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What Programs Does Ohio Dominican Use For Online Learning
Joseph Roman’s (Photo Credit: Texas A&M University)
Joseph Roman taught as an English professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and also the head of its online system. When he returned to Austin in 1999, he helped start the University of Texas’s Business College and then served as president of the University of Houston until 2003. He is now an executive at Navitas College.
Joseph Roman is the president of Navitas College and author of the book The Power of Learning: How Online Learning is Increasing Education’s Power and Impact.
You can’t quite say “life without online classes.” Nevertheless, enough people have taken online classes that more and more colleges are implementing online learning programs. Online programs are becoming increasingly valuable tools for college students who want to build critical-thinking skills or take accelerated classes.
However, online courses have some negatives, as well. “I sometimes see online courses as cheap middle ground between courses in a traditional setting and online as the only choice that a student may have,” says Roman. “It’s a little like young adult English class where you’re skipping paper rounds and quizzes and all that kind of stuff. The value of this kind of class is more ‘proactive’ and takes you ahead in your thinking.”
Unfortunately, online courses may not offer your education the same way in a traditional setting. For example, you may be denied course credit for a regular class when you can earn it through an online course, but get extra credits for a course in your current setting that you might not have otherwise taken. Online courses also don’t ensure a degree, especially if there are many such courses that take your summer semester for a credit.
If you are considering signing up for an online course, here are some questions to ask yourself.
How long have you been studying online?
If you are just dipping your toe into the pool, it may be worth taking a class. However, some online courses have a limited choice of faculty; a limited number of classes; and may be based on simple learning outcomes, and not subjects you already studied. In addition, you may not be able to obtain grades from the class since you won’t have any contact with the instructor.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Other important things to consider about online courses is whether you can handle the work or whether you will need the full support of a professor. Some online courses may have a specific theme or course that would benefit your interests, while others may be more basic and would require you to focus only on the material. You should then have a better understanding of whether online courses really could benefit you.
If you are in a new area, how are you going to measure your learning?
I know a class that uses study guides and a whiteboard and makes quizzes and test questions, but the instructor is an English professor who really has no direct experience with mathematics or science. You’ll find the course pretty boring to start, so the teacher will have a lot of teaching to do. Luckily, the student is using a dual-enrollment program so he can enroll in courses at both high school and college, and he will have access to notes, exercises, and assignments from the course work.
Are you committed to learning?
Colleges need to know that online students are serious about the education and willing to get to know their professors. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the lecture, then you may need a facilitator, not an instructor.
How much time do you have to spend online?
The majority of online courses require at least an hour or more per day. However, they do have the “unlimited” aspect of taking your course at your own pace. In addition, you can take the classes at your convenience and at your own pace.
How feasible is it to study on the road?
Some online courses are offered for a semester instead of a year so you can graduate as soon as possible. However, many online classes don’t provide laptops for students. Students must study during breaks or find other places to study. This is also true for CNC (continuing professional education), which many instructors offer online and can eventually lead to tenure if they are good teachers.
Where is the class offered?
You may be required to visit a faculty member or meet in person during your class. Some online courses require that you register several months in advance, but many courses allow the course to be completed in the same period of time as a regular semester.
What are the controls in place to prevent cheating?
Some online courses have a system where students sign in using the same username and password for both online and traditional courses. That can