Heather Barry, Ph.D., a history professor at SJC Long Island and SJC Online, encourages all students to take at least one online course during their time at the College. Online learning teaches students important skills involving time management, reading, thinking critically, and writing — an important skill set that will be an asset to students’ future endeavors.
“Student success is of utmost importance for me as an instructor,” said Dr. Barry, who has taught online for more than a decade. “I want all of my students to learn and be successful. Online learning, however, can be challenging, so I help students along the way. I provide advice and helpful hints, right from the beginning of the course.”
Dr. Barry gives her students gentle reminders about assignments and deadlines in courses — teaching another essential life skill — to help make learning more manageable and enjoyable for students. Throughout the semester, students who need help can reach out to Dr. Barry directly or take advantage of the tutors in the Office of Tutoring Center, who can help students with individual assignments.
Online Learning Benefits All Students
Perhaps one of the best parts of online learning — for students and professors alike — is the convenience of teaching and learning on the individual’s own time. While there are still due dates and a schedule to stick to, online classes are asynchronous and give students the flexibility to complete classwork at a day and time that is convenient for them.
According to Dr. Barry, the key to student success in her online classrooms is using different techniques to engage students with the course materials. She uses debates, role-playing activities, and simulations to engage students in exploring important topics in history, which encourages students to view history from multiple perspectives.
“I find the discussion exchanges in the online environment are highly developed and meaningful because students have more time to read, think, and respond to questions and responses,” Dr. Barry explained. “Since our online courses are also relatively small, an intimate learning environment is created, and it’s a safe place for students and I to have intellectual exchanges. Online courses also help students who are shy; the online environment can be less intimidating for students to share their ideas.”