For many people, making the important decision to go back to school is the easy part. Actually getting back into the swing of things and remembering how you managed your studies before can be a bit more challenging. Don’t beat yourself up if everything doesn’t instantly come flooding back on the first day. Just like …
Ways of Learning
Testing just got easier for our OnlinePlus students! It’s a federal mandate for us to make sure the right student is taking the right test, so we’ve done a little work on our end to make the process a little better for you. After a couple pilot semesters, electronic proctoring is set to go live by the Fall 2012 semester.
It’s a candy mint! No, it’s a breath mint! No, it’s two mints in one! It’s an entertainment toy! No, it’s a learning tool! No, it’s two tools in one!! Many of today’s tablet devices are stuck in the same “part this, part that” position as the old mint commercial. They’re not as powerful as laptops, or even netbooks, their closest computing relatives. But, they do so much, and they come so close to the functions of a portable PC or Mac, that they are emerging as an important new category of technology in distance education.
What does a teacher do? He or she helps you learn something. Very often, that’s not by using a classic lecture, in which cartoons show the professor opening up the top of your head three times a week and pouring in knowledge…although that style of teaching still exists in many classes. In contrast, today’s online teachers often pose challenges, assign group studies, ask questions without a definitive answer, and generally try to challenge you and encourage you to find meaning in your learning experience. At least, that’s what they are encouraged to do. Every year, more of them are trying out new teaching techniques and styles of interaction.
The answer used to be pretty straightforward: “a room in a school where lessons take place.” Online students for many years have decided the physical location of their classroom, but beyond issues of location, there is still much to be discussed about what constitutes our definition of, and perception of, a classroom.
Education in the U.S. has been firmly hammered into a round hole, assuming that it’s a round peg. Because our parents sat in a classroom and someone lectured to them, that’s “the way” of truth and wonderfulness. All too many people seem to feel that because they learned something (and we’re seldom sure exactly what) from face-to-face lectures, that classroom lectures are the best way to learn.
So you’ve signed up for continuing ed classes! Now it’s time to get organized. You are not a student destined to sit in classes in specific rooms at specific times, but the very flexibility you have learning at a distance creates study space issues that you have to address. You may have chosen online classes so that you can work from home or build your coursework into your travel schedule. You may even be planning to study from your favorite coffee shop or take tests in your pajamas!