One sure way to draw reaction to a letter is to unfavorably compare another's work to yours. Dorothy LaGrandeur of Huntington Beach did precisely that in her letter published Wednesday discussing online education, to which several classroom instructors quickly fired off responses. LaGrandeur wrote:
"My company has been offering online college courses for eight years. Our instructors receive an email whenever a student posts a query on the course discussion board. The student will, within 24 hours, receive an answer or a request for clarification. Responses vary from a few words to several pages in length.
"Try getting this sort of response in a physical classroom or tracking down a college instructor after class.
"Can taking online courses satisfy college requirements? If the college allows courses to be completed by examination, the training online classrooms such as mine provide may improve a student's chances better than if he were left to track down help from an unwilling instructor at a physical college."
College art instructor Robert Kibler writes:
"At Glendale Community College, where I have taught for many years, students have lots of ways to interact with their instructors and get their questions aired, discussed and answered. They can actually raise their hands in class and ask the question out loud, listen to the instructor's response and hear what their fellow students might think — you know, a real-time discussion of ideas.