I began teaching online about five years ago and it has been a very rewarding experience. I have had the opportunity to meet students who, if not for online courses/virtual classrooms and the freedom of accessibility, I may not have ever met. For example, I have had wonderful students who were active in the military and stationed in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. I found it incredible that these students found the time to be involved in all class discussions, finish their assignments and take the tests, all while serving our country! I feel fortunate to have had students with such amazing backgrounds and experiences that add so much value to our virtual classrooms and discussions.
The online program in the Administration of Justice (AJ) Department was created by instructor Jim Smith who has been with West Valley College for over 25 years! Jim Smith was one of the first instructors on campus to offer courses online. He has worked for many years to develop an online program that is in-depth, tailored towards the needs of our students and one that encourages interaction between students and the instructor (which is essential in any virtual classroom environment).
In 2010, for the first time ever, we began offering our AJ 023 (Police Report Writing class) online. The class offers virtual police scenarios and allows students to write police reports based on these scenarios. With the introduction of the AJ 023 course, AJ students now have the ability to take all core classes required as an AJ major completely online. Feel free to watch one of the scenarios via the following link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/report-writing-scenarios-1/id549693987?i=118805757&mt=2
Another pretty awesome fact about our program is that students both in the traditional classroom (on campus) and in the virtual classroom benefit from an amazing array of guest speakers that present to our classes. All presentations are videotaped and uploaded onto iTunesU. This allows all students at West Valley College accessibility to view presentations made by our guest speakers whether on or off campus via the following site: http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/west-valley-college/id380859078
We are very proud of our entire program, our faculty and especially our virtual classrooms!