Last spring was a pivotal semester for me academically. I was challenged in my classes and experienced significant growth as a writer. I attribute this growth mainly to the six classes I was enrolled in, two of which were online courses.
My six classes totaled 18 credit hours, two more than the school typically allows. This meant I had to prioritize every aspect of my on-campus life: socializing, sleeping, studying—you name it.
This is one reason why my online classes went so well—I was able to work ahead on assignments and fit the work around my other schedules. Pacing myself took a lot of the stress out of my classes and allowed me to effectively prioritize (Editor’s note: And make it look effortless! We didn’t see any gaps in your work schedule.).
Online Class #1 – Feature Writing
The first of my two online classes was an elective, Feature Writing. Because of my interest in journalism and all sorts of writing, I was interested to learn more about the art of writing feature stories.
This class gave me the opportunity to practice writing my own feature stories, as well as read influential articles from well-known writers in this field. I learned how to find guidelines for submitting stories to publications and practiced writing to fit those guidelines.
The instructor who taught this course focused on interacting with us. She answered the multitude of questions I had and she provided constructive feedback on all of my assignments—I was so thankful for the interactions I had with her.
Online Class #2 – Applied Social Media
The second online class I took was Applied Social Media. As a professional writing major in the communication department, this class was required as part of my graduation plan.
Because of the digital nature of social media, the content of this class worked incredibly well in its online format. It was not simply a surface-level class about using social media, but rather it focused on how social media can be utilized in a variety of settings and tools that can enhance it.
For example, we learned about using social media to market products for a business as well as how to use social media to create a personal brand. We explored tools which make social media usage more efficient by scheduling posts ahead of time and analyzing various feeds in one location.
Both of my online classes were successes in my book. I attribute much of this success to the experience I’ve gained by working in eLearning for the past three years. The projects I’ve completed at work have helped me understand the way online courses operate—the assignment schedules, the overall format, and the expectations for students.
This is why I knew the importance of pacing myself and staying ahead on tasks. These classes added a worthwhile variety to my semester and significantly contributed to my knowledge of specific areas within the field of communications.
Celeste Fendt (Junior) is a professional writing major and Associate Editor for Spring Arbor University’s student newspaper, The Pulse, and she plans to work in advertising after she graduates.