Posts Tagged ‘online education’

Education for the Traveler

August 14, 2017

I never knew how much the world had to offer until I stepped into it and decided to live. For sure, everyone has their own idea of living— some aspire to have the white-picket fence and a home filled with a family, while others, like me, have decided to break away from the ordinary and travel with an uncertainty that is fueled with the idea that everything will workout in the end. In 2011 I did something almost unthinkable for a hometown girl from Kentucky, I became an expatriate. America will always be home, but the world has been calling me, and I can’t shake off the need to answer.

Since moving abroad the amount of history that I have seen with my very own eyes and have touched with my very own hands is countless. I am able to do all of this because I made the decision to become a certified TESOL teacher, which means I teach the English language to those who want to learn it. Teaching English abroad has been the most rewarding job I have ever had, but two years ago I decided I wanted to start making a change and that’s when I discovered the IMC program at WVU.Picture2

Working on my master’s degree while living abroad has been great! Don’t get me wrong, it can be very challenging, but that’s the best part. It makes me get out of my comfort zone and explore my community. I am currently residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and being able to experience the culture and how IMC comes into play has been such a learning experience. The culture here is very different than what I grew up knowing and being able to understanding that and use it throughout the IMC program has allowed me to bring a new dimension to my class discussions and papers.

Throughout the program I have noticed several differences in advertising, but the one that stands out to me the most is the lack of women in advertisements. Women’s body parts are not allowed to be out on display, so getting creative on how to advertise is a must, especially if you’re selling women’s clothing. Another hot topic is the fact that women can’t drive here, regardless of personal opinions on this matter, as a student who is studying IMC I have found that women in this country have really utilized social media in order to work from home and some have become very successful.

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I typically get the same questions about living in Saudia Arabia. Is it safe? Do you have to cover your body? Is the food good? I always answer with, Yes, I feel extremely safe here. Yes, I have to cover my body by wearing an abaya. There are times I cover my hair and times I don’t. It is not compulsory for me to cover my hair, but a vast majority of the people living here do wear a hijab (head covering). If you’ve never had Middle Eastern food, you’re missing out! However, Riyadh is home to almost any western restaurant you can think of. This city is full of expats, so the food choices are endless.

I am still not done traveling, as you can see I’ve only dipped my toes in the water, but I do like that I will have a career path that’s different than teaching when I decide to try it out. I may even take my IMC degree with me into the education field. Being an ESL teacher has allowed me to travel and see the world and to meet the most amazing people along the way. It is because of my lifestyle I even discovered the IMC program. For that I am grateful.

I implore you to step out of your comfort zone and travel, the world is beautiful.


Milinda Gray is currently a TESOL teacher in Saudia Arabia, and she is a student in the Integrated Marketing Communications master’s program at WVU. 

7 Tips to Succeed in an Online Learning Environment

September 13, 2016

imc-7tips_blog-post

According to D. Frank Smith, 5.8 million Americans are enrolled in an online course—that’s one in four students!

For many, the thought of online classes is unnerving, yet virtual enrollment continues to grow. It can’t be that scary, right?—Right! Here are some tips we put together for succeeding in online classes.

  1. Print your syllabi

Keep a hard copy of any and all documents distributed by your professor, especially the syllabus. Printing these documents will help you to better understand and keep track of the course assignments, as well as remember your instructor’s expectations.

  1. Designate a workspace

Choose a space in which you feel you will be the most productive to complete your course work. Use this space only for class-related activities and, while you are there, turn off your cell phone to avoid all distractions.

  1. Remain organized

Keep a master schedule of when all of your assignments are due. To ensure you do not forget anything, write yourself daily to-do lists, complete with detailed instructions for each project.

  1. Communicate problems early

Communication is key! Whether it is a problem with your server or a question about an assignment, communicate issues are their onset, as they will then be much easier to resolve.

  1. Space it out

Work a little bit each day. Don’t procrastinate or try to complete all of your assignments in one sitting. This will do nothing but overwhelm you and put a damper on your creativity.

  1. Participate

Participate, participate, participate! Online classes allow you to learn as much from your classmates as you do from your instructor; however, the responsibility is yours. The amount of effort you put into a virtual course will reflect the amount of knowledge you gain.

  1. Reward yourself

Incentivize yourself with periodic rewards. After completing a large project or a difficult paper, treat yourself! You deserve it!

Online courses can take time to get used to; however, their benefits are undeniable. Online learning provides students with flexibility, lower costs and greater technological knowledge. So…don’t be nervous about online courses. If you keep in mind these seven tips, you are sure to succeed in any online learning environment.

 

IMC Version 2.0.1.0.

February 12, 2010

Hi everyone! Welcome to the IMC blog, Version 2.0.1.0. My name is Stacy Wise, and you’ve just won a VIP ticket to hop aboard the IMC train with me, so here we go!

I’ve just started the IMC program (Early Spring 2010), and I’m currently taking IMC 610 with Professor Stacey Creely. I will be your resident blogger for the entire time I’m in the program, so I’ll be with you for a while. Lucky you!

A little bit about me.  West Virginia has always been home to me. I grew up in Fairmont, WV, which is about 20 minutes south of Morgantown. As you can probably guess, I’ve always been a Mountaineer, and I earned my undergraduate degree in advertising from our very own P.I. Reed School of Journalism.

My husband Mark and I have been together for seven years, married for four. Mark is a computer geek, and I mean that in a most affectionate way (ha ha). He is a co-founder of Threewide Corporation—a technology company that helps brokers and agents market properties. We have a 2-year-old daughter, Hailey, who is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. She is especially fond of Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu. I have had no influence on this matter whatsoever. Honest.

The Wises

Steeler fans

My first job post-college was as a copy editor for Morgantown’s local newspaper, The Dominion Post. It was a really fun job, and I learned a lot. But, let’s be honest. Working afternoon shift and weekends doesn’t exactly do wonders for your social life …

So, after working in the newsroom for a year I took a job as a writer/editor in the planning and marketing department at WVU Hospitals. I worked there doing internal communications and public relations until Hailey arrived in 2007. At that time, I quit working full-time to be a stay-at-home Mom for a few years, and did some freelance work on the side. Which brings us to today. I am excited to be back in school, and confident that an IMC degree will help me find a great job when that time comes.

The majority of you current and prospective IMC students live out of state, and I’ll bet that many of you have probably never been to West Virginia. So, here are a few fun facts that I’ve gathered for you current and prospective Mountaineers (I promise this is NOT a history lesson!).

  • Mother’s Day was first observed at Andrews Church in Grafton, WV, on May 10, 1908.

First Mother's Day, Grafton, WV.

  • West Virginia University was established on February 7, 1867, under the name of “Agricultural College of West Virginia.”

Early photo of Martin Hall, WVU. 1872.

Martin Hall today (Home of the WVU P. I. Reed School of Journalism).

  • Outdoor advertising originated in Wheeling, WV, around 1908 when the Block Brothers Tobacco Company painted bridges and barns with the wording: “Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch.”

Mail Pouch tobacco sign

  • The longest steel arch bridge (1,700 feet) in the world is the New River Gorge Bridge in WV. Every year a Bridge Day is held here, where people BASE jump off the bridge. (Jumping off a bridge isn’t my cup of tea, and I’ve never personally attended a Bridge Day, but I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun to watch).

New River Gorge, WV

  • Pepperoni rolls originated at the Country Club Bakery in my hometown of Fairmont, WV. (If you don’t know what a pepperoni roll is, you should really learn .)

The pepperoni roll -- a West Virginia must.

Well, I really didn’t mean to write you a novel, so let’s wrap this up and call it a day. My wish for this blog is for it to be as interactive as possible, so I want to hear back from you! Some of you I’ve already “met” in class, and I will be twisting your virtual arms to participate—you know who you are. Tell me (and everyone else) about yourself, where you live, and why you joined (or want to join) the IMC program. If you are a prospective student reading this blog ask me questions!

Until we blog again…

Stacy