An Inside Look at Being an Ohio State Online Student

What is it really like to be a student enrolled in an all online degree program? Common online education myths may lead you to believe that you’ll frequently be working alone, never have a relationship with your instructor or fellow students, and most importantly that your degree won’t be valued by potential employers upon graduation.

However, at The Ohio State University we’re dedicated to providing our students with a quality educational experience that employers will value. In addition, instructors are committed to getting to know their students, as well as building out coursework that encourages interaction with them and your fellow students.

We got a chance to talk to Greg Stockton, a recent graduate from Ohio State’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, about his online education experience. He is currently a nurse anesthetist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, as well as a part-time instructor for the Otterbein University/Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia program. Stockton shared how his experience with Ohio State Online was far different from the ‘myths’ you often hear around online learning.  

Myth: Employers won’t accept my online degree.

The Reality: “I think this goes back to where you do your coursework. If you go to a large academic institution like Ohio State, whether you have an online degree, or have been on campus or a combination of both – that degree will be as well thought of if you were on campus all four years at Ohio State.”

Myth: Online education is easier.

The Reality: “If anything I think that it is more challenging. To actually sit down and be disciplined to have that self-motivation to complete coursework and to have it ready when you’re online or turn it in online I thought was a little bit more challenging. It’s pretty easy with the way Ohio State has their online program set up if you have a question, you can email back and forth or call the professor and get an answer pretty quickly. But, it’s not as easy as raising your hand and going ‘hey what do you mean by XYZ?’ And because it’s online, you have to have some skills to say here’s what they’re saying or here’s what the article says. You actually had to sit there and think about it and mull it over a bit and think about it more – maybe go online and find some other research to help support or clarify what was being said. I think if anything it’s a little bit more challenging, but challenging in a good way. It helps you expand yourself.”

Myth: You don’t get to know your instructor.

The Reality: “My instructors were very receptive to answering my emails or questions. In the way that our program was set up, you met every week so you had the opportunity to ask questions and interact not only with your instructors, but also your fellow students. You didn’t meet them in person, except on the annul get together for the class. But, you got to know them and what their research interests were. You got to know a little bit about their backgrounds and probably shared a little bit more that way. We only had 15 - 17 students per course and part of the coursework was to talk about yourself and how the project related to what you did. If you had questions that you needed to correspond with an instructor, they were very good at getting back to you in a timely manner. And at Ohio State we got an advisor assigned to us pretty early on. So you got to know them a little better than the rest of the professors in other courses, because you were consulting, working and building on your DNP scholarly project.”

Myth: The quality of teaching is lower.

The Reality: “The quality of teaching as experienced at Ohio State is at a very high level. It’s the same professors teaching online that teach on campus. It’s not someone who only teaches part-time, these are full-time professors that are all doctoral prepared.”

An online program provided the flexibility Stockton needed to obtain his degree – but it also provided him with broader knowledge in his subject area, the opportunity to develop important soft skills, and strong relationships with his instructors. 

So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to us to learn more about the completely online degree programs offered at Ohio State.