Though these online degree courses, there is still a great deal of interaction and discussion that takes place. The experience offers increased opportunities for learning and helps to relate what is taught to real life concepts and how they are carried out.
“The basic format of on-line course consists of a few basic things. There are readings, of course, and usually assignments, exams or quizzes, and there are generally on-line discussion portions of the course. That is where a lot of the interaction takes place amongst the students and with the instructors. For some courses there are papers and other assignments, but most of the courses I took had those basic elements.
The on-line discussion portion of the class usually had the instructor starting the discussion with a basic question that most people responded to, and throughout the thread, the instructor would moderate the discussion by posing more questions or expanding on concepts that were raised during the discussion portion. So, students would respond to one another, the instructor would respond to the students and it created a really rich conversation on-line that covered a wide range of areas.
The discussion was where a lot of learning took place, and that was where students had the opportunity to share experiences they have from their own careers and their own lives with the rest of the students and, indeed, with the instructors. That was where, you know, you learned a lot about your fellow students, the instructors and a lot about the topics at hand because what I found was that a lot of the students in my courses were actually working in accounting, in my case. So when we were talking about particular concepts, students were able to share their experiences in those areas that really added to the learning and was really refreshing. It was not something that I had experienced as an undergrad because a lot of the students were frankly too young or didn’t have as much life experiences and career background.
Through the on-line discussion portion of the class I was able to understand how some of these concepts and ideas were carried out in real life.”