WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING...
I was looking for a master’s program that fit into my busy schedule, so working full time and sitting in a class in the evenings wasn’t going to work for me. I wanted a reputable program and found Pitt Online to be exactly what I was looking for! I’m able to complete classwork when it’s convenient for me. The instructors are supportive and encouraging, always giving positive feedback that helps me grow as an educator. I couldn’t be happier!
I wanted to earn my masters degree from a school that is recognized as a leader in education. I feel like being able to engage online is better than in person because when you’re in class, you’re just there physically – but in an online class, everyone ‘goes to class’ when they are mentally available. I’m confident that what I am learning is making me a better teacher, and I can use what I’m learning right away in my classroom. I wanted to attend Pitt but I couldn’t work full-time and go to school full-time; but taking classes online has allowed me to get the best of both worlds!
I usually had a group that I would start discussions with, and I looked at it as a valuable tool to tell others of things I’ve encountered that have worked or not worked, and visa versa. I felt I had a genuine connection about day-to-day experiences in my student teaching. I learned so much from those two classmates without ever meeting them in person.
This has been a great experience. The instructors are particularly knowledgeable and helpful in delivery and support of the class information and they are readily available for questions and feedback. The staff has been friendly, encouraging and expedient in their responses whenever I had any questions, concerns or needs.
WHAT FACULTY ARE SAYING...
I love the process of planning online courses and trying new instructional moves: weaving in a virtual conference last year, and having students tinker with paper circuitry this year. I was interested to see that some students engaged more deeply in the course content than they would have in similar face-to-face courses, applying their new learning to current teaching situations and making sense of readings through reflective commentary.
I have some experience teaching online courses, but I had never endeavored to set up a course complete with video modules. As early as my first studio session, I was welcomed into the environment, shown how everything works, and walked through the process. Students have told me that they appreciate the time and energy I put into the video lectures. Now, as I am about to commence filming for my third online course, I am more confident than ever in the quality of a Pitt Online course.
I see two huge advantages over face-to-face discussions. First, classes include students from all over the United States and the world, making our discussions of multiculturalism much richer. Secondly, multiculturalism can sometimes be hard to talk about, and the online discussion format gives students more time to consider hard questions and craft responses to each other that acknowledge different life experiences that ‘push’ students to consider new perspectives.
I have been teaching online courses since 2010–this has been quite an experience since I had to switch to an online classroom mindset. I have been able to learn new teaching strategies and to keep the pace with advances in information and communication technologies. Students can engage in online deliberations throughout weeks and modules and not to be limited to classroom time. It has also given me the opportunity to provide students with more meaningful feedback on written assignments.
Teaching online has been absolutely wonderful. At first, I was hesitant because I did not believe that I could have the same type of connection with my students in an online course that I have when I teach face-to-face. Thankfully, I was wrong. The class tools have allowed for me to build strong learning communities. My students gain just as much from interacting in this forum as they do by attending class on campus.