Future graduate finds way through online learning

Heather wears her graduation cap and holds gown over shoulder.

Heather shares her Madison College story

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Heather Nordmeyer. I am from a small town, Walworth, Wisconsin and lived in Madison for about 4 years. I am a senior (fourth year) at Madison College majoring in marketing and minoring in business management. I plan to graduate from Madison College in May of 2021 and hopefully find a job in the marketing world.

How did college change for you after COVID-19 restrictions went into effect?

College changed drastically for me once COVID-19 happened because all schooling went online, and I then moved back to my hometown. Overall, I would say I usually learn better in person, so once everything was online it was a big adjustment for me to get used to learning through a screen, with limited time. 

Were you taking online classes before the college moved to a virtual campus?

Before, I had taken three classes online because that was the only way they were taught. Overall, those three online classes were pretty easy to understand and learn from. Those classes are all involved on a computer anyway, so it made sense to not have to drive to campus to take those three classes.

What is the best part about online learning?

The best part of online learning is being able to usually work on your own time/schedule. Most classes have some in person meet times but usually those did not take up too much of my day. Being able to do homework whenever I wanted to, made it very easy for me to get other things done in my life as well. Usually my professors were lenient because of what is going on in the world. If I had to work and couldn’t make a class, I would just let my professor know and it was fine. A lot of the times, professors would also record the class and put that recording up on BlackBoard for the students who couldn’t make it or wanted to rewatch for studying purposes.

What are some of the challenges of online learning and how do you face those challenges?

One of the challenges I faced with online learning is making sure to keep up the motivation for homework. When doing schooling from home, it was hard sometimes to stay motivated to do homework, since I was used to being on campus.

What advice can you give to students who are just starting out with online college classes?

Some advice I would give new students starting online classes is stay focused, stay organized, and try to keep your motivation up. For me, I learned that if I felt I needed a break after doing some homework for a couple of hours I would try to go and do an activity for a little bit. For example, when I would take my breaks I would go for a walk, go clean, watch a quick YouTube video, etc. After doing an activity for 20 minutes or so, I would get back to my homework. During this time, staying organized and focused will really help you out in the long run.

Anything else you want to share?

Overall, Madison College truly shaped me as an adult and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will always recommend Madison College to new college students. Everyone is so helpful, including the professors. They all truly care about each individual and their well-being. My little sister graduates from high school in June 2021, and she has already applied to Madison College as well.

Heather is a Marketing and Business Management student at Madison College.