Student Snippets


Summer Class Wrap

Welp, my summer class (Records Management) is a wrap. What a whirlwind! What a race! What an adventure! In typical life fashion, just about everything went wrong with my carefully laid plans the last week of class.

Kids got sick (so no summer school ☹). Hubby extra busy at work. Cue mad scrambling.

I never intend for the end-of-semester time to be a hot mess, and I always try to be well prepared. But somehow it just seems to happen anyway. Did you know that I (or my kids) have gotten sick the last week of class EVERY semester I've been at Simmons? It's true. I'm keeping track.

Anyway, enough complaining. I have exactly one month now to pick up the pieces and get my affairs in order before fall semester starts. I have a lot going on this fall and some very exciting news to share............which I'm saving for my next blog post! Haha! I wanted to use this post to talk about my summer class and the online format in general.

So: Records Management. This was a fascinating class and the instructor was excellent. I took it because it counts for one of my archives electives and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone in the archives track. You'll walk away with a pretty solid understanding of records management and how it works, and with more insight into the archives field and how the two are connected. I learned more about some other related areas within the information professions, such as knowledge management, project management, and information management. A great class to check out if any of this sounds interesting to you!

In terms of the format, I've made a bulleted list down below that you can skip right to if you're short on time. This was not my first fully online class at Simmons, but it was my first fully online summer class. I took Intro to Archives online last fall, and I've taken a couple of blended (in-person/online) courses. I really like how Simmons offers all these different formats - it's because of this flexibility that I can do the program at all. However, the online format is not my first choice. While it gets extra points for flexibility (I visited four different states while I was taking this class!) the thing you miss out on is the human interaction. Even as an introvert I will say that there is a lot of value in the experience of getting to know your classmates, making small talk about life and school, asking impromptu questions in class, discussing topics face-to-face, and engaging in group work. I miss the collaboration and camaraderie that happens in the classroom.

So I made a list of all the most significant characteristics (to me) of online summer classes, but I leave the designation of pro/con up to you, because it might be different depending on your personality, learning style, and situation. Happy reading!

Online Summer Classes: Pros/Cons (you choose)

  • Short: half the length of a spring/fall semester class
  • Intense pace: double the load of spring/fall class
  • Geographical freedom (with an internet connection)
  • Self-directed learning
  • LOTS of reading, LOTS of writing
  • Virtual human interaction as opposed to actual human interaction
  • In my experience, much larger class size
  • Less personal, less personalized