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Students first: Online course design for today’s learners

New England College of Business | Blog

Today's online learners often balance school with their career, family life and countless other responsibilities. An early adopter of online education, New England College of Business has supported adult learners for over 100 years. We understand how to take advantage of the online environment to build exciting and engaging courses to help students learn new skills that they can readily apply back in the work environment.

How does New England College of Business create an optimal learning environment for busy professionals? We put our students first in each aspect of our business programs, including course content, networking, assessment tools, learning materials, and student support. New England College of Business recognizes that online students want online tools and support at their point of need, even if that need is Sunday night at midnight or while riding on a commuter train into work using a Smartphone. We also understand that going back to college can be a scary thought. Therefore, our Academic Advisors are there to support our students throughout their degree program. Additionally, we have introductory courses such as Information Literacy for College Success that ensures that students have the foundational skills to be successful in the online environment.

How does New England College of Business create engaging courses? First of all, we recognize that it's a YouTube world and today's learners expect to learn course content from a variety of media. Therefore, our courses are not a textbook on a screen. In fact, we minimize the use of textbooks to help our students save money and time. Course content is taught through faculty video/audio lectures, as well as adaptive learning, simulations and games. Students identify and solve workplace issues by applying their learning to a variety of assignments involving writing, research, and creative Web 2.0 projects. Through these multiple means of learning, students have access to course resources and assignments that replicate real-world situations, enabling them to develop skills that are readily applicable to the workplace.

While a degree is important, we realize that networking is just as valuable to students who want to take their career to the next level. We "humanize" our online programs through discussion boards and virtual group work, facilitating interactions among peers and with instructors. We also keep in mind the value of virtual communication, as businesses develop an increasing online presence.

Last but not least, we always keep the student—and the student's career—in mind when designing every aspect of our curriculum and support system. Our goal is to keep students engaged and excited about learning, while recognizing the applicability of their learnings in their work environment. This way, we can fuel the drive and enthusiasm that will allow our students to succeed in their careers.

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