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Perspective: A Year as an Online Student

tracey maiHi, my name is Tracey Mai and I am the Director of Student Immersion and Outreach on ASUU. I am a junior majoring in Health Promotion and Education with an emphasis in Wilderness EMT, and minoring in Pediatric Clinical Research and Chemistry.

The Student Immersion and Outreach Board strives to meet the needs of the University’s students who are over the age of 25, married, have children, are pursuing a graduate degree, are veterans, are returning students, and/or are international students. The board provides programs and resources that help make student life easier and more enjoyable for these nontraditional populations. The goal of the Board is to be a presence of support and community for nontraditional students. Whether that is through connecting students to various services or getting involved in activities and events, the Board aims to make the nontraditional student experience here at the University a rewarding and memorable one.

I cannot speak for the experiences of all students and how the hybrid and digital learning model has affected day-to-day learning. I hope that my perspective roughly describes the impact and learning experiences that I have had as a student at the University of Utah as we adjust from online to in-person classes.

Time management is often a reported struggle for online students. Do you have suggestions for or from your peers?

Relearning time management throughout the online process was definitely a learning curve for me. I found that utilizing the Canvas “To Do” tab helped me know/remember what assignments were due and what was coming up, as well as stay on top of my course work.

Another great resource I used was a physical planner where I wrote my daily to do list and any meetings or time commitments that I had.

What could faculty do to help students better manage their digital learning experience?

I believe that something that faculty could do to help students better manage their digital learning experience is by clearly laying out the course and the assignments, quiz, and exam deadlines. As well as being accessible either through office hours or email for students to easily reach out for any problems or concerns.

What are some examples of things faculty have done that help you feel more connected to the class?

Some things that faculty have done to help me feel more connected to the class is having discussions where we could discuss the course topics with other students or the TA. This was typically offered outside of the class time and did not require attendance.

What device do you typically use for your online courses?

I typically use my laptop for my online courses, and then I take notes on paper.

What is one thing in a course that is most helpful to you as a student?

The one thing in a course that is most helpful to me as a student is having a course schedule provided by the professor that describes what the topic was going to be for that day of class, as well as what needed to be done prior to class (for example, any readings or assignments).

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Last Updated: 4/1/22