Hello followers! I am the new blogger for OnlinePhDPrograms.org. My name is Ila Allen, Ph.D. and I looking forward to giving and receiving information on All Things Dissertation via the online experience and the process that comes along with it. I am not the traditional student for I started late in life with education but have made a full circle in completing the course that I set upon. Education is for anybody who has the tenacity, discipline, and age should not be a stipulation by no means.

My educational background consist of an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, Business/Communications, master’s degree from University of Phoenix, Human Resource Management/Masters Management, and PhD from Capella University in Organization and Management. My current research interest is focused on doctoral students and how they network within online doctoral communities not affiliated with their home institution.

I have facilitated online courses at University of Phoenix for five years undergraduate and graduate introductory courses. Online learning is currently earning its place amongst traditional higher education institutions therefore, some of the skepticism is abating but still with some ground to cover. I consider myself as a “wanna be” techy for I have a passion for gadgets, electronics, and social media. Now that school is over more time can be dedicated to these areas so I can learn more and become more knowledgeable.

Now a bit more of the subject matter that will be covered within this blog as it evolves.  As previously mentioned I have earned and completed two online degrees from two major online universities. Both programs were 100% online as well as the majority of the interaction.  For both programs all classes, assignments, and participation were online.  During graduate study, I corresponded with my instructors via the Internet/email.  So no physical human interaction with my instructors. Now with my peers we communicated all the time via telephone, email, and instant messenger (IM). IM was more of a “real time” feel and took place in a group setting when team collaborations needed to take place.

The doctoral program at Capella University requires students to attend three residencies located at various times and places throughout the major cities.  The residencies allowed us to meet peers, faculty, and administration as well as attend workshops to learn about the various stages of the doctoral program.  Workshops were conducted on how to conduct research, library assistance, and anything else related to the doctoral process. For those who might be considering any type of online program, one needs to have several personal checkpoints that need to be put in place.  It is imperative that one be very disciplined when engaging in an online degree program for the PhD is already an isolated venture (my opinion).  Time is of the essence for 10 weeks goes by very fast, organization is a must for everything, one must know how to “help thy self”, become creative, learn all of the Internet resources that are available, and learn how to “get things done” but utilizing time efficiently.

Participation consist of discussion questions administered by the professor, answered on an individual basis, then discussed in the main course room by all students via asynchronous responses. Then one has the reading assignments, numerous papers, and projects that are required. There are many dynamics within an online degree program from the student perspective and can be a good fit for some but not for all.

I look forward to dishing out information and receiving it as well.

Ciao,
ILA