So, I’m five days deep into taking Hebrew 1. To make the class harder the seminary has it as a winter session class (2 weeks) and it is done online! That’s right… online Hebrew.
Here is how it works:
The class has a CD that essentially contains a ‘web’ based class. Meaning the CD runs off your internet browser showing the pages that have been hard coded onto the CD. The CD has 2 sections. One section is the language section and the other is the software section. This class utilizes Logos Bible Software, so the software section has lessons dealing with how to use the program to study the original language… however the first couple lessons were more like, “this is a computer… to open the program double-click the…” which was a little annoying.
The language section is divided into 10 lessons. Each lesson covers different aspects of the language… from the alphabet, to grammar, to pronunciation. In the lesson you basically read about how the language works and then work to apply it. So, yesterday was personal pronouns (weeeee). So, I read all about how personal pronouns work in Hebrew and then did a lot of practice problems applying the lesson.
While the pages aren’t much to look at, they are very functional. Every time you see a word there is a button to click so that you can hear the proper pronunciation and make sure you are reading it correctly. The practice questions all have mouse-over effects that allow you to immediately check to see if you have the right answer.
Along with the class CD we are using Blackboard. This site is pretty common for distance education classes and it is pretty good… I feel like it could be a lot better, but it gets the job done. Specifically, this area acts as the actual classroom. In there are announcements from the professor and a classroom forum. In the forum the students and professor interact by asking questions and discussing class material. Even though part of your grade is class interaction, the forums are surprisingly well utilized (you can tell people aren’t just posting for the grade). I find myself checking the forum more than my email (and I check email a lot).
Finally, in Blackboard we have daily quizzes on the day’s material. We’ll also have a midterm and final.
In all, I was VERY skeptical to begin with… I had no idea if this was going to work… especially based on my previous record with online seminary classes… but I am actually enjoying the class format and feel like I am really starting to grasp the basics of the language.
I’ll try to post again towards the end of the class to let you know how it wrapped up and my final thoughts on taking a seminary Hebrew class online.