As a member of the on-line adjunct faculty at Florida Tech, I have had the privilege of meeting many students from across our country and some who are serving our great nation. I am totally dedicated to on-line learning. I have been a proponent of on-line educational services for 15 of my 23 years of teaching. Educating myself in this area of teaching began when hybrid classes were first introduced and then when total distance learning arrived, I was began a new phase of my teaching career (as you will see from my profile).
Having acquired my degrees a little later than most, I can truly emphasize time management as an important factor in obtaining your goals. During my undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, I had to balance family, work, commuting, and studying – which I did on subways, trains, busses, and lunch hours – as well as getting up at 4 AM on Saturdays and Sundays to read and write papers. Then, when the family would awake around 7:30, I’d prepare breakfast for the four of us. I kept the rest of the weekend for family!
Plan and stick to your goal. What I would do is develop blocks of time to study, write, read, and prepare for exams. I would do this on a daily basis in order to meet the requirements of different courses. My education was in the virtual classroom, but you have an opportunity to obtain your degree without running to a campus and you can contribute no matter where you are located.
The World Wide Web has allowed me to have students who are stationed around the globe. Remember that no matter how old you are when you obtain that diploma you would be that age anyway. So, you’ll be better off with the degree than without it. You will find that once you adapt yourself to time management you can achieve more and more. For me, I only plan to stop learning on the day I leave this world!
- Time Management, Balance, and Course Selection: Make the commitment to yourself – remember saying NO to someone else is saying YES to the self. This is critical in obtaining your education goals. My suggestion, based on personal experience, is to schedule appointments with none other than you! Make an appointment to read, logon, research, and write! Forty-five minutes to an hour a day make your goals much more manageable and with less pressure.
- Education should be a pleasure and not a chore! I’ve always looked upon education as a hobby! People are passionate about hobbies and not chores! Look at each new class as an introduction to the expansion of one’s mind! Lo and behold, you could be on “Jeopardy” if you only learn to enjoy education more than worrying about that G.P.A. I once had a student who kept writing to me that she didn’t want to lose her 4.0. Wow! 4.0! She earned a B+ and that’s what she received! I later found out that she had only taken two courses prior to mine! So, while it is nice to graduate with honors, don’t get hung up on that. Enjoy yourself and take the time to smell the educational roses in your garden of knowledge that is growing!
- Bring your own perspective to class! We are a diverse society and each one of us can offer another something new to appreciate. The more we share and learn from one another the less fear we have of the subject. Each one of us is unique and can offer thoughts that others would value and appreciate. During the course, we form a new family and while each family member may contribute, we all need to be part of the class to make the overall experience worthwhile. Synergy is the key as it is the on-line compatibility component to a successful on-line family!
- Additional suggestions to assist: Be good to yourself – say YES to your goal! For example, when I applied for my Master’s program, I decided to complete this goal in 18 months – including my thesis. I divided my program into ten areas with completion dates for each section. Sticking to my schedule was a challenge but the “brass ring” became closer and closer to reach with each passing commitment date! As each goal was achieved a sense of accomplishment emerged and the quest – like the Man of La Mancha – became more real!
- Keeping focused allows you to preserve! Keep ahead of your assignments, communicate with other students, and seek an on-line mentor. Read your assignment, write your initial impressions down, and then make a list of questions to ask your classmates. Stay active and not passive! Enjoy the moment of learning!
- I am making this a separate entry because I want it to stand out! If you are having a problem in the classroom or a personal issue that comes up SPEAK TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR, AS HE OR SHE BELONGS TO THE SAME RACE AS YOU – IT’S CALLED HUMAN! So, please enjoy the experience of on-line learning – who knows you too can be a Buddha and achieve total enlightenment.
About Me –
In my academic life, I first studied to become a court stenographer for an Appellate Court and then went back to school for my B.A., M.A, and my Ph. D –which was my birthday gift to myself about 20 years ago! I have been teaching for 23 years and thoroughly enjoy it as one would enjoy a hobby. My wife of 44 years says that she is a “school widow” as opposed to a “golf widow.” We have two married sons and have a granddaughter and a grandson. We take our grandchildren to Maine each as this is “our vacation”: with ice cream for lunch, if that’s what they want. We are fortunate to have built individual relationships with our grandchildren, our sons, and daughters-in-law whom we give “daughter” cards to on their birthdays. We are a four-generation family and my wife and I are truly the middle of the sandwich as we share our daily lives with our parents – my Mom is 98 and my wife’s parents are 86 and 82, ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.