommendation (additionally, we fall behind peer institutions in that respect). Getting rid of live lectures won't help this problem.

This is not to say that online education should not be developed. As a high school student, I would have taken an online class at MIT in a heartbeat. But if I had the opportunity between an online MIT class and an in-person one, I would definitely have chosen in-person. Additionally, online resources are an excellent supplement to standard in-class materials. One only needs to look at the way MIT students utilize OCW to realize that. I use OCW for every STEM class I have taken here. What I do varies from reviewing old exams to viewing lecture videos. Sometimes a professors lecture style just doesn't work, or the lecture notes they have aren't as good as a previous version (or they simply don't have them!). Having the flexibility to use different resources is really valuable, and having improved online resources, such as videos that are searchable, would be even better.

Education & Facilities, Academic year, Global Implications of EdX, Global implications of edX, online