I’m not sure if it was Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 or Marge Simpson when addressing Springfield blues legend Bleeding Gums Murphy who said, “You always dread the unfamiliar.”
Regardless, it’s true.
As with anything in life, making a decision and diving in the deep end of a new experience can be intimidating. However, the Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education Virtual Open House allows attendees to become acquainted with the unfamiliar aspects of online learning and minimizes the daunting prospects of this brand-new endeavor.
What is a Virtual Open House?
The Virtual Open House is quite simply a 30-minute Webinar hosted by Online Admissions that’s chock-full of useful information about earning your degree online.
So if You Missed the Session, What Did You Miss?
We offer several different Virtual Open House themes—general, hospitality focused, and, most recently, a tour of the online classroom. In an effort to provide an overview and channel my inner David Letterman, I present the top four takeaways from the last session.
1. An explanation of the unexpected connections and friendships found in the online classroom
The traditional learning experience involves a classroom setting, teachers and fellow students gathered in the same room. Interaction is inevitable. One of the biggest surprises of the online experience for those who have yet to try this format is that a similar constant interaction between the students as well as with the professor exists.
Offering the student perspective during the Webinar, Gwen Capers-Wilson ’17 MBA – Hospitality told attendees that she embraced the fact that she was in a class with people from Washington, North Carolina, and Florida. In each course’s discussion forum, students introduce themselves, which allows for connections and bonding. Once Gwen found out that a fellow student had similar interests and experiences, she felt that immediate simpatico bond that prevailed over the miles that were between them. Gwen spoke reverentially about the friends that she made and how they helped her overcome some of the challenges she faced. That is the twenty-first century epitomized better than any video game or social media platform could ever accomplish.
Learn More: Register for our next Virtual Open House today!
2. A look inside the online classroom
During the Virtual Open House, Professor Susan Bastian deftly navigated attendees through the classroom experience. Topics included syllabus review, how to submit assignments, grade assessment, what it looks like to participate in discussion forums, and how to contact the professor. Most professors respond rapidly to email inquisitions and are quickly able to provide information and answers to any questions. Professor Bastian guided the participants through the weekly planning outline, as well as the weekly to-do list.
This online environment is purposefully intuitive: The typical online student has several demands and commitments outside of the classroom—trying to figure out how to navigate the classroom itself shouldn’t be one of them.
3. An explanation of the resources, resources, and more resources available to the online student
In the movie Beetlejuice, if you said “Beetlejuice” three times you would be transported to a different dimension. The JWU College of Online Education doesn’t require you to repeat “resources” three times in order to take advantage of the opportunities available to each student, but we won’t frown on you if you want to do it just for fun.
Whenever a new student decides to become a part of the JWU family, one of the first impressions that have is that there is a plethora of student success resources available immediately. Both Professor Bastian and Gwen spent part of the time emphasizing the abundance of resources available to online students: 24-7 tutoring access, professor involvement, library access, career coaching, interview and résumé tips, and dedicated academic advising and financial planning counseling.
4. An understanding of the Johnson & Wales difference
Gwen stated that she actually waited for Johnson & Wales to launch their online platform before starting down her academic path. She knew that the Johnson & Wales experience is career focused and embraces experiential learning—each course allows the student to experience a “hands-on” education and learn from professors with genuine industry experience.
If you subscribe at all to Einstein’s thought that “any fool can know, the point is to understand,” the JWU College of Online Education Virtual Open House will put you in good standing with the man behind the theory of relativity. After attending, every student should have a better grasp of the overall online experience and a comfortable sense of what effort is necessary in order to be successful.
To attend the next Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education Virtual Open House, RSVP here. If you’re ready to learn more about learning online, complete the “Request Info” form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881 or email email@example.com.