What do you like about online learning in your program?
The asynchronous nature of on-line learning allows me to establish my own work/study schedule. This lets me feel in control of my ‘destiny’ as it were–as long as I can allocate the needed hours in any given week, I can organize that week how I see fit.
What are some advantages/disadvantages of learning online?
An obvious advantage has been the flexibility the program has allowed. The concept of ‘book-ending’ the on-campus weeks at the start and end of each semester is an excellent one. I’m able to really spend time with instructors and classmates, while getting first-hand interpretation of the course materials in each of the on-campus sessions. They are very well planned. A disadvantage might be the reduced ‘interface time’ I have with my classmates. But thanks to the advent of technology, such as Skype, we can converse and use video conferencing as needed to help with the feeling of being in the same location.
What has surprised you about learning online?
How strong and inclusive my class cohort has become over time. I didn’t think we’d become such a ‘tight knit’ group due to the amount of time away from campus each semester; however, I’ve been so fortunate to have the opportunity to learn with some incredible and diverse individuals.
How do you think your online program will benefit you in the future?
It already has. I’ve been able to apply concepts and tools directly to my current role at VCUHS and have been able to see some positive trends. The energy of learning has also been passed on to some of my co-workers–it is like plugging in a light bulb! The experience has already been invaluable, so I can only imagine the possibilities ahead.