After a more than decade-long break from educational endeavors, I got back on the path to getting my degree at the beginning of this year. I’m nearing the end of my third semester and am so very thankful for online classes. They make it possible to continue working 50-60 hours a week while still gettin’ me some learnin’. I can view lectures, complete homework, and take tests online from anywhere I happen to be.
We use a system called Blackboard for the online classes. It’s pretty good. Discussion boards, library links, relevant videos, chat capabilities, course materials, and links to textbook publisher sites all make it very useful. My university also uses it to post information of interest to students and graduates: notices on job fairs, campus events, etc. There’s room for improvement but overall, I really like Blackboard.
When I have an annoying professor, I can roll my eyes without fear of retribution in grading. I can fast-forward past boring or unnecessary portions of the lecture. Once, after twenty minutes of a lecture, I’d had enough and screamed at my monitor, “He is! They are!” Blackboard/Tegrity benefit: My cat was the only one startled by my outburst. I mean, come on, buddy. I know we’re in Alabama and this isn’t a composition class but this is a four-year university. I’m paying a boatload of cash out of my own pocket for my education and I deserve proper grammar from my professors. /end whine
I’ve been taking two classes per semester up to this point but I have a path and a plan that will have me graduating in mid-2012. That plan includes taking five classes next semester…
…because I’m insane.
While I plan to start taking at least one class per semester on campus, I will continue to take most of my classes online. Fortunately, since I will no longer have any kind of personal life whatsoever, I was quite pleased to see that the folks running our Blackboard have decided to include humor with the other postings.