As a student at Yavapai College, there have been a few times where a class I was required to take was only offered on-line. I know it may sound strange coming from a younger student, however, I prefer a face-to-face class where there is interaction with other students and I can establish a relationship with the instructor. An on-line class seems so impersonal to me when I am communicating on a computer and using digital data rather than in a classroom setting.
On-line education is becoming more popular throughout higher education and we have seen an increase of on-line classes here at YC as well. So how can an on-line instructor design a class that will afford the students the personal attention they need and find a way to interact with the students? Four things that I have found that the instructors I have had here at YC do to help are:
1) My instructors let the students know who they are and they find out who their students are. One of the first exercises I did in an on-line class was to write an introductory paragraph about myself, why I choose to take this class, what degree I was seeking and three things about myself. This was done on our discussion board and we all had to respond to a couple students. I really felt I knew who my fellow students were AND the instructor as well.
2) Another instructor stressed that we are all working with technology and at some point or another this technology will betray us. A calendar with all deadline dates and upcoming
homework submissions is very helpful...this is a great reminder for students like me who sometimes wait until the last minute.
3) All of my on-line instructors had regular office hours posted on their site.
4) It's nice when an instructor would utilize more applications in their reviews other than reading. There are so many new tools that can be utilized, like videos, photos, recording yourself from random locations - they try not to get stuck doing the same thing over and over which kept my attention.
I have heard from other students that had been enrolled at other schools prior to coming to YC and many times they did not have the same experience with an on-line class. I feel very fortunate to have had the instructors here at YC. I really feel that they have helped in my success in completing classes within an on-line format.