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Student Evaluations

At George Wythe University we survey students regularly and conduct student evaluations at the end of each semester.  The faculty also meets frequently to review student feedback and improve where needed.

Students are asked to rate various elements of their experience on a scale of 1-5 (Not Satisfied to Very Satisfied) including the quality of their course material, syllabus, faculty accessibility, faculty competence, instructional effectiveness, classroom environment, responsiveness of office and systems , etc. 

Following is a sampling of written feedback from our students.

I appreciated the feedback on my paper. I wasn't pleased with the grade, but after I read the comments, I agree that it is the grade I deserved and I still feel like I am getting my money's worth. Dr. Schulthies was well-prepared for class and brought up interesting points.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
Wow! The Gatsby classes were AWESOME! We talked about such deep concepts--the self, true love, class conflict...THANK YOU Mr. Szczesny and Ms. Onines!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
Class was exciting and meaningful as ever. Really enjoy Dr. Schulties as a teacher. I feel I get my money's worth and then some.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I enjoy the discussions on contemporary issues facing us today.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
Thanks Mr. Carling! Class was awesome! The PowerPoint presentation really helped the cases come to life. ...Much appreciated!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
These classes have been so rewarding. I'm grateful to be a student at GW!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I really like the combination of Mr. Szczesny and Ms. Onines in our discussions--they seem to team up well for very interesting discussions. ...Good week--I really enjoy...Uncle Tom's Cabin...

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
This past class was a bit difficult, as it was more about looking at something known, and trying to look at it with different eyes and maybe leaving behind some of the assumptive knowledge to gain perspective. Our mentor tried to introduce the idea of looking at it from a perspective that was new and I really enjoyed that. They also had enough knowledge to introduce ideas without completely burying us under their own words and knowledge. Nicely done.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I did better this week in study and felt better about classes overall. I really liked splitting up the section in Founder's Constitution and discussing each essay

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
I thought classes were GREAT this week! I love GWU and I love what we're learning this semester.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I really enjoy class discussions because of the lively ideas and interesting directions we go. Thanks for a great class!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I've really enjoyed this class so far! This is actually my first college class and I really enjoy listening to others' perspectives. I'm learning a lot and I think we do a good job on keeping the discussions uplifting and in line with the novel. Thanks for all your efforts in making class an inspiring experience.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I loved class on Wednesday. The subject was interesting and discussing it made me so excited to go home and study more. I actually got so enthusiastic, I didn't need a break, time [3 hours] flew by so quickly. It was amazing. Thanks!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
Mr. Arnell as a professor was incredible! He struck the perfect balance of being prepared and asking good questions with allowing the class to be student-directed. ...He inspired me to do better on my life's mission. Oh, and by the way, we covered the assigned reading also and had plenty of good insights about that.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
Mr. Carling makes the subject of Constitutional Case Law so interesting!! He's an excellent mentor!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
Class was AWESOME!! I loved that you spaced the cases so we had enough time to discuss each one thoroughly. Loved the diagram, pictures, etc on the whiteboard. The whole class was just perfect! Thanks!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I really enjoy class, thank you!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
Love when the mentor inspires with ideas but also gives us challenges to share our thoughts and develop our ideas.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
Great week! Mr. Szczesny continues to communicate well with us and even provided additional sources available to delve further into the topics we've discussed.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
Thank you so much. I really, really enjoy class. And thanks for taking the time to answer questions after class too.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
Classes were great this week! I love that we go over each [case] brief individually; it's very helpful. When I signed up for classes this semester I really didn't want to take Case Law but now I'm thankful I did because I love it. Thanks!

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I really enjoyed the simulation we had for the Philosophy of Education class this past week.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I LOVE GW! I am so glad that I am able to attend this semester, and can't wait to learn. Class time is my favorite part of the week, I love being prepared and then learning so much from just being prepared. Thank you so much for you wonderful university! I am very glad to be apart of this environment at this time.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
I have been very impressed on how well my mentor does. Mr. Szczesny has started every class at right around the time we are supposed to start. He also shows up with a very extensive knowledge on what we read for the class. I think he is a very awesome mentor! As for my participation, I have kept up with everything and I have showed up to every class so far with all my assignments completed.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
Mr. Szczesny has done a great job this semester with a thorough syllabus, specifically making sure that we understand assignments in class, and also sending out important updates or clarification through email. It has been very helpful.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-campus, W'11
I appreciated the debate we had in class as it was helpful in developing a standpoint and arguing for it.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I am enjoying the simulation this week for "Education and the State".

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
This was the best semester. I really enjoy Dr. Smailes.

Anonymous weekly student survey comment. On-line, W'11
I enjoyed the mixed cohort, though in order to learn specifically about the subject I was studying, I listened to all of the Torah lectures..., as well as all of the other Elluminate recordings [from previous semesters] dealing with the old testament. There were probably between 8 and 10 extra classes I listened to. They were very helpful.

T.C. Alpine, UT
[My mentor] "makes" me step out of my comfort zone, and while it's a painful process, I do appreciate that.  ...worth every penny!

A.W. - Pflugerville, TX
My instructor was awesome! Whenever I had a question he always got back to me very quickly.

J.L. - Denver, CO
[My mentor] was not only competent, but enjoyable. I appreciate so much the personal touch with the mentor meetings and the emails. I have never received so much feedback with my writing. I am looking forward to working with her again.

C.W. - Chandler, AZ
I am enjoying these classes SO much! They are incredibly relevant and have inspired me to study hard and listen hard... Dr. Schulthies is a wonderful teacher! Very patient and encouraging - and engages the students, which makes the class and material come alive.

E.M. - Kelso, WA
I loved the open discussion atmosphere of the classroom.

M.D. - Holladay, UT
I loved the content and the quality. I have never learned so much in my whole life. ...My worldview has been changed significantly by these classes.

C.G., Bothell, WA
The Elluminate classroom is amazing... I'm working my tail off and loving it.

J.J. - Everett, WA
I loved the self-directed feel of this [language] course... The work is sometimes tedious and slow, but the epiphanies make it well worth your time.

H.P. - St George, UT (Online Student, F'09)
I loved all the books I read! Most of the time I put in about 34 hours a week.
Elluminate was amazing! I learned a lot from everyone else's comments.

Dr. Schulthies taught me a lot this semester. He...was easy to understand and he welcomed questions and comments.

E.P. - Los Lunas, NM (Online Student, S'09)
[Regarding the material] Wonderful! It's been such a blessing from my personal life into every other avenue.

[Regarding the online classroom] There's nothing that can take the place of [a physical] classroom. Surely I would have liked much more time with my mentor and classmates. But that's the compromise we have to make. Otherwise, I'd be there!

Dr. Schulthies added so much knowledge and insight to our class time. Also, he is so balanced, positive, unintimidating. He was very good for my psyche (encouraging).

[The office staff] was very friendly, positive and responsive to my needs.

R.D. - Monroeville, PA (Online Student, S'09)
[Regarding the instructor] Excellent.  My favorite parts of the class were when we translated and he explained nuances of the Hebrew words to us.

I have always wanted to study Hebrew, particularly Biblical Hebrew.  It was satisfying to be pushed to study something that has interested me for so long.

R.C. - Salt Lake City, UT (Extension Student, S'09)
My effort had it's highs and lows as I would become overwhelmed and need a break.  Overall, I really did give it a great deal of thought and effort.

Great format for online learning, better than anything I have previously experienced.

[Regarding the mentor] Challenging and great discussion leader.

[What the student liked most] Being able to discuss with classmates and learn from them in the online environment.  I often listened more than spoke as I absorbed all they had to share.

[What the student liked least] The material for this course was just difficult.  I wouldn't change it, but it is what I liked the least.

J.D. - Midvale, UT (Online Student, S'09)
I liked how [the course syllabus] was set up. I used it as a pattern for my children's schooling. I love studying economics, especially because it is so applicable right now. It was good to hear from others and their insights.

[My mentor's] knowledge is beyond impressive!

M.D. - Tehachapi, CA (Online Student, S'09)
This course was very intensive for me. There was a huge amount of material to cover in a short period of time but it was very pertinent information and I'm glad that I did it.

I always enjoy the insights and understanding of my classmates. I feel intimidated at times by how advanced everyone else seems but I try to get over myself and do my best to learn everything I can at the level I'm at.

Mr. Ure was an excellent instructor. He was a true mentor. He gave me support in the beginning when I wondered if I had lost my marbles in attempting this class! He also had a very good way of helping students at all levels of learning to succeed. I couldn't have been more pleased.

T.C. - Alpine, UT (Online Student, S'09)
The wisdom and character of my instructor were truly inspiring; particularly I enjoyed his ability to allow the class to flow while still covering the content.

M.C. - Payson, UT (Extension Student, S'09)
I was surprised at how well the online classroom turned out!  I really enjoyed it.  

I love how friendly and informative the office is EVERY TIME I call.

B.B. - Logan, UT (Online Student, S'09)
Quality of the material was excellent.

I think my efforts could have been better.  More consistent.  I really didn't understand what was required at first, so I didn't rise to the occasion as much as I could have.  I hope I have more opportunities to do this again--it was really wonderful, and I think understanding the ropes better now would really help me.

The classroom works really well. I was impressed.  However, I do think it would be nice if the connections were a little clearer sometimes, but I don't know if this was the fault of Elluminate, or individual computers. Most of the time the voices were quite clear though.

Mr. Szczesny is a great instructor.  I deeply respect him and I would not hesitate if I had the chance to learn from him again.  I really appreciate his patience with me.

I liked the way every single book in the entire course worked together to bring out principles that complemented each other.

N.D. - Leslie, AR (Online Student, S'09)

I worked hard and learned a lot.  I am really glad I am taking these classes--they make me live better, think a lot, and more fully examine my life.

Loved Elluminate!  So much better than conference calls!  Great for class participation!

Dr. Schulthies is great.  He gets everyone involved in the discussion.

OLS was kind of frustrating in that if you have an assignment done you have to wait to post it till you have completed all the previous assignments on the list.  You can't go through and put in whatever you have done.  Otherwise, it was a good way to see what needed to be done. *

I really liked being part of a class even though I am a distance student.  Having the discussions and simulation together really makes the learning process exciting.

* [Editor's Note: Based on this and similar feedback from other students, OLS has since been modified to allow students to upload and "save" their work as they go along.]

R.E. - Las Vegas, NV (Online Student, S'09)

The OLS assignments were good overall and the system seemed to work very well.

I was very satisfied with the course material itself.  I absolutely loved all of the books and learned so much!  I was a little surprised that Holt was optional though, because it was amazing and shifted my whole paradigm of childhood learning and education!

I feel like I did really well.  It would have been easier on myself if I hadn't gotten so behind on everything in the middle of the course, but I don't feel like I sacrificed the quality of my work for having to finish it all up a little faster at the end.

I was nervous about the online classes, but I was surprised by how well they went and how conducive they were to learning.  I think it will be an even better experience next time after having done it once.  I think I could have taken more advantage of contact with other students outside the classroom.

[Regarding the office/OLS] No problems, everything seemed to work for what I was doing.

[What the student liked most] Just the learning, the talking in class, listening to Dr. Schulthies' lectures, getting to write about the things that I was learning.

[What the student liked least] Technical problems with Elluminate.  I'm sure that will be better next time around.

T.F. - Cedar City, UT (Online Student, S'09)
Classics are always good.  I really enjoyed the material and got even more out of them this time.

[Students were asked to estimate their study time.] At least 10 hours per week per course.  I didn't really keep track.  The last couple of weeks it was even more.  I had a hard time at first figuring out how this worked.  When I had my 'a-ha' moment and understood it better then the studying came easier when I knew what was expected of me.

I really OWN  all of the books for these courses.  I really feel like I got a lot out of them.   I liked the annotate, summary and response required for these books, because I really got a lot more out of them that way, and I plan to use this method for all of my studying in the future.

It was interesting.  I had a hard time with reading a quote in the class and then being expected to comment on it immediately.  I need time to ponder quotes, so I prefer to read them ahead of time, which wasn't possible in this environment.    I also had a love / hate relationship with the chat box, because it was hard to listen to whoever was talking and keep track of the chats at the same time.  The chats provided more discussion yet they were a distraction as well.

[Mr. Szczesny] knew his material and did a good job moderating the class.

I like that the class time took up the same amount of my day.  When I've done extension courses they usually require two additional hours of drive time in addition to the class time.

A.F. - Sandy, UT (Online Student, S'09)
I felt like I worked hard reading and annotating the books.  I could have put more effort into my papers, however.

Shane's lectures were superb.  I have to admit I preferred the classes where he did most of the talking.  Maybe it was the number of students in the classroom, or just the format but I found it sometimes difficult to follow the conversation when the students took over.  I didn't speak up a lot because by the time I wanted to make a comment I felt like it would be irrelevant.  The written chat on the side was often a better way to share comments with other members in the group.  I think the best lectures were when Shane talked and the students commented on the side, because it didn't break up the flow of the conversation as much.

M.F. - Spokane, WA (Online Student, S'09)

I loved the content and the quality. I have never learned so much in my whole life. I thought the amount was perfect too.

I studied hard. I made a huge sacrifice to study. I am a mother of 6 children and some weeks I had to put family first over academics.I wake up before the children and I spent a lot of time studying. I went to the library in the evenings to study as well.

I liked Stan. I wish I could of had more tutoring though. I would like more response about assignments. Very qualified and knowledgeable. Did a great job in class with the comments. I think he did a great job tying things together and helping me learn.

If it were not for OLS I would of totally missed out on the assignments... It took a while for them to post on the GW website things like how to annotate a doc, how to publish a paper. That info would of been helpful if it were there sooner.

I enjoyed the assignments the best... I really learned a lot. My worldview has been changed significantly by these classes.

C.G. - Bothell, WA (Online Student, S'09)

I thought the organization of the syllabi was great and conducive to having enough study time. The course was a fascinating and excellent selection of classic and modern writings on law that made our learning experience well-rounded.

I feel like I could have commented more in class but I am still getting used to the online classroom. Sometimes I had trouble focusing as it was difficult material and my first time back in academics for about three years. I tried hard and learned a lot, though.

It was very different learning in an online classroom for the first time. I was very impressed however with the cooperation of all involved to jump in and make it work in spite of some unavoidable awkwardness that this kind of new kind of teaching/learning style introduced for all.

I was so amazed with level of what Mr. Ure had to offer in his education and preparation. I also appreciated his efforts to focus in on each of his individual students, including me, as needed to make sure they felt their personal learning needs were being met.

[Regarding OLS] Great. Just took some figuring out because of some technical glitches but great after that.

[What the student liked most] Having James Ure as a teacher. Learning from the other students who's input and participation was so helpful.

[What the student liked least] As I mentioned before, I am still adjusting to the online learning idea. There are some inevitable drawbacks I think but nothing so significant that the outcome of an excellent learning experience can't ultimately still happen. Proven by this class.

C.G. - Mountain Home, ID (Online Student, S'09)

I like that I can decide when I will do the assignments.  The mixed cohort
syllabus was clear and easy to follow.

This was superb compared with the last semesters [where I was an Independent Study student in the Distance Program].  I loved getting to know more people, loved the weekly discussion and felt that it really added to my overall studies.  I would recommend this in the event that there are not enough students in a particular class.

[Regarding the mentor] The lectures were transformational.

J.G. - Burley, ID (Online Student, S'09)

Very difficult to complete this amount of work while working full time.

I was the only one working on a senior thesis that I am aware of, so nothing happening in the classroom was relevant. *

Perhaps get rid of the course setup where it assumes every assignment is a book to read.  And make it clearer on assignments to write papers whether a publication requirement applies.

J.H. - Cedar City, UT (Online Student, S'09)

* [Editor's Note: Students taking prospectus, thesis and dissertation courses
are now assigned a mentor dedicated to that.

I loved every book I read. These are true classics and I learned valuable
lessons from each one. I also loved the classroom discussions, and the study group discussions I had with Jill [, another student].

Per class, I studied about 6-8 hours per week, including the reading and
writing.

This is the most committed I have been in any courses I have taken. I am
really motivated to complete my bachelors degree.

It took a few weeks to make everything work (the electronics) and find a
rhythm in the classroom, but I really found it effective. I felt fully
involved, and I could participate without having to comb my hair.

Dr. Schulthies was approachable. When I had mic problems in the beginning, he was sympathetic and patient while I figures it out. He is a great listener and he forced us to think.

[The office staff] was a great help several times when I really need help. He also
gave us classroom aids like recordings of classes, things that were helpful
but that we did not ask for.

[What the student liked most] The breakout discussions with my classmates. I made some new friends and learned a lot from them.

[What the student liked least] Technical glitches. Mics that cut out, etc.

G.H. - Mesa, AZ (Online Student, S'09)
I enjoyed the course very much.  I learned a lot and it opened my mind to a
completely different way of thinking.  I am very glad that I was able to take
this class.  I love the classics.

I feel that I could have put more effort into my own studies.  I found it
difficult to balance the many aspects of my life and unfortunately my studies sometimes would take a back seat to some of my other priorities.

I really enjoyed listening to the things my classmates had to contribute.  I
felt very overwhelmed about the depth of their knowledge compared to my own, but I guess we weren't there to compare.

I think [Dr. Schulthies] did a wonderful job.  He made it easy to get a hold
of him, he would answer e-mails, he did great.  [It was also] very evident
that he understood the topics of study.  He is very knowledgeable.

I did have one question about my status as a student (where I was with
transferable credits, etc) that was not answered, but OLS worked out really
well.

[What the student liked most] I loved the list of books to read, and
listening to the lectures from the instructor.

[What the student liked least] Not understanding what was expected of me.  I think that had I really looked up the syllabus that would have been cleared up.

J.H. - Clarkdale, AZ (Online Student, S'09)
I enjoyed the choice of books - all made a great impression on me and helped my learning process.

I think I did the best with the information I received.  Again, I would have preferred a clearer overview in the beginning, to be able to visualize how things were to look.

[Regarding the classroom] Surprisingly well.  I wasn't sure how a "virtual" classroom would work, but I enjoyed each class and learned a lot through the lectures and comments by fellow students.  The only thing not so great was the simulation - definitely worked better after we broke into smaller groups - probably would recommend doing that from the beginning.

Great - I didn't utilize Dr. Schulthies as much as I probably should have as I'm a more independent learner and plod along.  However, I enjoyed his lectures and he inspired me to want to learn more!

T.H. - British Columbia, Canada (Online Student S'09)
I enjoyed the courses I took.  I enjoyed the things I learned.  I set up some goals for myself before I started and I met all of those goals.  I felt the information was very useful and relevant to my own life.

[Regarding study time] 9 hours per week per course. I took three courses and studied about 4 hours a day outside of class time.

As I mentioned earlier I met all of the goals for myself that I set up in my own mind.  I also completed all of the assignments that I was asked to complete.  My only complaint would be that the breadth and depth I didn't enjoy.  I would have loved to study Jesus the Christ along with the New Testament.  I would have loved to have read The Making of America along with studying the constitution.  I would have loved to be able to read Nicomachus more than once and to do all of the exercises that Covey asks you to do at the end of each chapter, but I just didn't have the time to do all of those extra things.  I could only get done what was required.  I don't know if that is because summer semester is so short but it consumed all of my free time just to keep my head above water. :)

I have mixed feelings about the classroom.  I think there are some very good things about the classroom and for me personally some very hard things.  I am introverted by nature and it is easy for me just to listen and enjoy, but it also is hard for me to want to join in and participate so the medium accentuated my own weakness in ways.  I attended a study group for my math class and it was tremendously helpful!  I would suggest a required study group for each class.  One time another lady was talking and I was super stuck in math.  She made one comment and then kept going, but that one comment opened up my eyes and I wasn't stuck anymore.  When I mentioned it to her she didn't even understand what I was trying to say and she still felt stuck and yet I was free because of one things she said.  I felt the extra study group was invaluable and I wished I would have had one for each class.

I enjoyed Nicomachus, it was hard, and sometimes my brain hurt and still does :) but when I was doing the tests in the SAT prep book I was really fast and I was surprised how much easier the math came since it was logically in my brain

I loved reading CS Lewis.  This was the first book I read of his and I loved it.  Covey was a little basic for me but still a good review.  I was looking forward to this class the most and I learned about humility and purpose.

I talked to a lady in Dr. Schulthies' class on Tuesday.  She shared some of her insights with me.  She has been a student of GW for a while and loved the new format, so it was nice to get her take on things.  She felt much more mentored and enjoyed the discussion during the class time. She also held her own discussions outside of class time on Elluminate and I joined her Math class one.  It was very helpful and what I pictured GW classes being like, especially when Dr. Schulthies came and helped us have a clearer picture of what we were talking about.  If I was to do it again.  I would set up my own group for each class.  I missed actually discussing leadership or the new testament or arithmetic during class time.  I think having the study groups would have made it fantastic.

I did talk to the office about my application.  The first person who I emailed did not respond so I sent it to another person and they were very helpful and fixed my problem right away.

The thing I liked the most was the readings.  I was very influenced by all the things I read.  They all contained truths in them that I needed to learn.

[What the student liked least] My own weakness.  I wished I had set up my own study groups.  If I was to do it again I think that would be very valuable to reach out and discuss the things I was studying instead of just doing so much all by myself.


J.J. - Layton, UT (Online Student, S'09)
Very current material. A tight squeeze in 8 weeks but I made it!

I shared much of my writing and thoughts with local like-minded friends.

The technology is amazing. Comfort will increase with familiarity.

[Regarding the office] Always courteous.

[What the student liked most] The progress made in offering a class in such an innovative format.

[What the student liked least] Felt a disconnect between what I was reading and studying and writing and what was being discussed in the weekly classes.

L.J. - Alberta, Canada (Online Student, S'09)
I was kind of stupid and didn't think the turning in case briefs and annotations applied to me.  It made for long hours of make-up time trying to reread and annotate/type the assignments.

My instructor freaking rocks.  I've had him before but in person and he is always prepared and anxious for the understanding and application of the material.

J.J. - Colorado, USA (Online Student, S'09)
The quality of material was Excellent.  The writings were highly relevant to today's time and very interesting to ponder.  I found it very enjoyable.  My only comment on the quantity is that perhaps for [Summer semester] 3-4 credits should be considered part time and 6-8 full time because of the restricted time line.

I loved the discussions.  I felt that we could have gone through the online classroom training by ourselves as an assignment and not taken away from the discussion time in class.

Stan was personable and really challenged us to think and defend ourselves.  I really enjoyed the feedback I got on some of my papers. 

J.L. - Kansas City, MO (Online Student, S'09)
The material was excellent.  It only whetted my appetite to study jurisprudence more thoroughly in the future.  I hope to delve more deeply into Natural law theory this summer.

I would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet my fellow students face to face.

It was difficult to complete the work in [the time given].  I actually had to continue on...after the classroom time to get it done and feel that I could use to review some of it (John Paul II piece and Spence) more thoroughly.  It would be better in the future to present this course over a longer period of time.

Mr. Ure is phenomenal.  I enjoyed interacting with him and the other students in the course.  There weren't many visual aids in the Jurisprudence Block, but honestly I cannot think of any need for any.  The value was in the discussion.

J.M. - Kaysville, UT (Online Student, S'09)
Great course.  Taxing to stay caught up and give it the time it needed.  For old people like me (i.e. the Grad Students) a month-long format may be too time intensive.  Would it be worth considering a once weekly online format in the future?  I think that may bring in more older students that could fit that into their busy lives.

I realize that the course was organized into blocks and that a student with time constraints could do a single block instead of 3 or 4.  Most of us however suffer from a "driven" personality and try to take on anything placed in front of us.  I am certainly guilty of that trait and couldn't stand to only do partial readings for this course.

D.M. - Burley, ID (Online Student, S'09)
My syllabus consisted of two books that were personally recommended to me by my mentor.  I enjoyed the discussion of these books during my final exam and with others throughout the course of the semester.

Just the right amount of reading for the credits and highly germaine to my areas of interest and field of study.

I am very satisfied that the work I put into the annotations and the papers was productive and instructive.

I had to miss a few classes due to schedule conflicts and my microphone was not working for one session, but other wise I was very happy with the venue.

I was very happy with Dr. Schulthies and wish I had more opportunity to interact with him.  Having missed a few classes we did not dialogue as much as we could have (due to my schedule).

[Regarding the office] Responded to all my questions in a timely way.

[What the student liked most] I liked the new venue, the ability to speak, chat, and share.

[What the student liked least] Sometimes time ran short.

D.M. - Grafton, WI (Online Student, S'09)
The quantity was heavy but that is just because I took a lot of classes.  They were manageable and I knew what I was getting myself into.  Each course had a good amount of reading but it not excessive.  I enjoyed most of the books and could see the relevance for all of them.

I was studying an average of 36 hours a week [taking a full-time load] with about 40 hours put in the last 2 weeks (I still have a week left and that's what I plan to put in next week although it might turn into more hours).

I am very satisfied with my own efforts.  I spent many many hours studying this summer and was truly very dedicated to my work. I feel I learned a lot and gained many insights into my future teaching with my own children and other children.  A few books in the Philosophy of Education course I put more time into than any other books but still did not get a good grasp on it or complete the book but the effort was definitely there.  I loved fully engaging in my education and learning again.

I enjoyed the classroom experience online.  I have taken distance courses before and loved that this was interactive and  I did not find this difficult at all.  I liked all the interaction and ability to hear and speak about different concepts.

I loved the instructor and gained a lot from our lectures and class time.  The subject matter chosen by [Dr. Schulthies] was very interesting and he led discussions very well.

I liked being able to interact in the class setting and just jumping head first into learning again.  What a wonderful experience.

S.M. - Salt Lake City, UT (Online Student, S'09)
I think it would have been helpful to have a syllabus that contained details about our assignments (how to do annotations, publish our papers, etc.) at the beginning of class. Also, I would have preferred either deadlines or a recommended rate of moving through the assignments and readings.

The discussions were very interesting and often lively and we covered a good amount of material each week. Almost too much reading.

I needed help pacing myself more effectively. I would have preferred more specific deadlines on the assignments and readings. I was unclear as to when they were to be completed.

L.M. - Geneva, IL (Online Student, S'09)
I grew to like the new format more as time went on and look forward to next semester.

K.O. - Stockton, CA (Online Student, S'09)
I worked hard and tried to glean all I could from the books.  It would have been helpful to have had a little more guidance along the way, however.

I thought this new online classroom was good.  It was nice to be able to meet regularly with other students live.  I would have liked to have more targeted meetings, however.

With the number of students and unpredictable office hours, it was difficult to get a hold of him many weeks.  I preferred having definite appointments to indefinite office hours.

OLS worked well to turn in assignments.

K.O. - Camas, WA (Online Student, S'09)
It would have been nice to have the group discussion more related to what I was studying. I always get more out of a book when I can hear others perspectives on it. I learn from others all the time. However, I will say, it is a brilliant idea for a distance program to have this type of group interaction. Also, it was nice to interact more with the mentor.

[Study time, undergraduate] I had three courses with an average of, I'd say, seven hours per course per week or more.

I did great.  I got into the readings, worked hard on internalizing and practicing what I learned, shared with my family and friends actively what I was learning. All in all, I feel pretty good.

[Mr. Szczesny] is knowledgeable, challenging, encouraging, and prepared. Thank you.

I appreciated most the feedback of my mentor. He is insightful and challenging.

J.P. - Honduras (Online Student, S'09)
I liked the fact that I could go to class at home.

S.P. - Provo, UT (Online Student, S'09)

Enjoyable is not the right word for reading case briefs.  No, certainly not.

It was a good push, in some ways more intense than my in-semester on-campus experiences.  I really enjoyed having class in the evenings because it left me a full day to study.

The virtual classroom has become a venue which is familiar and enjoyable.  The virtual classroom was a great way to include students who were living in different locations.

Lots of concise review.  [Mr. Ure] really drove some key points home, points that I find myself using continually.  Also, the summarizing methods required for the class have been invaluable.  I will employ these methods continually in my future studies regardless of content.

I felt annoyed that I had to submit a written summary for every assignment.  However, I think in the long run, it forced me to write more than I would have otherwise.

I enjoyed being steered through the cases.  It was a good experience to first create a written summary, and then to verbally summarize.  The syllabus was well-made.  The units helped me to see how and where each case and federalist paper would constitutionally apply.

I was on sensory overload throughout the course.  However, I don't think this can necessarily be avoided.  I also did not like that there were people who we couldn't hear from in the class because their headsets weren't working.

H.P. - St. George, UT (Online Student, S'09)
I like the class discussions and Mr. Szczesny's moderating and mentoring.

The quantity of material was fine. I did not complete the course work because I was interrupted by business and family difficulties for three full weeks of this course. I registered for the second portion of the Government seminar, but did not complete any of it due to the reasons already given. I think I could have finished it also if I hadn't been interrupted.

I gave my best effort where I had opportunity to study. My error was in not organizing other aspects of my life in preparation for the study time I would need. I had to drop everything to prepare important financial papers for our business. I knew that I would have to complete that job at some point, I just didn't think it would become so pressing so quickly.

The online experience was awkward for the first class. It is easy to adjust to the headset and the classroom setting was fun. The chat box opens the doors to many more comments because it doesn't interfere with the persons talking aloud.

Mr. Szczesny doesn't impose his views. He is interesting without dominating the class interactions. He has interesting questions. He has a quickly referenced memory. He's very likable.

I liked reading books that expanded my mind. I like the feeling that I am improving my understanding. In spite of major frustrations, setbacks and delays, I read some great works that really matter!

[What student liked least] The frustration I felt at not being able to focus on my studies. --No fault of anyone but me.

E.P. - Pioche, NV (Online Student, S'09)
I did the best I could do.  I could not milk any more time from anywhere.

Very cool, wished I could have had individual classes for each course.

[Comments about instructor, Dr. Schulthies] Thank you!

[What student liked most] I liked forcing myself to write about every book.

[What student liked least] Forcing myself to come up with what to write about every book.

C.P. - Geatview, WA (Online Student, S'09)
I would have liked to have had more discussions on my class topics outside of the normal 1 x per week format.  That was put on our shoulders and I had it on my to do list but I never got around to contacting other people taking my classes.

I wish I would have worked a little bit harder but life does get in the way sometimes.  I have a problem with writing and I shy away from it.  I should have taken advantage of Dr. Schulthies availability by email or phone but I didn't.  I will definitely do so with the next class I take.

I loved the new technology.  I thought it was much better meeting more frequently than with the Statesmanship seminars which meet only 3 or 4 times a semester.  I also really enjoyed the live audio with the other participants.  Overall, it is a very viable option for those of us who will not be able to have an on campus experience.

I wish there was more direction given and maybe an outside meeting to have a colloquium on the reading material for the different classes.  I took an economics class and would have liked to have an open discussion on some of the readings.

J.P. - Simi Valley, CA (Online Student, S'09)
I found [the syllabus] easy to read and understand. I like the OLS system. I enjoy that great big green check mark when an assignment is submitted.

I had a lot of reading to do this summer and I enjoyed it immensely. I enjoyed the variety of reading in each course.

It took me awhile to get into the routine of studying and it is a challenge to say self-disciplined enough to keep going.

I enjoyed the discussions with everyone. This was a very intelligent and articulate group.

Dr. Schulthies was fantastic. He modeled for us how to ask good questions, how to read and analyze text, and he has a great sense of humor.

It took awhile to learn how to use Elluminate. I went through the tutorials and still had problems posting my quotes. I feel like I did not know enough about it going into it and that is why I am marking it a little lower. I understand that this was the first trial of using it. I enjoyed it much more than telephone meetings.

I enjoyed the live discussions. I liked using the white board for quotes, illustrations, and being able to see other media was fun. I enjoyed the mix of lecture and discussions.

I had a tough time with the simulation. I had participated in face-to-face simulations and it was more satisfying. If I had known about doing more preparation with others beforehand, it would have been a little better.

K.P. - Gilbert, AZ (Online Student, S'09)
I included more than I could finish in the semester.

I loved the material.

Summer is a distracting time. My study time was not as effective as it could have been. I think I could have got through more material.

It's great to associate with such smart people!

Dr. Schulthies inspires me to have confidence in myself. He believes that I can learn difficult concepts.  Dr. Schulthies is extremely approachable. But more important he instills confidence in the students which helps them to be more successful.

More time spent in discussion with my mentor. I feel very motivated after one-on-one time with a mentor and felt that the class time is great but I enjoy the one-on-one time better.

The material is the best. The classics are very important to my studies. I also enjoy the individual focus. I learn for myself at my own pace the things that are important to me.

C.P. - Las Vegas, NV (Online Student, S'09)
For an eight week period and two classes, I was maxed out.  I studied an average of 6 hours daily.  I was grateful for being allowed to substitute material which was pertinent to my needs in order to complete the course. Thanks!

I studied 6 hours daily.  I took two classes.

Ideally, I would have liked to have spend more time in each classic really personalizing it in written responses in greater detail.  I felt at times that it was a little conveyor belt because of the short time allowed and the time needed to complete each work as being inadequate.  Then again, I'm a perfectionist.

I like the idea of a virtual classroom and all of its possibilities.  I just need more opportunities to practice and be analyzed in public speaking and diplomacy.

I appreciate the accepting personality of Dr. Schulthies in never being critical, always accepting, and his ability to listen and allow others the opportunity to respond.  I believe the discussions were well prepared and executed and that I ultimately was able to get out of the course what I put into it.  Dr. Schulthies also is a very patient and understanding mentor who I feel is overbooked.

Gary Arnell and Todd Dowd were great.  Always willing and ready to assist, meet with, and solve the technical problems.

I loved the reading.  I enjoyed discussing the quote strands and hearing others' points of view as they related the classics to themselves.  I enjoyed the lecture on political economy and the Declaration of Independence.

[What the student liked least] That my mic didn't work.  I need more opportunities for public speaking and presentation.

J.R. - Beaver Dam, AZ (Online Student, S'09)
The quantity of the one course I took was plenty for me at this time in my life.

I did too little at the beginning and too much at the end to know what my average was. I plan to study two hours an evening in future courses.

I need to budget my time better. I found the process of reading, annotating, discussing, summarizing, and responding to be outstanding. I understand things when I read them quite well, but I don't retain them well. All the writing and discussing improved my retention many times over.

Considering it was an online course, the environment was nearly like a classroom.

Stan was a great discussion leader. I especially appreciated his talent at discussing theoretical examples, whether realistic or exaggerated in order to make a point.

I...appreciated the effort Stan made to respond to questions by email.

The office was helpful every time I called except for the time I called to find out if my transcript from Ohio State had arrived, and that time I never got a call back. I still don't know if my transcript has arrived.

The process and the classics--read, annotate, discuss, summarize, respond.

Everything was somewhere between good and great. If one on one mentoring by phone, say three times in a semester, were part of the program, that would add the personal touch the class lacked.

D.R. - Ann Arbor, MI (Online Student, S'09)
[The material] was wonderful stuff!  This really was the best for all of the topics I studied available.  The one book I questioned at all was the Economics textbook by Samuelson.  I guess it was supposed to have been for Keynes but I didn't really get that from it until I was told.

I studied about 40 hours per week.  I split it into 6 days per week and did 6 or 7 hours, then a few more on Sunday or some other day to hit about 40.

I worked REALLY hard this semester.  Harder than ever before.  I was kind of confused about how it would work to take a normal class and squish it into half the time.  I wasn't given any guidelines on how to do that except to work really hard.  So I did.  I don't think I got as much out of the material as I could have if I had had twice as long, but I think for the time given, I got 110% out of it.  I would not recommend taking two really hard classes in the summer.  That's a smart thing to do in regular colleges, but for you guys, it was the exact opposite.  You should take easy classes or a light load in the summer so that you can give it all it's due.  I will have to now spend who knows how long studying this on my own until I REALLY get it.

At first I was skeptical and I did not like the idea of having group classes online so much.  However, I changed my mind quickly once I found out how nice it was to have a forum for discussion on such a regular basis.

A few things I noticed that I disliked:  a few times I had internet connectivity trouble, and that about ruined the class for me that day (one day it took me a whole hour to get back on), that would be terrible for someone with a poor connection.  Also, if someone didn't have internet access, would that mean that they couldn't be a student at all?  That doesn't seem right.

All in all, I loved the Elluminate software.  I am taking [a class with another school] using different software, and this is a million times better!

Things I really liked:  I liked feeling like I had a peer group.  I hadn't ever felt that way except on oral finals day before.  I even made connections and friends some this time!  

I realized that if I needed to ask Dr. Schulthies (or Todd Dowd) a question but couldn't reach them, I could ask during class and I was certain to get an answer.  My first semester at GWU I spend weeks trying to reach my mentor.  This is a GIANT improvement on that!!!

My favorite aspect of online classes was the experience possible.  I realized during one of our more powerful classes that these online classes can mirror the experience found during the Face to Face seminars!  That was so valuable to me, and I know it is for you.

I LOVED having Dr. Schulthies as a mentor this semester!!!  He is the third mentor I have had in as many semesters, and for sure this experience was the best!  One of the reasons is that he was so very knowledgeable in everything!  I never felt like he wouldn't know the answer to my question, or would at least be able to quickly find out.  He was very prompt to get back with me, even when he was ridiculously busy.  I appreciated how hard he worked to stay on top of communication.

I liked how Dr. Schulthies was a good combination of altering things to fit me and at the same time making me work really hard!  He did a good job of assessing who I am as a learner and helping me push myself, exactly what I expect at George Wythe University!

I liked how Dr. Schulthies was personal.  He didn't hold back about his own experiences and life.  He was a real person and that helped me want to be better.

One thing I noticed about Dr. Schulthies right away is the fact that he uses every opportunity to teach. I love that!  I first talked with him when he administered my oral Hebrew final Winter semester, and during the test he spent time teaching and instructing.  I thought that was so neat, and I noticed that he does that always.  That's a true mentor, if you ask me!

Clearly you need to work on OLS a bunch.  I think it has the possibility to be a really wonderful thing once it's full potential is made available.  I have given feedback on OLS to Dr. Schulthies as the semester progressed and I hope he sent it to whomever can use it.

My favorite thing about being a student at George Wythe University is how hard I work, and it's all by choice!  A student truly gets whatever they put into their studies here, and that means the sky truly is the limit!  I have been to college several times in the past 15 years, this is the 5th time I've "gone back to school".  I can sincerely say that I have worked harder and learned more in my three semesters at George Wythe University than I have in ALL of my other years in school!

I was sometimes frustrated by the fact that things weren't ready to go at the beginning of the semester.  I am always the most on-fire and ready to begin at the beginning, and to have it still "in progress" is super frustrating.  It turned out that some things were not what we were originally told as the semester progressed, like people reading hundreds of pages that weren't actually assigned just because they weren't told until way after the fact.  Or the fact that supposedly people taking the writing class were supposed to work with Liz, but I wasn't ever told, so I got less out of the class than I know I could have.  Some of that stuff isn't very professional.

J.S. - Monticello, UT (Online Student, S'09)
I had originally signed up for 3 classes. I had read the suggested time commitment, but didn't realize it was a recommendation for a normal fall or spring semester. Once I withdrew from 2 classes, then I was able to spend about 15 hours per week on the 1 summer class.

I began this venture with not much more than typing skills (not computer skills) and a desire to learn. I saturated myself with the material. I stayed committed and focused throughout the semester. I know that I am capable of moving forward towards a Statesman degree, and will continue this noble pursuit.

The classroom was a great experience. Over time I came to recognize the voices of my classmates, and looked forward to their comments. I was humbled by my lack of knowledge, and impressed by the amount of knowledge that many possessed. The only thing bad is, I wanted to meet them all in person, to really connect. But that is not possible.

I really appreciated that during class time, [Mr. Szczesny] let the classics, quotes, classmates and God do most of the instructing. He led the discussion by asking questions. I came to realize that equally important as giving the answers, is asking the questions and letting a person's mind lead them to new thoughts and insight, and the desire to search. This hit home very powerfully during the oral testing. I listened to Stan for about 2 hours before it was my turn. His skill/talent gave me a glimpse of what studying in this way can do. I want to be able to ask questions and lead a discussion the way Stan does. He is a great example of a mentor, which was the number one reason I signed up for classes. I didn't realize all the other benefits that would come along also.

When I heard "online services" I thought it meant the Elluminate site. I am very unskilled on the computer and even less when it comes to terms. Once I became acquainted with OLS, I loved it. It's very helpful in keeping you on track and focused on your assignments.

I can't begin to express my feelings about being enrolled at GWU. The principles, examples, mentors and classics have enriched my life beyond what I had imagined. My mind is in a constant state of thinking and pondering. Then the need to discuss what I have learned gives me the opportunity to enrich the lives of others.

Just having everything be so new. The computer, the terms, the newness of committing to put in the hours. All of this is just part of life and no ones fault. I am ready to "hit the ground running" in the fall.
I recommend GW to everyone!!!

M.S. - Queen Creek, AZ (Online Student, S'09)
I loved being able to discuss the material with my fellow students. I loved the Elluminate program in facilitating this feature.

The biographies gave me a real insight into the lives of these great people. To read their words and be able to get inside their heads, their hearts and their lives was a real privilege.

It was challenging, but so rewarding.

I love the material because I learned how to think in a much deeper and more substantial way. I look at the world in a greater, broader more inquisitive way. I feel like I can appreciate more diversity of opinions and other ways of thinking, and yet feel even more grounded in my beliefs and values.

It was extremely time consuming, but I loved it because the concepts really have stayed with me. I feel like I really know the material and that it has become a part of who I am.

I have learned that leadership is really about getting to know yourself. By looking at the organizations you are a leader in, you can learn a lot about who you are. Being a leader starts with being able to lead yourself first. Then we are able to lead others with greatness.

Having more one on one conversations with my mentor. To be able to ask questions specifically from my individual courses.

I thought the quantity was just right. It's a lot to think about because it's an inside out methodology.

Dr. Schulthies was a very competent and entertaining instructor. He went with the flow of the class. He is very well educated and could answer any questions we had. He was kind and personable.

I didn't have much interaction with the office, but from what dealing I did have, they were very polite and prompt in their service.

M.S. - Logandale, NV (Online Student, S'09)
Loved it.  I felt we needed a lot of mentor assistance for the math class that would have been nice to have available without it being on all the students to arrange times, etc.

I have never worked harder in my work than I did this semester, and not just because I was taking more classes, but because of all the written work, the student study groups, and the lectures every week.  It was incredibly rigorous in addition to all the other responsibilities I've got.

I was really frustrated with the online component.  I like it when it works, but I live between Baltimore and DC - our internet connectivity competes with a dense population and was sketchy at best.  My headset never worked properly although I replaced it TWICE with no positive result.

I would have liked to have pre appointed mentor meetings.  I feel like without having frequent personal access to the mentor, there's no real reason to be paying for school.  I can read books on my own, I can set up colloquia groups on my own, but I cannot teach myself the deep aspects of abstract philosophical thought.  Nicomachus.  Without that connection, knowing that someone knows my name, my voice, what I'm doing, who I am, how I'm truly progressing - how can I be rated accurately at the end of the semester?  This is such a weighty matter to me that it makes or breaks my commitment to the school.  I think Dr. Schulthies is incredibly amazing, intelligent, understanding, competent, etc.  There is no problem with him.  The student load was too high for one mentor (in my opinion), and when you take the mentor mostly out of it, you take away the one thing that keeps me coming back to GWU.  It feels that somehow GW has lost the genius of small.

I LOVED how much I got to interact with the other students in my classes.  It was powerful to be able to collaborate with them and share our most meaningful insights with each other as we read them.  Last semesters have been filled with AWESOME mentor meetings but zero student interaction.  It seems we've swung too far now to the peers, away from the mentor - there needs to be a balanced center between the two.  and of course, as always, I loved the selection of books for the courses.  I also loved being able to go back and listen to the lectures over and over until I got it or because I loved it or because I had missed it.

The internet classroom was hard with my headset and connectivity issues.  Not having mentor meetings pre-set.  I was told to call if I needed anything - I knew he was there, I would just very much prefer a preset appointment once each month.  Also, with math, it would have been great to have at least two or three lab classes so to speak that we get to attend, knowing we're going to get the instruction we need to complete the course, to understand the material.

J.S. - Fort Meade, MD (Online Student, S'09)
I am used to the intensity of being on campus, but I did enjoy the online courses and found them to be very comparable to on campus education.

R.V. - West Valley City, UT (Online Student, S'09)
I love what I am doing.  It gives plenty of opportunity for self growth and reflection if you allow it.

J.W. - Oregon City, OR (Online Student, S'09)
[Regarding quantity\quality of course material] Awesome!!!

I studied about 24 Hours a week total, so that works out to about 8 hours per week per course.

I did the best I was able to given how full my life is. I am satisfied that I did well, but there are lots of things I would like to do better. Now that I understand that we make our own study plans, I will have that figured out before hand for next semester, and I will be more ready to jump in and get started with power this time. I want to prepare better for the oral, and now that I have done one I hope to do better next time. I also want to understand more precisely what is expected for the papers I write - the format particularly.

I felt my classmates and I could have done a little better in getting together and discussing the readings in some cases. That may have been mostly to do with me, however. Now that I know how things can work, I think it will be easier for me to initiate these conversations from now on. I did think that some did very well at this - [J.G., a fellow student - one of the four mentors!] was a good shepherd I think.

Dr. Schulthies was great. Really the only problem I had was in understanding how the grading was done. I couldn't figure out if we were being compared to ourselves or to others or both. I'm not sure why I got the marks I did. I could have asked about that, but it just never happened. That is something I would like made clear next semester.

There were a couple of times office staff didn't get back to me right away, and I had to call back one or more times. Overall, though, I have had a very positive experience in this area.

I loved the readings and the papers we were required to write. I felt that the papers caused me to really think and internalize the material. I really, really liked that we could choose what we wrote about. That opened up the learning for me in an amazing way. I don't know if I have ever learned and understood so much in such a short period of time before. I liked the interdisciplinary approach. In many ways I liked the online format better than actually attending on campus because I could go on vacation and be flexible with my time. I also liked that I wasn't in great crowds of people because I easily begin to feel lost.

I found it a little bit hard to make a connection with my teacher/mentor and the other students, but that is probably to be expected in the online format. I think the problem can be substantially overcome now that I see how things work. I think it would have been helpful for new students to be told about making their own study plan ahead of time so they could have been prepared to get started right away. Maybe an email sent out a week before classes start. Returning students wouldn't need that.

S.W. - Alberta, Canada (Online Student, S'09)
More time, more group discussion/colloquiums.  I really enjoyed the quote threads and lectures.  I had not had that before and I hope to do it again. Great class.

I can't think of what I would have left out.  It was difficult to get all of the readings in, but they were all good.

Thank you, Dr. Schulthies, for a very fine class.  I hope to work with you again.  I felt that I could have learned so much more from you if we had had more time.

[Regarding interaction with office staff] No syllabus, but answers to questions were prompt and friendly.

C.W. - Danville, CA (Online Student, S'09)
I'm excited about learning more Hebrew and reading the Old Testament.

R.W. - Lindon, UT (Hebrew Extension Course Student, S'09)

[The syllabus was] very useful, clear, and thought provoking.  Many pleasantly challenging assignments.

It was nice to go over my trip to Europe and analyze the different places I'd visited and learn a little more about historic sites. A good way to crystalize a fantastic trip.

Just the right amount of everything. Very thought provoking.
Keep up the good work!

[What the student liked most] Reviewing all the activities I'd done, realizing how many historic places I had visited and how many stories I had learned. I also liked how easy it was to upload everything online.  Somehow, I remember things used be a lot more difficult to submit.

[What the student liked least] Not being in Europe! The course made me want to go back and see everything all over again.

M.W. - Spotsylvania, VA (Europe Abroad Student, S'09)

I liked having group discussions.  Sharing of ideas from other class mates.

N.W. - Acworth, GA (Online Student, S'09)
The classes were great.  I knew the basic timetable for discussion for each week.

The subject matter was very pertinent to today's social climate.  I felt as though the class participation leant much to further my understanding that other people have ideas too.  Sometimes they agree with mine...and sometimes not.  Nevertheless, a great education and growth occurred for all those that participated actively.

[Regarding hours studied per week] More than I had.

I know that this was a test run for the online school part.  I felt that it was much better than any other distance learning environment than I have ever been in before.  It was very encouraging since I have had negative experiences with online schooling in the past.

A nice welcome email with directions on how to log on to the web seminars would have been nice to have.  Just something prearranged.  It was not a huge deal, but I had to ask how I was to access the classes.  Just felt weird...as though there was a lack of general preparation.

I would have liked more information to be available on the GWU website for the students. My wife and I were constantly searching the site looking for pricing and schedules.  Basic things like how to move from one semester to another were confusing because (in my case) I wasn't taking all the courses listed.  So, am I still in the first semester of Undergrad?  or do I move on?  I took time to actually add up all the classes to see that I need to take all of them to qualify for my BA.  I am glad the office staff is helpful, but I don't want to have to call them every time I have a question.  Some things are easy enough to find out for myself.

I would have appreciated being able to pick and choose my courses a bit easier.  My basic problem with it is that I knew that I could only be part-time, but it was the same price to take the full part-time option with three classes as it was a partial with maybe one or two classes.  I wanted to get the most for my money.  A graduated tier system would be nice where one pays for individual classes.

In regards to OLS, it was very clear and easy to use.  Being able to upload files larger than 1M would be better.  Also, my mentor wasn't notified when I had submitted any work until all five parts of an assignment were completed.  I kept waiting for feedback, but didn't get any.  When I asked if Stan was getting my work, he said he hadn't seen anything.  Then I didn't want to submit my work because he wasn't getting it.  Then I find out that he could access it but wasn't notified it was there.  Now I'm submitting my work, and its too late to get any feedback before it gets graded.  Also, I'm working with Microsoft Office 2007 and Stan is working with Office 2003.  My assignments couldn't not be recognized by him.  So, now I am resubmitting my works in the bodies of emails.  I'm not sure if maybe the technology should be updated or if the syllabus should have said to have work submitted in a 2003 format, but that would be something to think about for future semesters.

It may sound like I am ranting or that I hated the experience.  That is not true.  I loved every minute of it.  I just think these items would have made it even better.  I look forward to continuing to learn.

I have two comments on the office staff.  First, I was able to stop by a few weeks ago for a tour of the physical campus.  We went on the Friday before the Shakespeare Festival.  The only people there were the assistants and office technicians; however, they were very courteous to my whole family (including our extremely rambunctious 4 and 5 year olds).  They even gave us a tour and answered some of our curiosities.
     Secondly, we have had a great experience dealing with Gary Arnell.  We happened to know him from way back in his California days.  It was fun to touch base with him again, but he was also extremely helpful and quick to respond to our questions either via email or over the phone.

[Comments on the classroom] It was much better than I expected. [That said, this] is a highly individualized question.  I am a married father of 3.  I also work full time, and we home school too.  Add church and a family garden and there is already a scheduling crisis.  Furthermore, it has been several years since I have had to incorporate active studying into my days and weeks.  I admit that I was somewhat rusty.  For all of these reasons I felt as though I had too much to read and write and contemplate.  But, like I started saying, this is a highly personal interpretation of the workload.

[Mr. Szczesny] is a very good mentor.  I felt as though he was extremely proficient in all of his materials that he presented.  He was always prepared...or at least he seemed prepared.  I never felt rushed when I was talking.  He clearly restated everyone's thoughts, and also asked appropriate follow-up questions to encourage deeper thought.  I do know that he has a personal life, a professional life, and a family life (good luck with the new little one on the way, Stan), but sometimes emails went unanswered for a week or so.  Not that I was super persistent either.  I take credit for not making myself heard enough when I had "important" questions.

I was able to read great books and share my opinions openly.  I never felt rushed in the classroom, and I almost always got to say what was on my mind.  (Hopefully, my comments aren't what some people liked the least.)

Just a bit frustrated with the time it takes to do all that I wanted to do.  I'm just really concerned about the fiscal nature of my decisions.  Otherwise, I would have taken fewer classes.  That would have been a better option I think overall.

J.W. - Nipomo, CA (Online Student, S'09)

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