IntroductionOne of the great expectations that many people mistakenly have about online learning is that you can just sign up for a course, call your ISP, and bingo! He will come out as the oon-review-who-is-ryan-moran/ of the Melbourne Cup. Sounds good, but is far from reality. In this issue I would like to tell you about Peter and Paul, professors at one of Australia’s most prestigious open universities.
Of course, the names have been changed to protect your privacy (and keep me out of trouble?). Back when I enrolled in an online college program back in the dark, technologically dark days of 1996, the enrollment process consisted of completing a three or four page document and emailing it to the university. At this point, the system was not ready to handle scripting languages and forms sent directly from the university’s website. After a few days Please wait, I received an email response from the university administration in that the fees were charged to my credit card and that I was enrolled.
The message included my student number, password and a link to the online learning site. I would have to go there before the start date, the email said, and log in to my personalized home page. First stepsRegistration The registration procedure went quite well. On the screen in front of me were links to the two courses I had signed up for.
I spent some time exploring each link, which, as expected, led me to a course homepage with more links to a welcome message from my teachers, a list of other course participants, reading lists, tools, a chat room, and a few other things, like a page from which you can submit assignments. My experience had begun and even at my mature age I was very excited to go back to college. I’ve been an adult educator for around 20 years, so it wasn’t just the content of the
topics that interested me. I was also interested in how the topics are taught.