Student Round Table: Virtual Learning

Student Round Table: Virtual Learning

Online learning has changed education forever — and for the better. It’s no longer necessary to be physically present in a classroom to have access to renowned professors,  gain skills and credentials, and ultimately achieve your personal and professional goals. Yet, while online learning continues to drive positive change in academia, providing nontraditional learners with greater access to these benefits, many potential students remain skeptical about the quality of virtual education.

So, we brought together a group of current students to talk about their experience with distance learning at the University of Cincinnati Online.

Let’s jump right into the big question: how do online classes compare to in-person classes?

Mahnorr T: For me, the quality of work and interactions have been more powerful in the online setting. We’re all here because we want to be, and that makes for a high quality of individuals and work ethic.

Stephanie H: Online classes are different for sure. I think they require more personal discipline.

Trey Q: But there’s a high quality of support too. I’ve received more one-on-one interactions from my UC Online professors than I ever did with my on-campus undergrad professors. It’s much easier to hop on a call and connect for a few minutes instead of scheduling office hour time slots and making a trip across campus for a brief session.

Speaking of quality, how do the online programs compare to the in-person programs? Do you feel you’ve received the same quality of education that you would in a traditional setting?

Sarah C: I do. I’ve gained a well-rounded perspective of my subject and learned valuable skills that will help me as I move forward.

Tova R: I’d argue the quality is better since the workload is so manageable. Even with five children and two jobs, I’m able to keep up with my courses.

Are there any other facets of the online learning experience that you find beneficial?

Mahnorr T: The flexibility!

Richard P: The extensive resources offered.

Apurva P: The ability to study and listen to lectures from the comfort of home — no one judges you if you attend a class in your pajamas!

Has anything about online learning surprised you?

Apurva P: Yes — group discussions and projects are not that hard to do when you don’t have to meet team members in person.

Richard P: I agree. UC Online embraces and provides a platform for group projects and capitalizes on technology to enable this, which mirrors what is occurring in the workplace today.

That is a surprise, as group projects are often considered dreaded assignments. How about those of you who are balancing work and learning? How have your experiences here at UC Online translated to your professional lives?

Rachel C: I was able to apply everything I learned within my current position as an assistant athletic director, and I will continue to carry it with me in all of my future career endeavors.

Sarah C: It’s the professors. They truly care about making sure you get the most out of the program while helping you apply classwork to your career, whether it’s your current job or a future aspiration.

Stephanie H: Pursuing my MBA online dramatically changed how I think about my role within my current company. It’s allowed me to better understand different perspectives and empowered me to influence decisions that consider a wide range of functions. I even earned multiple raises over the course of the program — in total a 50% increase over when I started the program

That’s great to hear, Stephanie! Congratulations. I have one final question before I let you all go: What advice would you give to someone considering applying to UC Online?

Apurva P: Go for it!

Alexis D: You won’t regret it!

Kelli C: If you are considering [UC Online], I would recommend doing it sooner rather than later. My biggest regret is not doing it sooner.

Explore our online programs to discover how you can achieve your goals with a degree from the University of Cincinnati Online; or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

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