Critique on Online Writing Courses

Critique on Online Writing Courses

Kiefer in her article, Do Students Lose More than They Gain in Online Writing Classes? In “Brave New Classrooms” (pp. 141-151) had different opinions on online writing classes. She tries to give explicit discussion whether students gain from online writing classes. According to Kiefer’s view, then it is clear that a tight argument rises between people who choose the traditional writing classes and online writing classes. However, traditional writing classes encompass interactions among students and between students and the teachers. In her argument, Kiefer thinks that the online writing courses may not do well since it is a damaged system. Mainly, she stated the various shortcomings of online classes. Similarly, factors that include classroom management and workload have made it possible for teaching to take place in small classes. She questioned tenured teachers, and this includes the time and unsupportive software. Also, Kiefer reveals issues on the ethical prudence that online students possess. From my point of view, I find that students have lost much when it comes to an educational platform that involves online classes. Therefore, I totally agree with Kiefer’s article. For the most of my life, I have been through online courses. However, it is to my belief that I would have gained more if I had the opportunity to interact physically with my fellow colleagues.

There are many reasons to address whether students gain from online learning. First, I would doubt the successfulness of this learning course by discussing the ratio between teachers and students. Kiefer (2007) argues that, “teachers who train students to write insist that students will learn to write effectively when they are in position to create and reply to specific language context in small groups of students. That is a whole class of 15-25 students and 2-5 students (working on targeted collaborative activities).” In this case, I view Kiefer’s argument as logical hence when students are more in class, then the chances of a professor attending to students individually become less. Critiques play vital roles in ensuring that students learn to write effectively and without them then there are high chances of system failure. Professionals like teachers would love to see that they are given an opportunity to interact with students and also guide them towards achieving the fruits of their education. Online learning is recording an increasing number of students hence it becomes difficult for teachers to direct them. Moreover, because of the inability of the teachers to have direct individual guidance to the students on writing effectively, and then the probability of students to understand what they are supposed to do becomes less.

In her essay, she describes a significant number of students as being, “trapped by their constrained understanding of writing” (Kiefer, 2007). Therefore, students find themselves in a confusing state not knowing what to write and what their course pertain. According to (Kiefer2007), students who participate in online classes end up failing because their interaction involves texting one another. In this case, students do not find the time or are not in a position to interact physically. Precisely, there is less social interaction. The point is that much is lost as far as online setting is concerned since such interactions create an environment conducive to learning. In a class where teachers interact with students face-to-face, and then it is possible for the teachers to reach out to their students individually unlike the case of online courses (Cook & Grant-Davie, 2005). Additionally, first-time students find themselves disoriented in the digital world because of the absence of auditory and visual interaction.

Also, Kiefer in her article argue that online education is being pushed and influenced by economic and political factors. States in America such as California and Colorado are motivating the universities around; hence they attract more students for the online courses (Blair & Hoy, 2006). There is much pressure from the software and hardware developers on increasing the demand for online courses. In my opinion, the society sometimes becomes blind when it sees new things coming their way. When the government is trying hard to increase the number of students, the direct connection that existed between teachers and students is lost.

In conclusion, the idea of online classes has some great success; however, the reasons that prevent it from succeeding are also infinite. From Kiefer’s point of view, I find myself agreeing with much of her points. For example, I agree with her point on students becoming confused with the idea of using such learning platforms. Also, I agree with the lack of proportion between the coverage of the teacher and the class size, unsupportive software, and the cases of disconnect between students.



Blair, K., & Hoy, C. (2006). Paying attention to adult learners online: The pedagogy and politics of community. Computers and Composition, 23, 32-48.

Cook, K. C., & Grant-Davie, K. (2005). KC Cook and K. Online course and instructor evaluations,” in Online Education: Global Questions, Local Answers. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing, 229-244.

Kiefer, K. (2007). Do Students Lose More than They Gain in Online Writing Classes? In In J. Lockard & M. Pegrum (Eds.), Brave New Classrooms (pp. 141-151). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

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