BS in Psychology Online
by Keri Stratton Alley
(Bangor, ME, USA)
University of Phoenix was an excellent choice for me because I have to balance single parenthood with college and work. Finding in-person classes that offered flexibility in scheduling was almost impossible. The flexibility of the online course schedule has been exactly what I needed.
However, in my opinion, the courses themselves are not as challenging as their traditional counterparts. I have been greatly disappointed that the difficulty level of the courses has not increased with the course number. A 400 level class should be challenging and I have not yet felt that the courses have stepped up to provide that challenge to my learning experience.
Online professors vary as greatly as in person professors. Each professor not only has his or her personal ideas for submissions and information requirements, they have their own styles of communication. What counts as substantial course participation for one professor may not be credited by another. All of UoP course work is self taught and facilitated by the professor through forum style discussions in the class room.
One thing I missed greatly about being at an online college was the ability to direct the scope of my learning. At physical colleges I had attended previously, I was able to decide which electives I wanted to take in order to support my personal needs for the degree. At UoP there is no such option because the degree is designed for you. I would have appreciated the ability to take a few different classes, as some of the required courses have nothing to do with my desired profession.
The highlight of my online experience has been interaction with my peers. Through the online discussions of topics I have made several friends who challenge me academically as well as personally. I feel that I have ultimately learned more from the conversations with my peers than I did from the professors.
All in all, I am glad I decided to finish my degree online, but I do wish it had been more challenging and better tailored to my professional needs.
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