Online University
10 Students 10 Questions 10 Answers

Nancy Lockett

Nancy Lockett
A con is that I find it difficult to make personal relationships with my classmates online. One of the most important parts of going to college is building relationships with people who think like you and who can expand your way of thinking. Building such relationships online is a challenge. You really have to put yourself out there to create and maintain friendships online.
Concentration
Associates of Arts in Foundations of Business
Expected Graduation
2015
Total Time Enrolled
6 months
Age
30
  1. Are online schools just in it for the money?

    No, online schools are not just in it for the money. Everyone that I have met at the University of Phoenix has been invested in my education, which clearly indicates to me that it isn’t just about the incoming cash. My advisors help me get the information I need, when I need it. The level of attention they pay surprised me at first because it is easy to feel anonymous online. Yet my facilitators are always there and willing to help.

    As far as getting value for your money at an online school, it is all about how much you put into your own education. Nobody can force you to work hard, but if you spend the appropriate amount of time in class and push yourself, you will learn things that you wouldn’t be able to learn on your own. I think the keys to success are to attend to all your reading materials, promptly do your assignments, and most importantly, discuss the concepts with your classmates.

  2. What are the pros and cons of studying online?

    The greatest pro of studying online is that I don’t have to leave my house to go to school. I don’t have to spend the gas money to get to class and I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time. I can log online at any time that fits my schedule.

    However, a con is that I find it difficult to make personal relationships with my classmates online. One of the most important parts of going to college is building relationships with people who think like you and who can expand your way of thinking. Building such relationships online is a challenge. You really have to put yourself out there to create and maintain friendships online.

    When deciding whether or not to study online, I thoroughly researched the curriculum of the program that I was considering. I appreciated that I was able to actually go onto the University of Phoenix website and see some of the classes that I would take. I compared the class list to the local brick-and-mortar community college and I decided online school was right for me.

  3. Can you actually learn anything while studying online?

    Yes, I feel that you can learn just as much while studying online as you could at a traditional brick-and-mortar institution. My curriculum is rigorous and comprehensive. In fact, I am surprised at how deeply each course explores its topics. The material is useful, current and interesting, which means I find myself constantly immersed in the coursework. But ultimately, I think that the amount you learn through online classes is entirely determined by the effort that you put forth.

    I have had such a positive experience with online schooling that I would even say online education aids my learning. I have gotten the chance to build on many topics that my high school curriculum only touched on.

    Even though class is conducted remotely, you will need to interact with faculty to make the most of your education. In order to maximize student-faculty interaction, I suggest that you make the effort to be exacting when it comes to communication. Keep in mind that it is difficult to be clear online since you cannot rely on expressive tones or body language to convey your meaning. Try to be clear and concise with what you say to avoid miscommunication with your facilitator and your peers.

  4. How difficult is it to get a job with an online degree?

    I am not sure how difficult it is to get a job with an online degree because I have not tried to find employment yet. I have to admit that I am afraid to tell to people that I study online because there is still so much animosity toward online education.

    But I am comforted by the fact that there is a section of the University of Phoenix’s website dedicated to student job placement. In this section, advisors explain how students can use their online experiences to gain employment. The advisors also teach you how to take advantage of the fact that you studied online. I definitely plan to use this resource when it is time for me to seek employment.

  5. Is online faculty any good?

    Yes, my online faculty is exceptional. My instructors are very knowledgeable and I have been impressed with their levels of experience. My school only hires highly knowledgeable and skilled individuals to facilitate our education. In fact, if I had to rate my facilitators on a scale of 1 to 10, I would say that they are more like an 11 or a 12. My teachers never leave me with unanswered questions. I have 24-hour access to them and I can ask questions in a public forum or through personal e-mails.

  6. Are online degrees actually cheaper?

    No, online degrees are often more expensive than brick-and-mortar schools. Before I committed to the University of Phoenix, I researched other schools and found that there is often a significant price difference between online and offline schools. But despite the fact that online schools are more expensive, they provide many services that help offset those costs. For instance, all of my textbooks are available to me online and I don’t have to buy any extra learning materials. I have paid for software out of pocket, but that was my choice.

    In order to pay for my education, I receive grants and student loans. The University of Phoenix helped me secure that funding. My school helped me through each step of the financial aid process and the financial advisors there made sure that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I am aware that in the long run, these loans will cost me a lot of money. Still, I think that I am paying a fair cost for the quality of education that I am getting.

    Finally, students should consider that scholarships can provide a great deal of financial assistance, but only if you apply before you start classes. So you need to research such scholarships prior to starting school, or else you may find yourself losing out.

  7. Doesn’t the lack of live student-faculty interaction during class detract from the overall learning experience?

    No, I don’t think the lack of live interaction hinders my learning. Despite the online environment, my relationships with my professors are good. In fact, a facilitator even saw my potential and asked to become my mentor. I appreciated that, especially since I am a young entrepreneur. I think it is invaluable to have an experienced mentor to help guide my future career.

    Even though class isn’t live, teachers do encourage participation in order to cultivate a positive learning environment. That means participation factors heavily into our grades. We are required to participate for a certain amount of time each week and to actively involve ourselves in the class discussions.

  8. How do online classrooms work?

    In my program, classes are conducted through online discussion boards. Students write quality, lengthy responses to the questions posed by our professor. In addition to the discussion board posts, a new assignment is due at the end of each week. And just like in a traditional brick-and-mortar institution, we are also graded on tests.

    What stands out the most about our online coursework is that it is framed by many deadlines. We are given a syllabus at the beginning of the class that outlines what we should accomplish at certain points in each of our courses. The syllabus also provides timetables for assignments and tests, which is helpful for planning a study schedule.

  9. How computer savvy do you have to be to study online?

    You do not have to be very computer savvy in order to study online, although having familiarity with software programs like Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word will be beneficial. I also use Excel and PowerPoint in my studies.

    If you do not consider yourself a computer genius, don’t panic. There are plenty of resources available to help you get up to speed on your computer skills. For instance, the University of Phoenix offers very informative technology workshops to help students learn about the technological aspects of online education. I found the workshop to be very helpful. Once you finish it, you will know everything you need to be successful in an online school. And if you are confused but you don’t use this resource to your advantage, then you are cheating yourself.

  10. Can you make friends in an online school setting?

    Yes, you can make friends in an online school setting. I interact with other students through the University of Phoenix’s social networking website. Meeting people is an important part of the college experience and this resource gives me the opportunity to speak with other students. It allows me to see how they feel about their education and where they think it will lead them. That information is a good starting point to find common interests that can lead to interpersonal connections.

Get to know Nancy

Concentration
Associates of Arts in Foundations of Business
Expected Graduation
2015
Total Time Enrolled
6 months
Age
30

Biography

Nancy Lockett is studying to earn her online Associates of Arts in Foundations of Business. She is a first year student at the University of Phoenix.

Nancy decided to study online so that she can stay at home and raise her children. She attends online school because the flexibility of an online program allows her to remain active in her family life while taking classes.