Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The World Really IS Your Classroom!

Another reason why I have really enjoyed studying online is how I am able to take my work ANYWHERE! This feature is especially convenient during summer sessions as I can do my work on a dock, at the beach, in the park, or on the side of a cliff if I want to. I encourage you to reinvent your study and homework locations, especially with good weather!

One of my favorite moments while attending online courses was during the fall session when I was enrolled in Adult Developmental Psychology and I was reading Tuesday with Morrie on my back porch with my coffee, my favorite tree, the birds, and tears streaming down my face. Needless to say this environment was much nice than the average classroom and it allowed me to really connect to the subject matter; I know I would have held back on just how much the readings touched me if it were in a face-to-face discussion.

Also, I have learned in my current course, Cognitive Psychology, that studying and learning in different places helps with memory as it cuts down on environmental association of the new skills or facts being learned. Create your own classroom? Sounds great to me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Works for Me...and Maybe You!

As promised, I wanted to give a few pointers on what has worked for me for my online courses…

Mapping it Out:
- I have a binder for each session of courses I take that is organized with tabs for each course
-Every Sunday I look at the checklist for the week and write it down in my binder
-Being sure to write due dates (both day and time) for each assignment/post/etc.

Checking it Off:
-As I finish each task I check it off and move on to the next

Being in Communication:
-As an adult learner, things come up, especially as most of us are working fulltime
-I am sure to maintain communication with my professors if I foresee issues with due dates
-I do NOT recommend abusing policies, however, I have found that the professors at Lesley are understanding and want their students to be successful

-Because online learning relies so heavily on written instruction it is SO important to pay attention to details
-If you have questions, ask your professors

I know I have struggled with maintaining my time management for certain assignments due to my busy schedule; however, it is important to keep things in perspective. We are all doing the best we can and if you are enrolled in an online program it is clear that you are serious about your education; committed to bringing the classroom to you.

Keep it up!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introduction and Initial Thoughts

My name is Eileen Kielty and I am enrolled in Lesley’s online Bachelor’s in Psychology program. I was delighted to be asked to post to Lesley’s blog as I am a firm believer in the power of support and helping others along their journey. I have been a student at Lesley since August 2011 and have just finished up my seventh and eighth online courses and my fourth accelerated session (completing Fall I & II and Spring I & II).

My story, like most adult learners at Lesley, is a unique one. I am a professional dancer that started college at age 20, due to sustaining dance-related injuries my senior year of high school that forced me to take two years off before majoring in dance at Dean College in Franklin, MA. After completing my freshman year there, I spent a summer at The Ailey School in NYC, fell in love with the program, changed to an Associate’s degree, graduated the following spring from Dean, (Summa Cum Laude) and enrolled in Ailey’s year-long Independent Study Program. After completing a year in NYC, I moved back to Boston to dance with a company.

I have always been a fan of school and, especially funding things myself, my education has always been something I treasure and truly value. I soon realized that I wanted to continue my education in my other passion; psychology. I had originally planned on earning my Bachelor’s in Dance and my Associate’s in Psychology, conveniently, I just switched the two. The plan is to earn my Master’s in Expressive Arts/Movement Therapy and my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the upcoming years.

Because my profession is so unpredictable, involves traveling between Boston and NYC and involves many project-based opportunities, Lesley’s online accelerated program was the answer! This program has allowed me to actively pursue my degree while actively pursuing my dance career. I have done homework on the train and the bus; on vacation and in my bathrobe. Not only are the professors incredibly engaged and invested in their students, the format and forums of the online program have allowed me to feel connected to my fellow classmates. My biggest worry was that I would feel alone in this process and would miss the face-to-face give and take that an on campus class provides. I can honestly say that this program has changed my view on online learning. I will share some tips that I have found to be helpful in my upcoming posts, but for now, that’s my introduction and my initial thoughts on Lesley’s online program.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nearing the finish line...

(well for this class anyway...)

Week 6 of Fall 2 classes wrapped up today. Week 8 is in sight, which means I really need to be working on my time management. Statistics has a big project due at the end of the class, and while there are intermediate deadlines along the way, it is easy to put it off until the end of each week. I don't want to let myself get behind.

Now that I am back to taking one class at a time, I've find myself getting a little lazy. Time management is really important for online classes, and when I was so busy, I was better at watching that everything got done ahead of time- now it's more like "right on time".

In addition to the large research project, we also have problem sets that carry across multiple weeks- yet another thing to procrastinate on! As Christmas gets closer and my schedule gets busier, I don't have the time to put things off (like this blog, usually I post earlier in the week!)

Does anyone have time management tips? I tend to use lists, and they work for me, but what isn't working right now is motivation. I have 2 sessions left, so I guess this is kind of what it feels like when you hit senior year in high school or undergrad. Just ready to be finished! It is really amazing how fast the program has gone- I did double up on some terms, but my Master's will be finished in well under 2 years!

I don't think I'm nearly as close to the real finish line as I'd like to think!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ready for Spring!

Registration for the spring term took place earlier this month, and I am all set with the classes I am taking for the two spring sessions. I went to a very large university for my undergrad, and registering for classes was a huge pain. I have memories of sitting with six different telephones, hitting redial until one finally connected (and then when we went to web registration, the system was always busy!) It is amazing that I can just log into a system (on the first try), select the classes I want, know they'll have openings, and be done. It's so easy! I get a weird sense of accomplishment just having the classes registered for. They are ticked off my graduation plan, so now I can see the finish line in site! Problem is, I still have to take them (and then the summer term.)

We are at the half-way mark for the Statistics class, and it is going well. This is definitely the most difficult class for me so far, in that the curriculum isn't really familiar. Luckily, the instructors is the most involved one I've had so far. She emails the class regularly, and posts on the discussion board quite a bit. Some of the instructors are very hands off, so for a difficult class, I'm glad I got one who is hands on!

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! I'll probably be working on statistics- we got a note to warn us it was a content heavy week...and to plan our time accordingly if we were planning on taking some days off. I'll admit I'm a little surprise a break isn't figured into the schedule.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Session 2...

Last week Fall Session 2 began. This session I am taking Statistics, more on that in a minute.

I am really happy to be back to taking just one class at a time. For one, taking two classes at a time, while also working full time and keeping a full schedule of after-work activities was kind of taking a toll on me. I felt really worn down. But also, session 2 is a good time for an easier course load. Between all the terms (winter-summer-fall) there is a bit of a break. Between the sessions, you don't get a break. The first session ends on Friday, and the new session starts on Monday. But, most of the time instructors take work through Sunday, so I don't finish up until Saturday afternoon, and if you wait until Monday to start your new course (which I usually don't, but did this time) you will find most of your classmates have already started working and feel behind.

The good news is it looks like Statistics is going to be a great class. It is set up to be very collaborative. Right now, we have two defined work groups. For one, the class is divided into 3 groups of about 5, and we do all our main discussions in these groups. This makes it more manageable then other classes where the discussions were going on among everyone. We are encouraged to "peak" into the other discussion boards, but I think conversation is easier knowing the five people we are mainly working with.

The second group is a private group- we can't see anyone else in the class. My group has two other people in it. This is set up as a sounding board for our final project. The final project is a statistical study, and is causing me a lot of stress. It seems like many people are planning to do a study with their students. I am not a teacher, so I don't have an easy group of 30+ people (we learned that it isn't recommended to do a study of less than 30 observational units). I am trying to come up with a study about inanimate objects, but I am having a hard time making it meaningful. For example, right now we are working with counting the number of raisins in a small box. It is an easy thing to collect data on, and models the process of collecting and interpreting data well, but it isn't very meaningful. I'm hoping inspiration will strike me soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


There is so much emotion and exhaustion in this final blog of mine for Website Design 6009. I have pushed myself really hard in this class to learn as much as I could in a very short eight weeks. I say very short, because this easily could have been a six month class, in my opinion. There was so much to learn and do. I am definitely the type of student that needs lots of practice to really assimilate the information I am learning. This class provided plenty of that! I was enlightened to a whole new world with even more acronyms that I still am confused with. I learned a lot and I am so greatly impressed by the work of my classmates. I look at their work and wonder how I compare. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of things, I see what others have done and I am impressed and at the same time depressed. I know I will never do web design full time, but I at least know a few basics. I don't know if I could get a site up and going all by myself, but maybe Bill would love another email from me! I was the student that was constantly sending emails; asking questions, and asking for help. Bill is probably greatly relieved that this class is over and my emails will finally end.
There is another ending here for me. I have just completed my Master's program at Lesley. I will greatly miss the constant communication with teachers and classmates. I will have some free time on my hands and probably not know what to do with it. I have greatly enjoyed every moment of being a graduate student. I am so glad I did this program. Today, I am physically exhausted from the long hours put into this class, emotional about the end, proud of my accomplishment, and excited to use my new skills and education. It is so bittersweet.