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Educational Advising / Student Expectations

Don’t Call it a Course

As the popularity of online learning continues to increase, with more than 6.7 million students in higher education taking at least one online course in 2011, new opportunities are emerging everyday. Some are free to experience while others may involve tuition, registration, or assessment fees. And the offerings extend beyond colleges and universities to include […]


The Many Literacies of Online Learning

You’ve registered for your first online class … what’s next? Taking an online course may be a way to follow your interests as a lifelong learner or pursue specific career goals. Before you get started, you need to know that you’ll learn a lot more than just what is described in the course catalog. This […]


A Starter Guide for Veterans Studying Online

Whether you are returning to school after military service or enrolling for the first time with civilian career goals in mind, there’s a lot to figure out before you start your first class. I not only made the transition myself, from active duty to full-time student, but also assisted students in my first-year seminar courses […]


How to Overcome the Common Challenges of Online Learning

If you aren’t familiar with online learning, but are considering all of your education options, it’s important to factor in the benefits and challenges as you make decisions about what will help you reach your learning and career goals. Last year I answered the following question on Quora: What are the most challenging aspects of […]


Finding an Online Course to Finish Your Degree

In the last several weeks I’ve received two questions from readers related to the topic of locating and enrolling in online courses that would count as part of a traditional degree program. One of the potential benefits of online education is being able to take advantage of not only the convenience of any time, any […]


How Are Online Programs Serving Adult Learners?

Our lives are increasingly busy as we try to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, and adding school to the schedule only extends the list of things we need to accomplish each week. A


Student Debt and the Dream Job

I spent most of last week at the National Career Development Association's (NCDA) Global Conference participating in a wide range of conversations about the roles of the modern career advisor and realities of today's job market. One of the questions that emerged after a session focused on online students was, "How can they balance all […]


Why You Should Consider Earning an Online Certificate

Certificate programs are gaining attention from educators, students, and employers as a way to get college experience and academic credit without having to complete a full degree program. These higher education alternatives, shorter in duration than most degrees, are offered by both for-profit and not-for-profit institutions, and often include online learning options. The wide variety […]


Creating Consistency in Your Online Courses

As a prospective online student you may find that your courses are standardized, meaning that they have been designed to deliver the same content across all sections of a course, and in every academic term, but facilitated by different instructors. These courses share a set of common, reusable elements. This is a direct contrast to […]


What Are Your Expectations of Online Learning?

"Taking an online class" can mean many things and vary greatly by course, program, and school. Students entering online programs often have a preconceived notion of what it will be like, which could be based on traditional courses taken years ago or assumptions about the requirements of distance learning. These impressions, when not accurate, can […]