Throughout my time in the HAD program there really wasn’t much that surprised me. I felt that most everything was pretty straightforward and the experience turned out to be exactly what I expected it to be. I always felt that the instructors of each course really communicated their expectations upfront. After sometime, I realized that the only surprise I experienced was the one that I had built up in my mind, prior to ever beginning classes in the HAD program.
At no point in my classes did I ever have to do group assignments for a grade. Many stories that I had heard from colleagues who did online programs in the past, told me that a lot of their projects centered on group work. Although every course in the program conducted collaborative sessions that allowed for dialogue among the students of the course, at no point did I have to complete an assignment with others.
I do enjoy learning from others, so a part of me would have enjoyed the additional opportunity to collaborate more with classmates through group projects, because I believe the differing opinions of others could have increased my knowledge base even more. On the flip side though, I am also the type who has a hard time delegating out responsibilities to others.
I typically prefer to do assignments myself because I want to know I am going to score well on my assignments. If I complete it myself, I won’t worry about whether or not my classmates are going to hold up to their responsibilities. I found the absence of group work to be my preferred way of participating in the HAD program, as everything I earned throughout my studies and participation in the courses was through my own doing and not the reliance of others.
So, while I was shocked to learn over time that none of these classes would require group work, I was relieved at the same time. My advice to you, if you are not wild about group projects either, this would be an ideal program for you. However, for those who may prefer the option of participation with others, please keep in mind that the collaborative sessions that are usually held weekly in most of the courses do provide an opportunity for sharing different opinions and ideas.
What makes or breaks these sessions is how involved you and your classmates are. If you set the groundwork by sharing your thoughts and ideas, then hopefully your classmates will be as engaging. I hope you will find these sessions to be a great value to your own learning and a great substitute to group work.