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Holding the Virtual Self Accountable
An Online Educator's Obligation

By Brett Hicks / October 2010

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  • Thu, 22 Dec 2011
    Post by Otea Leonard - Students Are People Too!

    Most of Us Try Our Best to Succeed Online!

    As a student of American Public University / American Military University; I find that it is not easy to juggle all that I do throughout my daily life. In addition, this year I just happened to get sick ( which never happened before) and I have just begun to recover.

    I believe it takes much more discipline for an online student to be successful at online learning. It takes dedication and will power.

    Yet of all the things I read and have learned about online learning, I have yet to see or hear that instructors regularly pick up the phone or email or even text students when they've not logged on for a few days.

    That's not to say instructors should become baby sitters yet when things get tough for us as students, that same information and access to US in a digital sense such as email, cell phone, and text- become ways for the instructors to reach out to their students.

    It's something to do with the digital realm or our digital self image. We can feel as if we are just a number sometimes and make no mistake about it; when an instructor calls texts or emails, all they need do is send a copy of the communication between themselves and the student or students to their email account for later reference as to exactly what was communicated. This should be done for legal reasons and after that... full steam ahead!

    Students are people too and when we get lost in the digital world and are floating outside our digital classroom like that of an astronaut outside the space shuttle, it would help for an instructor to sometimes engage us; this would most likely reel us back in!

    Ms. Otea Leonard, Digital Student Communicating in Worldly Form Information Systems Security Major Forensic Science Minor American Public University System American Military University

  • Fri, 15 Oct 2010
    Post by Terry Weatherford

    Late in my career, distance learning became the most common delivery method for professional education within our corporation. I spent countless hours reading, digesting and passing tests on many technical subjects learned at a distance. I can remember a few times when I was tempted (and succumbed) to delay distance learning until the day before the deadline. I paid the price of completing the course during the night before the last day. What knowledge I did ingest overnight did not last very long. I found myself going back to some distance courses for review when I could not remember what I had "learned" well enough to pass the test. In a professional world, no excuses are excepted for a late finish. Too many late finishes can effect your annual performance evaluation which can impact your short term compensation and long term career goals adversely. I applaud the author's willingness to share with distance learners that, ulimately, distance learners are accountable for their own success or lack of it.