Online classes a good option for busy students
>>Theresa Bierer: More than 2200 Northern
Arizona University students are taking online classes this spring semester. There are many
reasons people choose an online learning environment but for many people the reason is convenience.
Meet Owen who just turned one, he gets to hang out in the comfort of his living room
mastering his walking skills, while his mother attends class. Jen Morris is a distance learner,
taking her parks and recreation classes online instead of going to a classroom.
>>Jen Morris: It’s really at your fingertips whenever you want it, I can sit there at 7am
or I can jump online at 11pm. So it’s all up to me when I want to log in, it just works
really well.>>Bierer: In addition to taking her online
classes at home and spending time with Owen, Morris also works at Sedona several days a
week creating additional scheduling challenges. She says convenience was a big part of her
decision to look into NAU’s program offerings and she’s enjoyed other benefits as well.
>>Morris: Something that I was doing before I got into NAU’s distance learning program,
I was going to a private school. Which was great, the only downside to me it was costing
me a lot of money and I was required to be away from my family for big lengths of time
so that was really hard for me. I found NAU’s distance learning program through some friends,
I really wasn’t sure how that worked and as I started learning about it, oh man, it just
seemed the right thing for me.>>Bierer: Morris said she had to make some
changes in her schedule this semester and the university staff was very accommodating.
As more and more students like Jen Morris choose to take classes form a remote location
the university has worked to meet their needs with a distance learning service center.
>>Terri Hayes: We are here to act as a one stop shop for online students, because they
can’t come to the mountain campus and see different, interact with different offices
face to face, we serve them by having them call into us and liaison with the other departments,
whether it be financial aid, the bursar, student life.
>>Bierer: The distance learning service center also helps students like Morris with technical
issues that might come up like discovering how to take an online class. After students
enroll they receive support and many distance learning tips.
>>Hayes: Make sure their email account is set up, those kinds of things, and then access
the course right away on the first day it’s available, read through the syllabus material/requirements,
understand when there might be a discussion required or if there are any requirements
that would require them to log on at a specific time during the day, understand kind of the
boundaries of the course.>>Bierer: Most online courses have regular
deadlines like classes taught in person and Jen Morris says she has frequent interaction
with her instructor and fellow students, mostly over the internet. One thing that Morris says
she appreciates about her course content is that her material relates directly to her
current and future career.>>Morris: Through my education, through PRM,
parks and recreation management some of the classes I’ve taken have just related completely
to what I’m doing today. Entrepreneurial classes, just leadership things and I’ve utilized those
classes in everyday work life, every class is just getting me closer to hopefully that
business person and outdoor person that I want to be. So I really take, use those classes
for what I’m doing today.>>Bierer: Morris says she might choose to
take classes on the NAU campus in the future, but right now she says she’s thoroughly enjoying
the flexibility of her college experience and the time she gets to spend with her family.