The Truth about Advisors

The word “advisor” encompasses many things when dealing with a University. With on-campus Universities, the advisor is most likely a professor/instructor at the school. With online universities, it works a little differently.

how to work with your advisor when taking online classesEach university has its own unique procedures in what their advisors are responsible for. Many times an initial admissions advisor, sometimes known as an admissions representative, will guide you through the application process and your initial financial aid process. It is their responsibility to direct you through the initial application process, retaining any necessary transcripts, work history or other experience that could count towards the degree you choose. This includes helping you make an informed decision about the degree options that would be best suited to your needs.

How to Work with Your Advisor When Taking Online Classes

Once you have chosen your area of study and have been accepted, a new academic advisor is assigned to you, knowledgeable in your specific field. He will counsel you on your first steps, if you are new to the online process. This includes your first class, specifically designed to acclimate you to the online class process. Depending on whether you are full or part time, your advisor will guide you through the classes that will best fit your schedule. A financial aid advisor will be assigned for financial questions.

Academic advisors are trained to know the courses necessary for the degree that you are pursuing.  They will also answer any questions unique to the career or career path that you are seeking. For instance, if the degree you seek is psychology, you will have the further options of going into counseling, research, medical, etc. Having an idea ahead of time will help you tailor your degree. Fear not, though, you have the prerogative to change your path at any time and your advisor will guide you through the steps. The same goes with certificates; whether you choose medical transcription, medical billing, or any other related field, your advisor is there to guide you.

An advisor is concerned with your educational outcome and the career you will be stepping into. An advisor is not responsible for problems you are having with your instructor. That is between you and your instructor. An advisor can help you find alternative classes, however, if you feel the class is not working out for you. But it is your responsibility to know the add/drop dates so that you are not charged. Your advisor will most likely not contact you to see if you like the class or how you feel you are doing.

Chances are your advisor has also taken classes at the university you are attending. They will be familiar with the basic guidelines. But keep in mind that every instructor is different and your advisor may not be acquainted with your particular one. Generally your syllabus and class guidelines will give you all of the information you will need to get through your class.

Students are often reassigned advisors, depending on the circumstances of the university and you will be notified who your new advisor will be. Fear not, the new advisor will be up-to-date on your particular course of action. Most importantly, though, you are the one responsible for keeping up with your classes and your progress. Keep track of your classes, GPA, and future course of action so that, no matter who your advisor is, you know where you are.

For more information, please feel free to contact us.

Completing Homework in the Online Classroom

One of the biggest differences between online and on-campus classroom dynamic is person-to-person contact. While we are not face-to-face with the instructor, oftentimes we can actually have more contact with the instructor. We are less likely to respond in a classroom setting, whereas online, it is a requirement and the instructor schedules in time to grade exams and essays, as well as read each student’s post, including their responses. So the instructor actually gets a better view into a student’s individual personality and a good feel for the overall comprehension within the class group. This can be immeasurable in knowing how to complete homework assignments in the online environment

how to complete homework assignments in  the online environmentOnline courses run on a weekly schedule, whether it is 8 or 16 weeks. For example, class will begin on a Monday and end on Sunday. The first day of class will begin with an introduction from the students and instructor. This is the time to let the instructor and other students in the class know who you are geographically, what your major is, how long you’ve been in school, etc. It also gives you a chance to show a little side of your personality. It’s not a bio, just an introduction. If you are unsure when you first start, there will probably be one or two students who are familiar enough to start the general posts. Just read through those and fill in your own information in your own way. This is an excellent way to gain a good rapport with your instructor as well as the other students. He/she will understand that you are engaged.

Most online universities run the schedule to the left (or the right) of the screen when you are “in” your class. Instructors will post or dictate what the week’s lesson is, including whatever readings, websites, research, etc. that needs to be done in order to fulfill the week’s requirement. You will have until Wednesday or Thursday to respond. Additionally, you will need to respond to at least two other students who have posted. The instructor expects these to be well thought out answers, and your response will be included in your grade, so consider them part of the weekly assessment.

Depending on the university, you can look ahead and get a feel for the work coming your way. Most syllabi will cover most of it. Don’t rely on the syllabus alone. Instructors generally add vital information at the beginning of the week through their own post.

In most classes there will be some sort of assessment at the end of each week, be it an online exam, amount of online homework completed, or an essay. Sometimes, in addition to posts, there are other activities that involve other students, who will be depending on you for part of their grade, whether it is helping with research or in submitting the final project.

Most times the instructor will not overwhelm you with material, but sometimes, particularly in upper level courses, there is a lot of material to cover and comprehend for overall comprehension. Some classes, such as mathematics, have online homework that gives you instant feedback. It is also included in your final grade. This is especially useful for students struggling to understand a concept, but it can also throw you behind if you get caught up in one particular section. Email your instructor, another student in your class or the university’s student services if you have any problems.

Falling behind in one class will also jeopardize any other classes you are in so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself mentally. Accept ahead of time that this can happen and prepare physically to thwart any hills coming your way. Mostly this means just being present, in class, in activities and in reading the material assigned.

Commit yourself openly for the first couple weeks until you can get a feel for completing expectations. Measure your homework against any other classes you have as well as your own personal schedule. Keep in mind, of course, that the class itself will become more demanding as the course progresses. Most students will find that they fare better in their own major classes. Consider balancing one in your major and one outside requirement so that you don’t have two classes that bog you down.

Again, instructors aren’t usually trying to overwhelm you, but sometimes there is a lot of reading and research involved. Making sure you have enough time to complete the requirements and comprehend the lessons for the week will most assuredly help you pass the class. For more information contact us.

How to Deal With Conflicts With Your Online Instructor (And Maintain A Positive Relationship)

Online instruction is becoming more and more popular as a form of education, and why not? Students pay less for the courses, they have more flexibility on their time, there’s no need to show up to a physical classroom, and as long as students have an Internet connection they can get the lessons they need. Some things never change though, and one of those things is conflict between students and instructors.

Fortunately for students though it’s often possible to resolve conflict with an instructor by taking measured, reasonable steps.

how to deal with conflicts with your online instructorHow to Deal With Conflicts With Your Online Instructor

Step One: Remove Emotion, Define the Conflict

The first step to resolving conflict with your online instructor is to take a deep breath, and relax. Conflict by its very nature can lead to hot tempers and angry demands, so it’s best to take a day or so and make sure you can think through the conflict before you do anything you might regret. Once you’ve calmed down examine the situation on its facts; is there a conflict here? If there is, can you define what it is? Maybe it’s the way your instructor graded your essay, or you need to get an extension on a project due to extenuating circumstances, but make sure you can define it simply.

Step Two: Contact Your Instructor And Arrange A Meeting

Online instructors, just like physical ones, will have office hours or days when it’s best to contact them (you’ll find the information in your syllabus). Email or call your professor and ask if you can schedule a meeting at a given time or on a given day. If a face-to-face meeting is possible that’s typically the best option, but if you can Skype or discuss things over a phone call that’s often better than discussing your situation purely through text since there’s facial expression, tone of voice, etc. to help convey meaning.

Step 3: Lay Out The Situation and Your Problems With It

When you have your meeting lay out the situation as you see it, and the difficulties you’re currently facing. Don’t make accusations or try to lay blame, but instead try to reach across the aisle and communicate openly. If you don’t understand something then ask for clarification. Once you’ve laid out the situation as you see it, ask if what you’re seeing is accurate, and give your instructor time to explain his or her side of things.

Step 4: Discuss Possible Solutions

Once the problem has been laid out the next step is to discuss methods that can be taken to solve it. If you feel that your grade on an essay wasn’t as high as deserved an instructor might be willing to consider your points and alter the final grade. Alternatively the instructor might suggest that he or she review your next paper to ensure that you get the grade you want. It’s important to work with your instructor to find a solution that’s fair and reasonable.

If you go through all of these steps you’ll be able to bring your concerns to your instructor, and hopefully find solutions to fix the problem as it exists. There’s no guarantee that it will work, but if you’re respectful, honest, and open about the issues you’re having then you’re much more likely to get them resolved than if you aren’t.

For more information on dealing with online courses and conflicts simply contact us today!

Anatomy and Physiology in the Online Classroom

Why Is It Important to Learn Anatomy and Physiology?

A very wise farmer once said, “Before you do anything, you gotta dig a hole. Then you can fill that hole with the foundation you need to build anything you choose to build.” (Wm Hugh Smith Sr.). This statement is especially true when it comes to taking an Anatomy and Physiology course online.

why it is important to learn anatomy and physiologyThink of taking an Anatomy and Physiology class as digging a hole and building a foundation for the healthcare classes that come later. Although there may be other healthcare classes that may seem like more fun, skipping an Anatomy and Physiology class can short circuit your medical knowledge and stunt your career growth in the healthcare field. This is one reason why Anatomy and Physiology classes are mandatory for all healthcare students.

Anatomy and Physiology introduces you to the basic concepts and fundamental medical terms used throughout the healthcare industry. It helps you understand how parts of the body work alone and together to keep us alive. It also shows you what these parts look like when they are healthy and unhealthy, and when something goes wrong with a certain part of the body. Think of the parts of the body as a rubber band that stretches in many different directions. If the rubber band pops, you have to understand what caused it to pop and what needs to be done to fix it.

Armed with more than just a basic understanding of the human body and the ways in which it should work, a healthcare professional can more readily identify what may be working correctly and what may be working incorrectly. It becomes much easier to spot these differences when you understand what you are seeing. Once you are able to identify the problem it becomes easier to treat.

With Anatomy and Physiology as your basic foundation, you gain a solid understanding of the human body and how it works, as well as the terminology used to describe the human body. With this level of knowledge, you won’t just be able to do your job, you will be able to do your job well because you be able to make the right decisions from a healthcare standpoint, regardless of the nature of your job in the medical field. This enhances your reputation as a healthcare professional.

Enrolling in online classes is a good way to learn the fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology because  you can schedule your study time around family and work responsibilities. Contact us for more information on the benefits of learning Anatomy and Physiology in the online classroom!