Why did you decide to enroll in an online class?
I took online video game design last year, and I really enjoyed how flexible it was. When I learned that U.S. History was offered, I decided to enroll.
What aspects of the online learning environment did you appreciate and why?
I felt that some days I could push assignments off or complete extra ones. I knew I could also spend however long I wanted on an assignment, whether I completed it in 2 hours or 15 minutes. Online is less distracting than a traditional classroom since there are no other students in the room with you.
In what ways did you interact with your teacher and classmates? Did you ever feel like you were isolated and disconnected from the course? Why or why not?
Our teacher always messaged us or called us when we had questions or to discuss a big project. In some ways we got more individual help from the teacher than in many of my on-campus classes. With the other students, we would have discussion boards where we could talk about the assignment and what choices they made in it. Although there was a lot less conversation time in class, I think I learned more than in a traditional class because it was my responsibility to pay attention and learn the material.
What were the biggest differences between an online and brick and mortar course?
Since there are particular due dates and expectations for our homework, I couldn’t just quickly do something without learning the material. It also is a lot less time consuming, since the class and homework only take 15 minutes to an hour every day versus having and hour of class time and 20 minutes of homework. I could get my questions answered more efficiently because I could always message my teacher and she would answer whenever she could.
What strategies did you use to keep yourself motivated and organized during the course?
I set myself reminders for every due date we had so I could remember when to complete my work. As for staying motivated, I was able to see exactly how much my grade would drop if I didn’t do any given assignment. It is a lot easier to stay organized in an online class, though, because all of my work was kept on my computer instead of loose papers flying around.
What advice may you offer for other students new to online learning?
To work on each assignment and take advantage of the messaging system. It is easy to communicate with the teacher.
Would you consider participating in another online course, whether in high school or at college, and why?
Yes, I definitely would. I really enjoyed being able to work on my classwork whenever it worked for me. It also helped me stay very focused on just getting my work done.
What was your favorite assignment in the online course and why?
I really liked when our teacher posted video lectures and Crash Course videos. They were easy to follow, and it was similar to a traditional classroom. The only difference was I could rewind if I didn’t understand something!