Many students believe online courses do not require meaningful communication. The online pedagogical framework that VCU faculty employs stresses the importance of creating a shared learning experience between students, their peers, and their instructors. Meaningful communication is an important element for each of our online classes.
Correct! VCU's online courses are designed with collaboration in mind, and you will be expected to have sustained communicate with your peers and instructors. We believe that communication leads to a shared learning experience that is highly valuable for students and faculty. Additionally, the ability to "speak up" and ask your instructor questions about assignments and the technology being used is critical to your success.
It is important for students to already know these basic technical skills: 1) Use a browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer) 2) Use a search engine 3) Send and receive email 4) Save files to a hard drive or flash drive and 5) Use word processing software like Microsoft Word. But a more in-depth understanding of technology does not ensure student success. Students enter online classrooms with a broad range of technological skills, and their success hinges on more important factors such as proper time management and good communication skills.
Correct! A widespread belief among student populations is that online classes require a high degree of technological savvy. This is simply not the case. VCU faculty and support services are there to aid students with technological issues that may arise so students can focus on learning.
Online courses allow students more autonomy in crafting their schedules, but online classes at VCU stress the importance of interaction and collaboration. In order to collaborate successfully, it is essential for you to allot time to discuss assignments with peers and faculty and to complete tasks within the timeframe your instructor provides.
Correct! Although online classes allow students more scheduling flexibility than traditional courses, online learning at VCU is interactive. Because you are often asked to collaborate with your peers, you will need to allot time to interact with them on a regular basis. Additionally, you must complete all assignments based on your instructor's timeframe. Online courses are not equivalent to correspondence courses, and, thus, managing your time, striking an appropriate balance of your work, personal, and educational life, is a skill that will help to ensure your success.
Correct! Online courses at VCU are just as rigorous as our on-campus courses. Credits earned in our online courses are identical to those earned in the traditional on-site setting, and degree and certificate programs we offer are equivalent to those obtained in the traditional setting. Just like our on-site classes and degree programs, our online courses and degree programs require you to commit to your education by taking responsibility for your learning, communicating effectively in your courses, and skillfully managing your time.
Many learners believe that the traditional classroom environment is more challenging than virtual academic contexts. However, this assumption is inaccurate. VCU's online courses are identical to credits earned in the traditional on-campus setting, and the degree and certificate programs we offer are equivalent those obtained in the traditional university setting. Our online courses and degree programs require the same level of commitment as traditional on-site classes and challenge our students to take responsibility for their learning and be active and engaged learners.
Although it is true that online students must take responsibility for their learning, it is simply not the case that online learning occurs in a vacuum. Taking full responsibility for your learning entails identifying useful academic support services that VCU offers. For instance, the Writing Center can help you to discover and explore the subtle nuances of your written ideas and the Campus Learning Center can assist you in strengthening your understanding of aspects of your courses that you may have trouble with.
Correct! It is important for online students to take responsibility for their learning, and such responsibility entails being aware of academic support services that VCU offers. The Writing Center, Campus Learning Center, and many other resources provide online academic support to our online students.