Online learning can be a powerful tool to educate today’s population of students because they are already immersed in it through social media, gaming and the Internet. However, not all students are in the same place when it comes to using technology outside of the everyday uses. But, we want to dispel a few myths in order to prepare prospective students for what to expect in our online courses.
Myth: Online learning requires too much complex technology.
Truth: There are many types of computers, tablets, phones and other devices that are available for educational purposes. However, our programs at Shorter University (SU) require the basics: laptop or PC with an Internet connection. For students who lack either of these, we have student Wi-Fi on campus as well as library computers available to all of our students. All of the campus computers are equipped with the Microsoft Office Suite and other software commonly used by our professors. In addition, students are welcome to any of the campus computer labs during open lab hours. Lastly, we encourage online students to keep their public library accounts up to date in the event they cannot connect to the internet from home, and luckily, many vendors like coffee shops and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi so the internet is never too far out of reach.
Myth: Professors will expect students to be experts on all types of technology on the first day of class.
Truth: We offer an Introduction to Online Learning course to help students acclimate to the online format and our learning management system (LMS), as well as how to submit assignments, post discussions online and more. In addition, our student orientation introduces all students to our LMS. Many of them find the platform to be very intuitive with its ability to sync to cloud software, mobile responsiveness and seamless communication tools.
Myth: Adult students won’t be able to keep up with younger generations.
Truth: Most of our adult learners and online students have found that they have been missing out on the vast amount of information online and are unsure how to access it. Our professors encourage all students to try various ways of completing projects and assignments, and all of those ways come with detailed instructions and step-by-step guides for students. Professors also have online and face-to-face office hours to further assist students.
Myth: Accessing information solely online can be difficult to navigate if you want reliable sources.
Truth: The Georgia Library Learning Online (GALILEO) system is a vast resource for all of our students and can be accessed off campus by using your student identification information. The system houses over 100 databases, that contain thousands of journals, magazines, books, newspapers, images, videos and maps. Students do not need to worry that the information is accurate or not because that part of the work has already been done. This levels the playing field for students whether face-to-face or online.
Students new to SU can rest assured that assistance is available for every level of technological understanding. Our online instructors are experts in guiding students down the path to success and can close any gaps they might find along the way.