Well last week I finished my first course to my bachelor’s degree – with a 99.1% A!
I am happy to say that, for the most part, it was relatively easy. The two most difficult obstacles I found to attending school online were:
1) Finding time to read – After working 8 hours a day, spending at least an hour to two hours a day commuting, coming home to make dinner, and trying to find some time for myself, finding time to read three or four textbook chapters in a week can be quite challenging. Some nights I would crawl in bed, open the book and fall asleep. Yep….it’s that exciting! While I hate reading online and prefer actual books, I found saving the online book in a PDF that I can take with me helps me to catch up on reading during slow times during work. In all actuality, since I don’t have a photographic memory anyway, sometimes reading the entire chapter wasn’t necessary. As long as you know the gist of the discussion and where to find the information during the final exam, you are good to go. Yes, the final exam is open book.
2) Working with teams – As part of the curriculum, I was assigned to a team that had to write one paper each week during the course. Simple, right? Wrong. I thought since I had never done this before, that I was going to be the weak link of the group. Boy was I wrong about that! Our first assignment was to come up with a topic for our 5th week paper. This was in week one. In week two, we had to write a paper on a different topic than the one we chose for week 5. As I started making suggestions, I kept being met with statements like, “Are we changing topics?” or “I thought we were doing our paper on such and such.” I had to explain over and over again that this was a different paper with a different topic and that the topic we had already chosen was for our final week! This discussion took place in an online meeting. As I kept re-explaining the assignment, I was so frustrated that I started yelling at my computer. I thought talking to teens was difficult…apparently, not as difficult as this was. And the room full of kids behind me got a good laugh watching me yell at my screen. In the end, everything was cleared up, and my team did write a couple pretty decedent papers. Hopefully the teams in my future classes will work a little smoother!
So the final week came and I breezed through my final exam, missing only one question. 🙂 I couldn’t be happier. Then, because my last college English course was over ten years old, I had to take an English proficiency exam to determine if I had to retake an English class. I thought this was funny timing since I had just come out of a course writing papers, but so be it. I took the exam, a timed multiple choice grammar quiz and timed written essay. Once again, I aced the test, only missing one multiple choice problem. The essay was a bit more challenging. While being timed already, I had to come up with a common problem, a thesis for the solution to that problem, then write an essay to support that thesis. Time ticked away while I sat staring blankly at my screen trying to come up with a problem. My daughter Virginia piped in and gave me a topic to write about. (Thanks Virginia!). I wrote my essay and also got an A. No need to retake English. Yay! 🙂
So now on to class two! One class down and 16 to go!