Online Class

I’m a week away from completing my first grad school online class! I decided to take a summer school class online, because it fit my schedule best, plus I was really curious. NC Central’s School of Library and Information Science has an accredited online program, as well as an on-campus program. Applicants have to choose which program they plan to participate in, but students in each program can swap out a handful of classes outside their normal venue.

I’ve taken several community college technology-related classes online, but this is the first graduate level class I’ve taken online. I wondered, starting out the summer session, how the online class format would compare to my on-campus experience so far. Here’s what I’ve taken away from the online class:

1) It pays to have some decent, comfortable headphones and a microphone for an online class. This technology is a lifeline to communicating in an online class that requires real-time chat. My laptop’s speakers work fine, but the built-in microphone leaves something to be desired, I learned in the first class! (Oops!) Thanks to the recommendation of a classmate who is also a coworker, I purchased a headphone set with a microphone attached, and that’s working well. (Now I have a decent set-up for Skype, too!)

2) I’ve enjoyed not having to find a parking place on campus, and I like being home already after class is done.

3) I really miss the interaction with classmates and the professor before, during, and after class. I miss running into professors and other MLS students in the halls, too. Being an introvert, I’m surprised at how disconnected from the learning environment I feel, too. It’s been harder for me to remember I’m in graduate school, taking class from home. This particular class hasn’t lent itself to discussion boards or group projects that other online classes may have.

4) Signing into class on my laptop from home, I’m potentially distracted by things at home. If I take another online class, I need to work on shutting out the distractions better.

I’d love to hear about other online learning experiences, especially in library science school!


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
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6 Responses to Online Class

  1. Teresa says:

    I’m an online student. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. When I was taking classes the traditional way during my earlier school days, I was one of those shy students that didn’t participate in class a whole lot as I did not enjoy talking in front of people. But online I come out of my shell more often and have a lot more to contribute to class discussions, which has enhanced my experience. I also, work full-time, so the flexibility is awesome. It sounds like you’re taking a class via Blackboard Collaborate. I took a class there last fall and will do it again this coming fall. I like how it’s like a hybrid of the traditional and online classroom experience. I admit I miss the traditional classroom experience a little, but so far I love being an online student!

    • Lesley says:

      Teresa, I’m so glad to hear the online classes are working out well for you! Thanks for chiming in!

      • Teresa says:

        I also wanted to mention that I feel like I have the best of both worlds, as I’ve managed to stay connected to the NCCU campus by attending meetings and such. It’s especially awesome that I’ve met a lot of my classmates through the Study Abroad Denmark program!

  2. Lesley says:

    How awesome that you got to do the Study Abroad Denmark program! That’s fantastic! I’ve so enjoyed the pictures on Facebook!! Carla, Tamara, and Jenny were in my study group during the 2011-12 school year, and I can’t wait for our study group reunion lunch in a couple of weeks so I can hear more about it!

    Teresa, you’re doing a great job of connecting with the NCCU SLIS community while making the online classes work for you! Keep it up! 🙂

  3. As an introvert, I loved online classes. I did my MLS entirely online because of family responsibilities. I did my work while my kids were in school–kept me focused becasue I knew I would get nothing done unless it was done before 2 p.m.

    • Lesley says:

      Wow, what great motivation to stay on task and get your assignments done early! 🙂 It sounds like the online format worked very well for you! Awesome!

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