Thursday, August 26, 2010

Questions and Answers about eCornell online classes

Here is an email I received from a prospective eCornell student:

Thanks for blogging and sharing your Ecornell Project Leadership experience. I have found it to be very useful and informative. I am considering taking the Foundations of Employee Relations Certificate Program; however, I am a little nervous about the classes, homework, test, expectations, etc... I have an undergraduate degree and would have received my masters but did not complete my thesis. In any case, I have only taken a handful of online courses, which are generally challenging but not very interactive. I was pleased to learn that the courses can be as interactive I guess as one would make it to be via the chats with the professor and others.

My nervousness stems from my personal obligations:
I am married, the mother of three and I work fulltime. I also maybe teaching a class once a week. According to your blog and other information I have read, a student should allot 5 to 7 hours weekly. I believe you actually said devoting 1 hour daily would be very helpful. Three out of the five weekdays I could give one hour each day; and on the weekend I could give more.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Here is my reply:

Thank you so much for emailing me!

One of the things I find most valuable about the eCornell classes I have taken is the discussion boards. We are required to complete 2-3 assessments per class, where we answer questions that apply the lessons learned in the text to our actual work experiences. To complete the assessment, each student must write her own mini-paper, plus respond to the mini-paper of at least one other student. I have found value in reading the other students' papers and reading their responses to my assignment.

I think if you are able to devote an hour during the weekdays and more over the weekend, you will have enough time to complete the course. It all depends on how fast and accurately you can read and digest information.

I have had good results in supplementing my learning with reading the books that are utilized in the coursework. The names and authors are usually at the very bottom of each section of the course, as a footnote.

Kathleen Lisson

Thank you for your time! If you have any questions about my experience with the eCornell Project Leadership classes, please email me at

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