A year at U of R

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Online Classes

If you're planning on becoming a nurse, get online, and get used to it!

When I graduated from college in 1992, most people had computers in their dorm rooms, but laptops didn't exist. I survived college with a Mac Classic. Color monitors were to expensive to dream of. Then there was a geeky new thing called email...

Here at U of R, everything, EVERYTHING is online. Two of my classes are almost entirely online. We are graded on our class participation in the online chatroom, we hand in assignments in the virtual classroom, and we printout the powerpoint lectures before class. There are computers everywhere; the computer lab, viewing room, next to the hospital beds in the assessment lab, in the library, in the lounge. Next year, I believe they will introduce PDA's for notetaking during physical assessments in lab. They also have an amazing tech support department exclusively for the nursing school, to keep everything running. There is wireless connectivity around the whole building, so you can bring your laptop to class or lab, and connect to the virtual classroom.

This means that the classes never end. Professors send group emails out on the weekends, and at midnight. Got a question? Email your instructor, day or night, and you'll get a response. All communication within the school is via email.

The online lectures are really something. Log onto the classroom, click on the lecture, and media player opens to a video of the instructor teaching, coordinated with slides that play along side it with the lecture, and links.

For one class, we were assigned to watch a movie. No problem. Click on the link, and watch it on you computer, anytime, anywhere. All of the labs have video demonstrations that go with them. You can access them anytime, from any computer.

The end result is whether I'm in class, in lab, in the library, or just in the lounge, I'm always online.