Reflections of the Masters in Distance Education

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My journey in the Masters of Distance Education Teaching and Training program began summer of 2009 when I completed the Webtycho introductory course to become familiar with the online course management structure, a course that is mandatory for all new online learners. Although I completed the orientation twice before I decided on a major, I liked the convenience of learning from home, and the opportunity to complete an introductory course to prepare me for the learning infrastructure. This mode of learning presented avenues of convenience and flexibility allowing me to obtain my education, and not have to leave home or my children to attend college. I decided on a major in distance learning after reading an article by Tom Joyner in the Chronicle of Higher Education, about distance learning. The article talked about how Black Colleges and Universities lagged behind its Historical White counterparts because they had not accepted this new trend or direction for higher education. My interest in distance learning was also because I knew this was the next trend for education, and I wanted to be a part of the growth at the institution where I worked. The closed walls of learning were expanding and this new age of information sharing and the Internet was one that I wanted to be a part of, especially with my oldest grandchild approaching high school and planning to attend college. Although apprehensive initially, I enrolled in the distance learning teaching and training program offered at UMUC, where my journey in the master’s program is nearing completion. I enrolled in my first online distance learning course in the fall of 2010 knowing that I had many challenges before me. I found this mode of learning fast paced, and challengin... ... middle of paper ... ...s has played an integral part to student learning and matriculation. As I near completion of my degree, and reflect back on my journey through distance learning, I continue to formulate meaning, knowledge and insight to concepts and best practices in the field. However, my goal is to implement best practices, and theory of virtual learning into new student courses. I am also introducing students to the skills needed to be successful online learners, navigating the online infrastructure—Blackboard—and to analyze and research information to solve issues with the software, and obtain needed data to make informed decisions as autonomous learners, not relying on instructors or peers for information that is available virtually. Thanks to all my professors and peers who have shaped my interests and skills in DE, allowing me to continue to develop along with my students.

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