One of the earliest examples of distance learning was an advertisement for a short hand correspondence course that appeared in the Boston Gazette in 1728. (Wikipedia, Distance Education)
And almost 300 years later, Wilmington University offered its first online course. In the fall of 2007, a BBM 300 level class was given a trial run. The course wasn’t promoted, it was just quietly introduced. At the conclusion of the course, staff members were enlisted to call each student to get feedback.
Wilmington University has come a long way since then. After this trial period, we started promoting online programs in 2008. Our first programs offered fully online were Human Resource Management and Business Management.
Today, in the spring of 2014, Wilmington University offers over 80 online programs – undergraduate and graduate, concentrations, and certificates. These programs cover a huge range of subject matter, from behavioral science to computer security, sports management and health care administration. Even traditional degree programs include classes online.
Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) is an industry and educational buzz phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. Businesses and educational institutions have modified their rigid technological requirements in favor of a more relaxed acceptance of employees and students using their own technology in the workplace and classroom.
For online students, using your own technology is nothing new. And students that choose to attend classes completely online must rely completely on their own ability to manage technology.
Faced with a dizzying array of technology tools, laptops to desktops, tablets and smartphones, how do online students decide which tools will work best for them?
Sometimes students don’t make any new choices, but simply use their home computing system without investing or changing technology when they enroll in an online course. And that’s fine.
Wilmington University’s recommendations for students interested in online education are very basic:
convenient internet access
online research capability
computing skills that include proficiency with Microsoft products, including Word and PowerPoint
Wilmington University also recommends the use of certain internet browsers.
For the student interested in buying new devices or software, your status as a Wilmington University student entitles you to educational discounts at Dell, Apple, and JourneyEd. Com. You can find student purchasing information on this page.
Is BYOD liberating or nerve wracking? When you are buying technology, do you consider your needs as an online student?
How do you take notes these days? Can you type faster than you can write with pen and paper? If you’re using your laptop to type notes during lectures or meetings, you may want to rethink that practice. The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/taking-notes-by-hand-benefits-recall-researchers-find/51411) recently reported on a new study of note taking practices. This study shows that students have a much higher rate of knowledge retention and comprehension when handwriting notes rather than typing.
“When I type notes, I find that I’m not really listening and comprehending the information. It seems it goes in one ear and out the other while transcribing what the speaker is saying,” said Adam Voyton, Instructional Technology Project Specialist at Wilmington University’s Educational Technology Department.
There’s a scientific basis for Voyton’s impression. An experiment conducted by Jean-Luc Velay at the University of Marseille (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119095458.htm) demonstrated that the brain uses different areas when writing longhand as opposed to typing. Writing by hand engages the sensorimotor memory part of our brain that helps us recognize letters.
The report in the Chronicle of Higher Education states that even though note taking on a computer results in more detailed transcribed notes, long hand note takers have more conceptual understanding of the material, and in some cases, even more factual recall.
But fans of technology shouldn’t despair. Instead of a pencil, why not break out a stylus pen and take notes on a tablet? You’ll have the best of both worlds – the advantage of notes taken electronically combined with the higher brain retentive action of long hand writing.
Khushbu P. is yet another Wilmington University student who is busy expanding her future through a co-op experience at SSD Technology Partners. A Computer and Network Security major, Khushbu desires to work in the information security field after graduation, in hopes of landing a position with a government agency. She feels her co-op experience has helped her get closer to attaining that goal because of the hands-on experience she is immersed in from day to day.
Obtaining this hands-on experience was the very reason Khushbu contacted Office of Cooperative Education director David Caffo about co-op opportunities. Her advice to other students who might be considering the co-op program? Take advantage of the free elective space in their programs. “Most students don’t use free electives to their benefit, and I thought the co-op program was a wonderful idea. It gives students the opportunity to see how the real world works, to get experience to put on their résumés, and this helps them land a job faster.”
Vienna, an undergraduate Information Systems Management major and Math minor, obtained a co-op position within Wilmington University’s Office of Institutional Research. When asked what prompted her to pursue a co-op position, Vienna cited her busy lifestyle: “I love being on the move and constantly doing something, so the co-op position seemed like the perfect solution.”
Vienna’s post-graduation goal is to obtain a full-time job working for Disney, and she feels her co-op experience has helped her toward attaining that goal because of the valuable workplace skills she has gained. Vienna says she has learned relevant computer skills, has become more detail-oriented, and has become a more confident and skilled communicator thanks to her co-op experience. Through her work as a co-op, Vienna feels she is a useful and helpful asset to the University. Wilmington University co-ops like Vienna contribute significant work to their organizations – work that is also relevant to their field of study and/or career focus.
When asked if she would recommend the co-op program to other students, Vienna says, “Absolutely! This experience has been so wonderful and I have gained so much. I hope that everyone else gets the chance to have a similar experience.”
A series of conversations with Dr. Sallie Reissman, Senior Director of Online Learning and Educational Technology at Wilmington University, a leader in the field of online learning. Since 2000, she has guided Wilmington University as the institution first implemented online course work, leading to fully online courses in 2007 and then the fully online degree programs that Wilmington University offers today._______________________________________________________________________ Do you think electronic textbooks will eventually replace textbooks?
Dr. Reissman says, “Yes! There will probably always be printed fiction books, but textbooks will surely go completely digital sometime soon – just like newspapers and magazines. Textbooks have learning concepts that change often, particularly in scientific fields.”
Traditional textbooks are similar to old ‘static’ online courses, lacking in interactivity and student feedback.E-textbooks take learning further with interactive elements. Don’t know a word? You can instantly define it within an e-textbook. Plus, students can instantly test their comprehension of the material within some e-textbooks. Built in videos add to the experience and deepen learning.“Plus, e-books are green,” said Reissman, “so there’s no cost for printing. It’s faster to deliver the content to students, and easy to update the edition.”“However, the e-publishing industry is still evolving,” she said, “I would advise e-textbook publishers to include high quality learning objects and plug-ins to their textbooks.”Have you taken a class that used an e-textbook? What was your experience?
Jennifer is an undergraduate Marketing major who is currently in her senior year at Wilmington University. She heard about the co-op program from the instructor of her Consumer Behavior course, and decided to pursue a co-op position in order to gain relevant work experience for a career in marketing. “It was a good way to get my foot in the door,” Jennifer says.
Jennifer obtained a co-op position right here at WilmU, in the University Relations/Marketing department, and the experience has been very rewarding. Jennifer says, “I really like that this department includes me. I get invited to every meeting.” She has been developing her skills in advertising, particularly Google Analytics and Google AdWords. By promoting these valuable skills through the social networking site LinkedIn, potential employers have already reached out to Jennifer – and she has not even graduated yet! In addition, the co-op program’s flexibility has allowed to keep her two other jobs while attending school full-time.
Jennifer’s story is a great example of how a co-op position provides hands-on experience related to a student’s major field of study or career focus. Gaining practical on-the-job experience, developing confidence, gaining professional contacts, and testing applications of academic theories are just a few of the ways students can benefit from a co-op position.
A series of conversations with Dr.Sallie Reissman, Senior Director of Online Learning and Educational Technology at Wilmington University, a leader in the field of online learning. Since 2000, she has guided Wilmington University as the institution first implemented online course work, leading to fully online courses in 2007 and then the fully online degree programs that Wilmington University offers today._______________________________________________________________________
Susan Cain’s latest book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts, has started a lot of people talking about the differences between introverts and extroverts and how they function in society. We asked Dr. Reissman who she thought would perform better in an online classroom, introverts or extroverts?
She said, “The beauty of online learning is it works for any type of person because of the variety of communication options. The student is in charge of their communication preferences.”
In face to face courses, extroverts can take over the conversation and introverts may not speak up. Introverts may feel shy, or they just prefer to take some time to think and plan their response. Extroverts like to talk through their thought process.
“Online learning allows both types of learners to participate fully,” said Dr. Reissman.
Extroverts can reply to a discussion board by recording themselves with a webcam and uploading their response to Kaltura (WilmU’s video building block within Blackboard). Introverts can write their thoughts down and take their time responding to the instructor. An introvert that has difficulty making eye contact might find an online video response ideal.
With an online classroom, the playing field is leveled to provide equal opportunities.
Giving students equal opportunities to learn is a key component of the set of principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Sandra Bennett is an Instructional Designer for Online Learning at Wilmington University, and the winner of the 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award – Exemplary Course. Her expertise in UDL has led her to encourage her students to try new methods of expression and action while she provides appropriate supports.
“I have found that in my online courses that it is best practice to offer many opportunities for alternate engagement, representation, and action,” said Bennett. “I have also made small adjustments to course materials and evaluation methods that have created tremendous benefits for my students and myself.”
By recognizing that students – introverted and extroverted – come with many different kinds of knowledge, aptitudes, and needs, UDL breaks down barriers to learning that may have existed in a face to face classroom.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does that affect your learning, online or in a traditional classroom?
On March 11, 2013, Wilmington University launched its Online Student Association! Since the launch, many online students have participated in introductory discussion boards, networking, idea sharing, offering support and many opportunities within the organization. The online student association is a way for online students to communicate with each other outside of the classroom setting. The idea has taken off and is benefiting students in many ways. The club is open to all Wilmington University students and is a great way to connect. Check it out!
“We are excited to open up the Online Student Association,” said Kelly Clayton, the Online Student Navigator. “It opens a new pathway for our students who are taking classes from a distance to connect with the Wilmington University community.”
Kelly Clayton is the Online Student Navigator. Her goal is to support students taking online classes. Please feel free to contact her to ask questions, express concerns, and share ideas.
Join the Online Student Association to network with other students, faculty, and staff in a relaxed atmosphere outside of the classroom. Get your online learning readiness profile using SmarterMeasure.
Work Phone: 302-356-2454
Connect with the Navigator
Our mission is to provide Wilmington University students with the resources and guidance needed to effectively complete their classes.
One-on-One Appointments can be scheduled around your availability. To request an appointment, please complete the form below. The Online Student Navigator will then contact you to set up an appointment.
Christina is working on her Masters in Administration of Justice with a concentration in Criminal Behavior. She has 3 classes left (including the one she is currently enrolled in) and her GPA is 3.89. She received her Bachelors in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware. She also received a Paralegal Certificate with a concentration in Criminal Law from Widener University Legal Education Institute, where she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Christina resides in Northern Virginia. She was just inducted into the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
This Blackboard Organization has been created to serve as a virtual community for WU students that are taking online classes. Participants will have a chance to network with other students, faculty, and staff in a relaxed atmosphere outside of the classroom.
Watch this short video to learn more about the Online Student Association!
You can interact from a distance by participating in various online activities:
Participate in a Discussion Board. You can enter to win a $25 Visa Gift Card by participating in the discussion board of the month!
Each month, students will have the opportunity to attend an online group meeting. The purpose of this meeting is for students to ask questions, express concerns, and share ideas. This meeting will be held using Blackboard Collaborate – a webinar tool similar to Skype.
Participate in a Wiki.
Read about previous students have been selected as Student of the Block. Also, learn how to apply to be the Student of the Block for an upcoming term.
Please take in some helpful tips regarding assignments and blackboard
Read all directions to the assignment and read carefully to meet assignment criteria
Some courses may only have one attempt per assignment. If you have a problem uploading and are not able to attempt a second time, you will need to contact your instructor and ask to clear the first attempt
Do not submit your file as .odt or .pages file format. Please save your document as recommended .rtf, .docx, or .doc file format to upload
Do not name your file with any periods in the naming convention. It is a good idea to name your document with your last name and name of the assignment. File names should not contain blank spaces or special characters.
How Do You Develop Online Learning Skills? Adult learners are finding the convenience and flexibility of online learning a match for their learning goals and busy lifestyles. This study was developed to provide perspective and to identify useful strategies that online learners can utilize for their online courses.
Develop a time-management strategy
Make the most of online discussions
Put knowledge to work through collaborations
Make questions useful to your learning
Communicate the instruction techniques that work
Make connections with fellow students
These techniques can promote a rich learning experience for students and provide a foundation for them to develop the necessary skills to succeed.
Would you like to check your paper for plagiarism before your final submission? SafeAssign allows students to submit papers that are checked against comprehensive databases of source material. An originality report will then be generated in a time period ranging from a few minutes to 72 hours. Even if your instructor doesn’t use SafeAssign, find out how to enroll in our free course which offers an area for SafeAssign. Click this link to learn more about self-enrollment: http://www.wilmu.edu/blackboard/toolsresources/safeassign_ssc.aspx
After completing self-enrollment in our Blackboard course, DEPT.SSC.TUTORING – SSC Tutoring, you can navigate to the course menu and select SafeAssign; then you can select a numbered SafeAssignment to upload your paper. Check your paper for plagiarism- better to be safe than sorry! Only YOU can see your SafeAssign report. To gain more understanding about SafeAssign, click this link: http://www.wilmu.edu/blackboard/toolsresources/safeassign.aspx
The Wilmington University Relations Department is looking for online students who would like to share their unique Wilmington University online learning experience in a short video piece. We are looking for individuals who live within one hour of the New Castle campus. University Relations can arrange to travel to you! This is a great opportunity for current students to share about your experiences communicating with your instructors and classmates and using Wilmington University’s online technology (Blackboard, webcams, email, etc.) Please email your response to email@example.com by Monday, 9/24/12 and give us a brief summary of your story. If you’re selected, we will contact you to arrange to meet for the video shoot. We look forward to your responses!
Summer Block 2 classes begin on Monday, July 9th 2012. Check out more important dates on the Wilmington University Academic Calendar. Remember that online courses begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday.
Did you Know?
Wilmington University currently has 3,698 students taking at least one online course?! Online courses allow you to squeeze that extra class in without having to travel to campus or enjoy all of your courses in the most flexible format available.
The goal of the Library is to provide students with the resources and skills necessary to become self-directed life-long learners. There is much more available than you might realize when it comes to research materials and it is all at your fingertips. Did you know you can receive individual assistance directly from a librarian at Wilmington University? did you know you have access to over 5,000 e-books as a student? the materials available are endless and you may never have to leave our library website for your research!
This is a great way to learn for the first time or enhance your skills on many different kinds of software we sue every day. The layout is very organized and it is easy to find the specific information you are looking for.