Villanova Friday

For the past 8 weeks, my main focus has been on Maximising IT/IS Team Effectiveness at Villanova University. I blog about my experiences with virtual learning.
Over the years I have tried many learning methods, including distance learning, weekend courses in project management, and classroom classes. The Villanova experience was enriching. Here are four things that I learned during the course.
1. Discipline is essential
It is important that you take the time to listen and to complete the exercises. It is easy to get distracted and find something else to do. It was a great decision that I started a weekly blog about my activities. This gave me a deadline, which helped me stay focused for my weekly lectures.
You can do this by creating a study plan, or by having a study buddy. You may also be able to study at work. This means that you could schedule time each week to listen (with headphones) to lectures in your office.
2. Check out the time zones
The majority of the course was delivered via pre-recorded lectures or individual study. A live session was hosted by one lecturer once per week. These sessions were designed to be adaptable enough to fit into working Americans’ daily lives. I was committed to professional growth but didn’t want the hassle of staying up late to attend sessions.
It was also difficult listening to the recorded sessions. One session was an example. One example: Someone had issues with the audio equipment and couldn’t make her point. It seemed like everyone was talking software. This is fine if you have a significant impact on the discussion, but it was not worth hearing after the event.
If you plan to take a virtual course with ‘live’ elements, make sure you are available when you can. You will get more from the sessions if you participate in them in real-time.
3. Audit your investment
I would pay an employee to complete a virtual learning course. This would allow me to audit how long they spent learning the material. You can skip sessions. This was a certificate course. The content was easy to understand, even though there were some concepts I didn’t know.
I was able to pass the online exams even though Week 5 lectures were missed and Week 2 was not completed.
An employer could spend a lot of money on this course only to find that the employee didn’t benefit. You could also spend a lot but not get any benefit from the course.
My Villanova certificate4. Access to course materials
I can’t access the online course materials anymore. Villanova provided all materials on CD and printed the slides in three bound volumes. This is a great reference for the future. The books will act as an index for the CD so I can quickly find interesting lectures that I can play again.
Check with your online course provider to make sure that you have access in a different format to PDF after the course.
Would you consider taking another online course?
I would be open to taking another online course from Villanova. Villanova staff was professional and easy-to-work with. The course materials were well-produced and delivered quickly.
I would love to be able learn more by taking another virtual learning course. Overall, the course was informative, well-presented and helpful. I was successful! My certificate arrived quickly in its own frame.
I was offered a place on this course for free. Villanova University is my sincere gratitude for this opportunity.