There are different ways to learn on campus. Professors teach groups of students in classrooms about subjects pertaining to students’ majors. A form of teaching that is appearing more often is the Google Classroom setting.
Classes that are taught in Google Classroom styles perform the same functions, but they include students from different universities across Michigan. The classes are connected using cameras to show all classes involved in the class.
Google Classrooms differ from traditional classroom settings in many ways, but the purpose of Google Classrooms are the same as traditional classrooms. “In my opinion, the purpose of a Google classroom is to expand and broaden the horizons of learning,” said Victoria Centeno (’20).
Besides solely teaching students about their studies, Google Classrooms also serve another purpose; they bring other schools together.
Kara Andersen-Denike (’20) believes that the main purpose of Google Classrooms is to include students from other colleges in order to gain outside perspective on common classes that [students] have. Along with Centeno and Andersen-Denike, Kelsey Weiss (’20) believes that a goal of Google Classrooms is to have students collaborate with students from other colleges.
Centeno, Andersen-Denike and Weiss are all in Professor Wallmenich’s African American Literature class (ENG 367).
There are pros and cons to Google Classroom. “The ability to understand another perspective is a huge pro for me,” said Centeno. AndersenDenike said that one pro of being in a Google Classroom is the ability to have new perspectives. Also, “[a] pro of being in the Google Classroom is the expanse of knowledge that we can share,” said Weiss. “Also, you are not limited to just the ideas of those on your campus.”
There are also cons to being in Google Classroom setting as opposed to traditional classroom settings. AndersenDenike says that one drawback to being in a Google Classroom environment is the lack of oneon-one interactions between the professor and students.
“There are pros to being in traditional classrooms rather than being in Google Classrooms,” said Weiss. “For example, in a traditional classroom, it’s easier to focus on the topic being taught rather than focusing on a screen, and it’s also easier to have a discussion in person and break into groups.” Teaching in person has the advantages of being able to use physical examples and methods to explain concepts, where Google Classrooms do not have the same advantage.
Andersen-Denike said that she likes the traditional classroom setting better because she is able to get more one-on-one time with her professor, and she believes that there are less distractions when the professor is teaching in person, rather than teaching over a video connection.
Centeno, Andersen-Denike, and Weiss all said that they prefer traditional classroom settings as opposed to Google Classrooms. “If given the choice, I would go back to traditional classrooms,” said Centeno. “A subject such as English takes such an intimate approach on the subject matter. I have taken classes with this professor before and I think that is a strength of her teaching is how engaged she gets the class and the use of collaboration. This is just hindered by the Google classroom.”