Karen’s Corner: The Virtues of a Virtual Classroom

Karen’s Corner: The Virtues of a Virtual Classroom

Part four of an eight part series, Karen’s Corner outlines advice and insight on going back to school from our very own Dr. Karen Whitham, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs.

Speaking from my own experience, I’ll admit that I was more than a little nervous about going back to school after 20 years in the workplace. The last time I had been in a classroom, it had walls with chalkboards and overhead projectors. I had my doubts about the quality of an online education, and wondered if I was technologically savvy enough to be successful in a virtual classroom. But let me assure you: you’re going to love online learning!

Content and rigor

If you think an online education is in any way inferior to a traditional classroom education, think again. You’ll find the same content and academic rigor that you would expect from any quality academic institution. The only difference is that we’ve eliminated the burden of having to be in the same room at the same time with your professor and peers. Since your classmates work a variety of shifts and often live in different time zones, you’ll be happy to know we’ve eliminated group work and testing, replacing those with final projects you can complete on your own.

User-friendly technology

American Sentinel relies on the world’s most flexible and easy-to-use online learning platform called Moodle. By the end of your first week, you will have mastered everything you need to know to get your assignments, chat with your professors and collaborate with your cohort. There’s no need to purchase expensive software. Moodle is free, open-source software that you can download over the internet, as long as your computer and internet connection meets the minimum requirements.

Classroom interaction

By posting questions to Course Help, students learn from each other by reading the responses to questions other classmates have asked. Or, if you prefer, you can work directly with your professor in a more private way. Your professors are available to you by phone and email, and will respond to your questions quickly and thoroughly – often within a few hour hours, but always within 24 hours on a weekday, or 48 hours on a weekend.

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