Here's what our DL students are saying about the DL experience at UNF:
- I think I have learned more in this online course than all of the others combined. I have appreciated being challenged and encouraged to discuss important topics with fellow classmates. I appreciated the integration of current events on both a national and global level.
- The work was challenging but I enjoyed it because I was gaining so much important knowledge that I will continue to use. Fast grading with feedback was outstanding. The class had clear instructions and great communication. The course was very well organized and I always knew the expectations. I really gained from the feedback and comments and I was able to improve my grade because of that.
- I think this was probably the most influential course that I’ve ever taken. The instructor did an outstanding job organizing, structuring and setting deadlines for assignments. The course material was relevant toward every assignment and the external sources were so impactful.
- This was a beautifully and carefully structured class and a truly inspired selection of literary texts. I really appreciate the amount of time that [the instructor] clearly spent in creating video lectures and giving personable and detailed responses to everything we submitted.
- The podcasts added mobility and efficiency to my studies - I listened to one while walking my dogs and to several while running on the treadmill at the gym. It was great to knock out both academic and personal tasks at the same time. I really appreciated the fact that [the instructor] was so respectful of our time as to provide us with the podcasts in order to decrease the time we sat in a lecture while allowing ample time to practice our skills.
- Learning was much more accessible. I was able to listen to lectures through my iPod while driving. It was a great time saver, not only for out of class study time, but also in class lecture time. Students had more time to practice skills and the professor had more time available for 1 on 1 attention. One of the best parts of [online] lectures was the ability to listen more than once. With traditional lectures, you only get to hear what the professor has to say one time. A wonderful feature of [online] lectures is the ability to listen multiple times, and learn something new each time you listen.
- Using the Discussions Board allows me to access the thoughts of other students that time in the classroom does not allow for. I have also enjoyed and benefited from the use of the online Chat sessions with the professor.
- I work full time and am also a full time student. Without distance learning, getting my degree would be nearly impossible.
- I think [the online course] was very interesting and at the same time it was very useful, and encouraged me to manage my own time for this class that had no physical meetings. [The online course] also encouraged participation - nobody was going to laugh or make fun of your comments, questions and opinions. The online discussions really encouraged active participation from most students in general. Nobody would base opinions upon color, race, or ethnicity.
And what do our DL faculty think about teaching DL courses?
- I love teaching DL courses because I am able to reach a more diverse group of students than if I were teaching face-to-face. Our program is able to reach working professionals in our field who are interested in continuing their education, but don’t have access to a local face-to-face program. I also like the flexibility that it allows me to work from anywhere!
- A well-developed online learning course or module provides an exceptional opportunity for active learning and student discovery. Knowledge of the technology applications makes this teaching and learning optimization possible, but I believe that my primary focus in teaching online should remain the student and the student’s learning. I always return to the adage of “putting myself in my students’ shoes” and find that this perspective fosters excellence in teaching. I believe that most courses can be taught as effectively, and in some cases better, online than in a lecture hall.
- For private musical instruction, students can watch me perform and discuss concepts online, and view the clips repeatedly, without limitation. It’s like a 24/7 private lesson! And with YouTube access through Blackboard, classic performances that were forever buried in archives are now just a mouse click away. Students now can easily access concert footage which just might change their lives significantly!
- I miss the vitality of in-class discussion, but appreciate how ephemeral those discussions are. I enjoy the permanence of discussion board posts and the opportunities those provide for the class to reflect and respond. I believe this asynchronous dialogue, at its best, can enable more profound learning; there is no place to hide in an online discussion. Every student gets direct, individual feedback each week.