Many universities, the University of Florida among them, are swiftly expanding their online course offerings.
Thaddeus Fair, who received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, declared, “The biggest worry I had about the online program was not having face-to-face interaction.”
And why wouldn’t that be his greatest concern?
Learning through in-person dialog with peers and an instructor has long been a strength of the traditional classroom experience. If digital learning experiences can supply the same level of curriculum content, determining their viability will come to down to their success at providing students with a learning community.
Thaddeus and other UF distance-learning students (including service men and women, stay-at-home parents, and ecologists) have commented on the ability of education technology to bridge that gap.
Thaddeus stated, “Having an actual lecture component within program really helps, as does the network of peer support.”
Thom Klein, an Air Force 1st Lieutenant and fellow UF student, added, “When I’m not behind, I have access to lectures and course materials within hours of the on-campus students. Because of this and the ease of communication between myself and my professors, I feel like I’m right there in the classroom, even if I’m on the other side of the world.”
Using tools like video conferencing and lecture capture, online coursework is making impactful educational experiences available to individuals in all sorts of scenarios. Stay-at-home parents, members of the armed forces, and others are able to pursue their first or second degrees, online.
The online learning experience is still in its early stages of development, but teaching methods and education technology are adapting swiftly to meet the explosive demand for distance learning.
Are you interested in seeing how cutting edge lecture capture tech can take your university’s online presence to the next level?