School of Education Blog

How we build community in our fully online educational technology program

Fingers typing on a keyboardProspective and new students in the fully online Master of Education in Educational Technology program often wonder how they will get to know their peers and instructors when most of the coursework is completed on their own time. This amazing flexibility of receiving a high caliber education without leaving your family, job, and community is what makes online learning so appealing to professional educators and it is also one of the reasons many students select our program. This program is well-suited for currently practicing teachers or educational professionals interested in advancing their knowledge about educational technology and enhancing their instructional, technical, or pedagogical skills while gaining leadership experience in an entirely online format.

Many online graduate programs are completely asynchronous - meaning that students set their own schedules to work independently through self-paced course activities. While the majority of coursework in Loyola’s educational technology program will be completed asynchronously and facilitated in our learning management system, our program also incorporates regular opportunities to interact in real time with fellow classmates and faculty. For the majority of courses in the program, faculty incorporate synchronous online class meetings - essentially an online version of a live, face-to-face class. Students can expect to attend these synchronous sessions a few times each semester. During these sessions, all participants will log into Loyola’s video conferencing platform at the same time and meet face-to-face using the webcams, microphones, and speakers built into their device or smartphone. This interaction helps all of us to feel more connected and eliminates the isolation of the online classroom. 

No matter where our students are geographically located, the intentional focus on social interaction, collaboration, and the development of a professional learning community is at the heart of Loyola’s online master’s programs. 
 

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