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“Online Learning with Aubrey”



Pre-Listening Question

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking online courses?

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

hard deadlines (verb): a deadline with a fixed date by which something needs to be done
– We have a hard deadline to turn in our essay by Friday.

stay on top of something (expression): be or stay in control of something
– There are many assignments in this class, so it is important to stay on top of your work from the very beginning.

finish up (verb): finish a task COMPLETELY (100%)
– I have to finish up this project by 5:00 p.m.

(In most cases, there is no difference between finish and finish up.)

allude to something (verb): refer to, hint at, call attention to something indirectly
– The teacher alluded to the possibility of a pop quiz over the next few days, but he wasn’t very direct about it.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Aubrey, Let’s talk about the pros and cons of online learning. I think there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to it. What are your thoughts on this topic?

Aubrey: Yeah. So I think it can definitely be good. I like it when there are hard deadlines, right? So that, you know, you stay on top of things because I need to have deadlines. Um, otherwise you can get way behind and it’s just a waste of money. One thing I do like if you have video lectures that you watch online is you can speed them up.

Randall: Oh, that’s a really good point.

Aubrey: So, like, I’ll watch, like I listen to my audiobooks at like 1.5 speed. So, like, listening to a lecture at normal speed is really boring, but you can speed it up and listen to it as fast or as slow as you want. And that, that was really useful. Like during Covid, when I was finishing up my degree, um, I would speed up the lectures and even before then I would record my lectures on, on a recorder and then I would, you know,  edit them real quick and then speed them up and listen to them again.

Randall: Okay. And I think also in addition to that, there are people that enjoy the freedom, as you kind of mentioned or were alluding to, being able to study where and when you wanted.

Aubrey: Exactly.

Randall: Um, a lot of times people like it because they can be studying at a distance. In other words, they can be somewhere, you know, across the world. And yet taking a course on whatever it might be, uh, with other students who are studying from around the world as well.

Aubrey: Yeah. When I finished up my degree, um, I had gotten a job two hours away from my university, but because of Covid, everything was online and it wasn’t a problem.

Randall: And some people I mean, I think there are a lot of people that enjoy the face-to-face interaction. I think some courses lend themselves to that type of environment. For example, if I’m teaching an English class, focusing on communication and speaking.

Aubrey: Oh yeah, yeah.

Randall: And, and your face-to-face, you’re right there with other students. Certainly, you can do a little bit of that on Zoom, but you don’t get that feeling of that presence of people being around you. I think that would be really critical, but not so much if you’re, for example, taking a course on, you know, some aspect of art history. It’s a lecture and there are 300 other people in the class and there’s no need for that type of engagement and interaction with the teacher, then that would work.

Aubrey: Yeah, exactly. And I’m looking into going back to school just to learn some coding and that’s gonna be perfect online.

Randall: Yeah. All right. Well, thank you, Aubrey, for sharing your thoughts on this particular topic.

Conversation Questions

Describe an experience of taking an online class. What did you enjoy most about it? What were some of the challenges associated with studying online?

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