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Online Courses at Florida National University

On the homepage of Florida National University (FNU), the tab “online learning” offers a wide range of different programs for students. The question is: Are online courses better and more effective than studying on-campus? Is it easier for students to use these modern methods instead of those that are more “old-fashioned”? This paper aims to examine the problems of online students at Florida National University: weak interaction with the instructor, and lack of social interaction and motivation.

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Students who prefer to study online often show interest in the activity they choose, proficiency with technology, and strong intrinsic motivation. However, online students do not always find it possible to manage their time properly, or may not receive enough support from their instructor (Gonzalez 35). These problems lead to more frequent dropouts. In his study of online students at Florida National University, Ernesto Gonzalez notes that instructor participation is extremely important to students: “Instructors must pay attention to the learning content itself, teaching methods/styles, their expertise in the subject matter… and types of learning activities… giving students practical work experiences to apply their learning” (35). The way a student and his or her instructor communicate is also important. Philip C. Abrami names different types of interaction that could be used in distance education, including telephone calls, videoconferencing, chats, or discussion boards and e-mails (86). It is probably important to combine several methods and use all their advantages together to stimulate success in studying. Taking these factors into consideration, in order to decrease students’ withdrawal from online courses, FNU must pay attention to the communication methods that students and instructors are using.

Another important issue is the process of studying. To achieve better results, students need social interaction, especially with other members of the courses they are taking. This could happen if students had a special place where they could meet and discuss or study their courses together. This type of studying is heavily influenced by the technology the students are using: “These interactions may have been limited by how the courses… were designed and delivered and limited by how technology-mediated learning and instruction” (Abrami 87). FNU should possibly pay more attention to the design of online courses and the technology used so that the tools the students are using would make the process of studying easier. As Gonzales noted, this process becomes more frustrating for the students if the design of the courses is too difficult for them to understand, or web server crashes draw their attention away from the content (41). Since the students must interact with the content they are using (digital and paper texts, videos, audiobooks, specifically designed software), it must not only be easily accessible and stable but also include the newest data and research results.

It is also important to address the lack of motivation of students. Of course, it is not FNU’s problem if online students cannot manage their time properly, or choose courses that turn out to be too difficult for them. Nevertheless, FNU could implement a special on-campus or short-term online course that would instruct students how to manage the time they have for their courses, search for the content they need quickly and efficiently, and deal with the frustration that is normal for both online and on-campus students.

Problems in distance education are a common issue worldwide. However, to help students successfully finish their courses, FNU must take note of such problems as the students’ interaction with the instructor and their peers, and technology’s impact on their motivation. Distance education has many advantages and could be even more helpful with a little improvement.


Abrami, Philip C. “The Next Generation of Distance Education.” Interaction in Distance Education and Online Learning: Using Evidence and Theory to Improve Practice. Ed. Leslie Moller and Jason B. Huett. New York: Springer Publishing US, 2012. 49-69. Print.

Gonzalez, Ernesto. “Motivation and Retention: A Comparison between Fully Online Students and On-Campus Students Taking Online Courses.” The Online Journal of Distance Education and e-Learning. 3.3 (2015):33-48. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 17). Online Courses at Florida National University. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, December 17). Online Courses at Florida National University.

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StudyCorgi. "Online Courses at Florida National University." December 17, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Online Courses at Florida National University." December 17, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Online Courses at Florida National University'. 17 December.

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