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Online abomination

Danielle Guilfoyle | Tuesday, December 8, 2009

 Online homework is an unnecessary hassle. Besides being frustrating due to technical difficulties, it takes up more time than regular, written homework, and thus is not a beneficial way to be taught. The majority of a student’s time is spent trying to discover how to please the Web site by submitting answers in the format it likes. Another issue is juggling all the things necessary to complete online homework. It becomes problematic when one has to go from computer to book to notebook and back to computer for every single problem. It would be so much more time efficient if the computer were taken out of the equation; if this were done, all technological issues would be eliminated as well.

Ironically, the two subjects most likely to have assigned web work are mathematics and chemistry. The key to understanding problems in these subjects is to work them repeatedly, which is difficult to do in a reasonable amount of time when working online. Also, it is easy to get caught up in inserting unusual symbols and figures and in doing so, lose sight of the problem itself. Why are we given assignments for the subjects that require the highest levels of comprehension in one of the most detached venues available: the Internet? The homework should help us learn, so the administrators should assign it in a beneficial format.
This format, at least for math and science-related subjects, is written work. Though it may take longer for professors and TAs to grade, it is much more time-efficient and advantageous for the students, and isn’t the goal of any college or university to help students understand, and ultimately succeed? Doing written rather than online homework in the science and math-based subjects would facilitate their comprehension of the material. Yes, these young adults attending universities, especially the University of Notre Dame, should be driven, and should have to work extremely hard. But it makes more sense for their efforts to be put into something productive, rather than spending their time dealing with endless technological glitches, especially when there is a more worthwhile way of learning.
Danielle Guilfoyle
Dec. 7