Distance education student from Montana wins at Extravaganza

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
October 1, 2009

Diane Bailey from Kila, Mont., has never set foot on Indiana State University's campus, yet she won a Flip camera from the Cunningham Memorial Library Extravaganza.

"I was surprised to be told that I had won the Flip cam," she said. "I had to go online to find out just exactly what that was. I hope it comes with instructions. I need to conduct an interview for one of my courses, so I hope that I can use this new toy for that."

Bailey, who is a nursing education graduate student in the distance education program, participated in the library's online Extravaganza for distance education students. She took part to learn more about the library and its resources.

"I clicked on several of the links to find out what learning options were available and how the library could help me with my classes," Bailey said. "I visit the online library often throughout my courses and I have my favorite areas, but it is a very large virtual place. It was nice to just ‘look' around."

Anthony Kaiser, assistant librarian, worked on the online Extravaganza this year.

"What we did was pretty simple. We set up some Web sites for distance education students to view tutorials, read about library services, and we posted pictures and videos of the Extravaganza," Kaiser said.

Bailey found the links to be interesting and helpful.

"A student can never get enough information when it comes to writing papers or how to find information," she said. "I was particularly interested in the concept map link because I need to build a concept map for one of my papers this semester."

Shelley Arvin, library liaison to distance education students, works with the distance education students to ensure their questions are answered as the library desires to provide equivalent levels of service to distance learners as to traditional on-campus students.

One night per week of each semester Arvin conducts an online reference session.

"Distance learners can login to a Web site and I can demonstrate how to search by sharing my computer screen," she said.

Bailey began her studies through Indiana State in the fall of 2008 and needed a program that fit her schedule, budget and desired goals.

"I work full time in rural Montana, so I do not have the option of attending a regular university due to lack of time and no close college facilities," Bailey said.

While some universities charge higher prices for nonresidents in the distance education program, ISU is not among them.

"I have to pay for my own education as a nontraditional student, so this was important to me," she said.

Bailey also found that not all universities have nursing education master's programs.

"Some universities do not offer a master's degree in nursing education, but ISU does and it is a good one because I am learning so much that is pertinent to that end," Bailey said.

Bailey is taking two courses each semester as a part-time student.

"I was pleased that ISU was willing to work with me on this because I cannot handle a full credit load, work full time and have a family life," she said.

So far, Bailey has only encountered one problem with the distance education course.

"The only odd thing that has come up is with working on a group project with people in different time zones. Scheduling a ‘live' chat was a challenge, but it did work out well," she said.

For more information about the library's distance education resources, visit http://libguides.indstate.edu/distancelearning.

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Writer: Lana Schrock, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, 812-237-3773 or lschrock1@indstate.edu