High-Tech course for the mind

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Matthew (Grade 12)

In this day and age of advancement in technology, more and more things are being offered online and over the Internet, these include schools and courses. This is the case for two Garden Valley Collegiate students in Winkler Manitoba, Ron B. and Lisa W., who are both involved in a test pilot of an online psychology course being offered by Red River Community College. They receive their assignments from their teacher, Ms. Lowerison, whom they have never seen face to face, via email and reply their finished assignments via email.

Scheduling and requirements for this course are very relaxed. "The scheduling is totally up to the student", comments Lisa W. "My schedule with this course is as I want it to be", says Ron B. The assignments are given and then the students are given time to complete the assignments and then the next assignment is sent. The students can work on the course in their spare time and the course has no deadline. They are given free internet access and email accounts through GVC, and have access to computers at school and at home to work on for their psychology course. The course will be finished when the students have finished all the assignments and have written the final exam.

A major concern that people might have about being involved in an online course is not being able to see their teacher or students face to face, as this was a big concern for Lowerison. It is true that not all things can be taught through a computer, but need to be shown through example to the student. For instance, it is not possible to show a student what their body language should be while talking to someone, or how to stand and what to do and what not to do while talking to an audience. Lowerison prepared a counselor at GVC, Mr. Smith to answer any questions the students have and if he is not able to answer a question he can email Lowerison to get the answer from her.

Reasons for taking this course may vary but there is no shortage of good reasons to register for this course. "I thought the course would give me an edge to College", says Ron B., "get a taste of it before I am finished high school so I know what the work habits are like". Lisa, who is interested in psychology as a profession says, "since the course is free, the credit is a bonus".

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