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The Library


Brick and Mortar, or Cyber School

(Continued from 1)

Be Cognizant of Deadlines

Equivalent to attending a traditional setting, deadlines are to be met. Students can call or email a professor before class to explain any challenges or ask questions. Be that as it may, my cyber professors were very strict. Once a deadline was set, it was set in stone. All work, including research papers, postings and exams had to be completed within a specified time frame. Checking your syllabi for all of your classes will help you keep track of your deadlines. In contrast, deadlines in a traditional setting can be altered. (For example, it's very difficult to get to school during a natural disaster.) Just like a professor will verbally remind you of exams and assignments, online professors will send reminders via email or post on discussion boards. However, you must check your email and discussion boards daily.

Class Participation without Procrastination

Not unlike a brick and mortar setting you must participate in class. While in cyber class, participation includes posting answers to professor's questions and peer reviews. All participation is communicated via the school's email or discussion boards. Not posting on the discussion boards is equivalent to not showing up for class. In a regular setting one must be mindful of verbal comments about another student's work. The same is true online. In one of my classes the professor placed us into teams to complete a project. She left it up to us to nominate a team leader. Well, one student, (I'll just call him student X) took the reigns and became a self appointed leader. Most of us didn't mind except one person, (student Y). X and Y disagreed about everything. Eventually, the professor had to separate the two into different groups.

Procrastination is a big obstacle to overcome in either setting. You still need to successfully manage your time to complete all assignments.To help eliminate distractions I scheduled my time for school work early in the morning and late at night after my son went to bed.

Overall, I found that online discussions and interactions were just as beneficial to my learning experience as a traditional campus. I really enjoyed the peer review and giving and receiving feedback from the other students. At graduation it was wonderful to actually meet my classmates and professors. I look forward to obtaining my master's degree in a cyber university.

Christine earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media (formerly Culture and Communications) online from the Cuny School of Professional Studies. She currently lives in New York with her son Jared who is 12.

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