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Deborah M Greenough

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Virtual Training at the Florida Metropolitan University
By Deborah M Greenough   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, August 17, 2007
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2007

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A brief look at taking on-line college courses at Florida Metropolitan University.

As an adult student, who decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I chose to take all of my classes electronically. Doing so allows me to work regularly, save on gasoline, and not have to deal with the younger generation of students. I can also complete my class work during the hours that suit my lifestyle.

My first experience with On-Line classes was a bit scary. I was used to having an instructor available to speak with and show me how to accomplish certain assignments. I wasn’t sure if I would have the dedication it takes to be an on-line student but I was persistent and managed to receive an “A” in my first semester. I was now ready to dive in and become a full time electronic student.

There are pros and cons involved in a virtual classroom situation. The first thing that FMU had me do was take a short survey, of sorts, to see if I was even a candidate for on-line training. The questions were fairly simple; geared towards the time, responsibility, and professionalism it takes to succeed. I then needed to have a sit down with one of the school representatives as well as the finance department. Once all of this had taken place, and I was accepted as an on-line student, I was signed up for classes and began my journey.

As my studies unfolded I was aware of the perks received from taking my classes electronically. Perks such as being able to work on my assignments at any hour of the day, not having to travel to and from a brick-and-mortar campus, not having to sit in a freezing room with a bunch of students that were younger than I, and having the ability to use my textbooks to complete my quizzes.

I also realized the challenges affiliated with being a virtual student. Some of these challenges included not having any peers to ask for help or offer assistance to, making sure that I logged in and posted a certain number of times per week, having to work on team projects without actually being around the team and being expected to read and write much more than in a normal class.

It was a difficult start but I have survived and am now a bit of an expert on learning through virtual training. I do suggest that before you make the decision of completing your college degree in an electronic classroom you do your research. Take the time to check out your local colleges to see what they offer. Many campuses offer only a few degrees on line so you want to choose wisely. Be aware of the challenges you will face and the benefits you will reap. Know the policies of the school and speak with the on-line coordinator as well as the degree director. Know what will be expected of you before you jump on board the electronic train of education.

As an on-line student of FMU I have missed out on events that happen within the school. I am considered a student but not seen as one meaning I do not receive recognition from the president or the dean, I do not receive notices as to special occasions, I do not receive job postings or student discounts, and I am not in a situation where I can make friends. On-line training can be lonely at times and it seems easy to just not participate but, you must. As an accredited school my grades are transferable, I will be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony, and my degree will be legitimate. But, on the other hand, I have missed out on the actually college experience.

Virtual learning through FMU, or any other college, is not for everyone. I did my research, I asked questions, I weighed the benefits as they interacted with my life, and I made my choice but, it has been very tough and it won’t get easier. Choose wisely as college is a life-changing adventure and you wan to get the best out of what you decide.

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