Online Learning Technologies: Courses Through Constellation
The idea of earning a college degree hundreds of miles away from the actual classroom with classmates scattered across the country might seem scary at first.
Students quickly discover that learning at an online university is very similar to learning in a brick-and-mortar classroom. They’ll also find that many of the differences are advantages, not hurdles.
At Ashford University, technology works for our students rather than the other way around. Students have access to an education on multiple platforms, from desktop computers to smart phones. They also don’t need to buy cumbersome textbooks since they can receive information in ways that work best for them. Students benefit because Ashford has hit the sweet spot between scheduling, flexibility, and accountability.
At Ashford, students can access classes anywhere they have a WiFi signal or data plan. The Constellation® platform is available for computers or tablets, while Ashford Mobile brings the University to iPhone® and Android™ smart phones. Everything is stored on the cloud, so students can pick up where they left off no matter where they are.
Though a research study has suggested that technological concerns are one of the biggest fear factors for online students, the fact is, Ashford makes the technology easy-to-use. Students leave with a firm grasp of how to manipulate the tools they’ll use on the job, something graduates say is a big benefit.
Location isn’t the only flexibility option. Constellation lets students create digital notebooks that they never have to worry about losing or forgetting at home. Students can read on their screens, on print outs, or listen to audio books, whichever best suits their learning style.
Interactive reviews take the guesswork out of studying by letting students see at a glance what material they have down cold and where they need to brush up.
Instead of rushing to get to class at a certain building at a specific time, Ashford’s online courses allow students to login when it’s convenient for them. Just saving on the commute to campus is a big boon for many students. Being able to study early in the morning or late at night is even more important for students juggling a job, family, and college.
Have a question for an instructor or classmate? Simply post it on a forum or discussion group at any time, from any place, whether you’re on a military deployment in the desert or waiting for your daughter’s dance class to finish. There’s no need to wait until the next class session.
Unlike many colleges where online is an afterthought, Ashford’s faculty is dedicated to distance learning. That means they understand the importance of firm deadlines and structure that help keep students on track.
A Sense of Community
Before enrolling in an online college, many students fear they won’t be able to find support. That’s a fear that students quickly realize is not a factor at Ashford.
Students can apply to be assigned an online CHAMPS mentor to make sure they build relationships with supportive peers while they earn a degree. Online student organizations grouped around majors ensure that students can bounce ideas off classmates.
Ashford also works to connect students with volunteer and service learning opportunities close to home, so they can gain valuable experience and make community connections prior to graduation.
And online students attend commencement, too. It’s a great opportunity to finally meet people who can become as close as family over the course of earning a degree.
Written by Ashford University staff.