My daughter is a junior in high school, and for almost every semester she’s taken an online course as part of her studies. This semester she’s taking Spanish 3, an advanced level course where every word of instruction is spoken in Spanish. Each morning she joins the class from our home in North Carolina, while her teacher is in Illinois and her classmates are scattered across the country. It’s pretty cool. And, since the office in our house is near our kitchen, I’m serenaded with Spanish during breakfast every morning. I think I’m learning Spanish through osmosis.
It’s so different from when I was in school, where the only way to take a course was to sit in a classroom and listen to a lecture. But online courses are common for today’s students. My daughter took her first online course because her school didn’t offer a class she needed; now it’s because she simply wants the course, and how it’s delivered doesn’t matter. In fact, she says she might even prefer online courses to the traditional classroom.
I guess I’m just a dinosaur, because SAS® users have been taking online courses from us for more than a decade. Every year, approximately 3,000 students enroll in SAS Live Web classes, SAS' version of the classroom experience, without the travel. Most students love it, saying that because classes run in real time, have high interactivity (through exercises, polls and quizzes), encourage Q&A, and set aside lab time, they feel like Live Web classes are no different than a traditional classroom course. And, like my daughter, some say they actually prefer Live Web classes to the traditional classroom.
Live Web classes do enjoy some advantages over the classroom. For starters, many classes run with two instructors. The lead instructor teaches the material, while the second instructor answers questions and helps manage the flow of the class. Just like a traditional course, students can "raise their hands" and ask questions (via the VoIP feature), but there’s also a texting option if they want to ask a question without disrupting the entire class. Another nice feature is that the data and a recording of class are both available after the class concludes, making it easy for students to review concepts or practice what they learned.
The program is very popular, and we now offer Live Web classes around the globe. If you haven’t taken a Live Web class before, I encourage you to learn more about the format. You can also view a short video for more details. When you’re ready to register, you can view course dates in EMEA or the U.S. Contact your local training site if you have questions.
Mientras tanto, disfrutar el boletín SAS Learning Report. Y gracias para leyendo.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of SAS Learning Report, a monthly newsletter that shares the latest training and certification news from SAS. View the current issue or subscribe.