National Distance Learning Week is an annual effort to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning, sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association. Shoreline Community College is celebrating by posting a daily announcement that highlights an aspect of our eLearning program. Today, we celebrate our online students by presenting a profile of one student’s experience in online classes.
According to our most recent annual online student satisfaction survey, most online students (55%) take online classes because of the schedule flexibility. Online learning allows them to balance their studies with other obligations such as work and family. We asked featured student, Laura Humiston, why she likes online classes and she said: “I very much like the flexibility that comes with online classes. I can do my class work at anytime and anywhere. That is really important to me.” She answered a few other questions:
What advice would you give a student who is considering enrolling in an online class?
As for advice, I would say that just because your classes are online, does not mean that you shouldn’t personally interact with your Instructor. Take advantage of office hours, coffee hours, SKYPE sessions, etc.
What skills do you consider to be essential for success as an online learner?
Personal organizational skills and attention to detail are definitely keys to success. You have to organize your time and pay attention to all the details your Instructor provides regarding what is due, when, and how things need to be submitted.
Do you have any tips for online student success?
As for a tip, I would say, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take advantage of your Instructor’s office hours, e-mail them, or see if they can set-up a time to SKYPE with you. Addressing your questions can significantly help in your understanding of class materials which will improve your grade. Keep in mind, in order to do this, you need to start your assignments early enough to allow the time to ask questions and get a response.
What challenges, if any, did you experience when you first enrolled in an online class
When I first started online classes, I had to learn Canvas. That was very intimidating, but I found the Canvas technical support to be very helpful. So, I eventually figured it out. Also, I had to figure out where each Instructor put their materials like assignments, discussions, videos, and announcements; not to mention where to submit the assignments. Each Instructor uses Canvas differently. I am still anxious that I will miss something important.
There are many benefits to taking classes online; what advantages do you see as the most significant?
The most significant advantage I see for online classes is that it opens up education to so many more people. This is great for them and great for the other students as well. I have taken some classes with people from all over the world. That is just amazing to me and it was a real benefit having such diverse perspectives contributing in the online discussions.
We congratulate Laura on her successes in advancing her educational goals using online classes. If you would like to learn more about the online options for advancing your educational goals, please contact eLearning Services by clicking here, sending an email to eLearning@shoreine.edu, or calling us at (206) 546-6966.