I teach the Principles of Microeconomics course online. The semester started Monday, and I already have two stories to illustrate the value of online learning to our students.
Mr. M (not his real name)
In response to my “Welcome to your Online Principles of Microeconomics Course” email to all my students this past Sunday, Mr. M replied:
“Thank you so much for the warm welcome into the course. This is my first online course through this institution. I have taken online courses before because it works great with my schedule. In light of this, I have work on the days you are available for your office hours. I…hope we can find a time that is convenient for the both of us”
Mr. M has taken courses online from other institutions and, now that he is a U of A student, found a viable option here that meets his needs and his expectations. Mr. M and I will search for an alternative time to meet, using our Blackboard Collaborate tool. As long as we meet student needs for flexibility – without sacrificing the quality of our courses – students will want to learn online.
Mr. V (also not his real name)
Mr. V is senior international student working on his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Aerospace & Materials), Physics (Computational), and Mathematics (Applied). He had to return home for a surgical procedure and, while recovering, wants to continue steady progress toward graduation. He contacted me to see if he could still enroll for my Online Principles of Microeconomics course. Although I had to inform him that my class is full, the U of A has another option for him in the form of Self-Paced Online Correspondence Courses (SPOCC), and Principles of Microeconomics is offered in this format. So Mr. V has the option to take a course with award-winning teacher Dr. Robert Stapp, enroll at his convenience (start dates for SPOCC are offered twice a month), and make progress academically while recovering from surgery.
Two of How Many?
Online education offers flexibility for our students without sacrificing the standards and expectations of any other course offered by the University of Arkansas. I know about these two students because they’ve been in contact with me this week. I wonder how many others there are.