Online courses are growing in popularity these days. They allow students to learn at home while saving money on travel and accommodation in a distant location. I’ve heard that established universities are even offering their own distance learning classes.
Though Athabasca University has offered online courses for more than two decades, sight-impaired students such as myself had difficulty with the material. Textbooks couldn’t be sent in electronic form since they weren’t written by Athabasca University. The actual course material was written by the school but their secretaries and teachers felt reluctant to send text copies on floppy disks. Though I explained how to export them from their word-processing programs, the instructors at the University took a long time to grasp what I said.
I enrolled in a business writing course in January of 1995. In spite of the neighbour’s barking dog, I managed to study the material in the evenings. Then an operation on my right eye to relieve the pressure brought a halt to my studying for a month. When I explained the situation, the school kindly allowed me time off to heal.
In June, I wrote my final exam and eagerly awaited my test marks. I got 85% on the course material. Though I had hoped for a higher mark, I felt proud that I stuck with the course. It taught me much regarding formatting documents and writing for various readerships.
I’ve taken many online courses since then, the most recent being a punctuation review course. Studying and writing downloaded exams was a boon to me since I have no transportation. Being self-motivated, I finished the course in record time. I especially enjoyed not having to travel anywhere. It didn’t matter that I sat in my pajamas with a hot mug of tea as I reviewed the course material. I passed that course and have the diploma to prove it.
Being able to write books at home, upload them to a publisher’s web site, and have them for sale is another boon to disabled writers such as myself. I wrote When a Man Loves a Rabbit and Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School Using WordPerfect 5.1 and an old DOS computer. Both books are featured at Bruce Atchison’s books. Visit the link at the top left of the page to learn more about them. I also used the same trailing-edge technology to write How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check out Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers for details.