Do Online Business Classes include Professor Interaction Sessions?

When considering an online business programs, students should pay special attention to the availability of interactive sessions in an online business class. These sessions aren’t universally offered, and many schools vary the level of interaction with other students and professors. The good news, however, is that the most reputable online programs typically offer a combination of discussion boards and professor contact options, which allow students to discuss pressing issues among themselves and appeal to the instructor if they can’t settle a debate, understand a term, or properly understand a grading rubric. Typically, interactive sessions with the professor take a few forms in today’s online learning environments, and students should look for each of these opportunities as they select their preferred business program.

Synchronous Learning Environments

Most online classes are discussed as asynchronous, meaning students have no set login time when reading the material, posting discussion board content, and completing other assignments. However, some business schools, especially at the graduate level, are working to change that. The latest trend in online business education is to us a semi-synchronous course format. In this format, students typically have the same degree of independence throughout the week as long as their work is completed within established course deadlines.

At least one day or evening per week, however, students will meet at the same time for a live chat, a video lecture, or another interactive opportunity with their fellow students and the professor. This is a great time to ask questions about content and assignments, and it’s a great way to get to know the professor a bit better. This format combines the best of both online and traditional education interactions, benefitting students’ comprehension in the process.

Discussion Board and Email Contact Opportunities

Another great way to interact with the professor in an online business class is simply to make use of the tools that are already in use for the course. This means following up with questions via email, posting in a preset discussion board about course issues and questions, or using other methods to contact the professor independently. This is the way that online courses have typically encouraged student-professor interaction, and it’s still as useful as a video lecture or a live chat with the professor at a preset time.

Offline Office Hours at Some Universities

Some universities offer both online and offline classes, and students close to the campus might be able to take advantage of a professor’s office hours for in-person interaction and advice. Professors who offer this opportunity will typically post their office hours in the syllabus distributed to online students, and will encourage them to make appointments as needed.

Hybrid Classes Instead of Pure Online Work

Students can sometimes choose a hybrid class, which meets primarily online but has at least one established lecture meeting per week on a local campus. Much like semi-synchronous online courses, students blend the best benefits of online education with the extra help that comes from meeting a professor in a more traditional classroom environment.

There Are Excellent Ways to Interact with Online Course Professors

Though it might seem daunting to arrange interactive sessions in an online business class, the good news is that the options for professor interaction are continuously increasing. Whether it’s a weekly live chat, email, discussion board posts, or in-person office hours, there’s always an available way to find help and interact with the professor.