Students are the true foundation of American University, and the online School of Education strives to provide an optimal learning experience for all students. The programs within American University’s online School of Education make use of mutually supporting technology, pedagogy, and hands-on learning experiences so that our students are prepared to enter their future workplaces with the strong confidence and skills necessary to thrive as educators. Our programs are small and intimate, which allows us to foster a supportive and personalized learning environment for each student. Students graduate from our online classrooms with a network of faculty and peer connections that complements the skills, feedback, and real-world applications the programs offer.
In addition to coursework that students can complete on their own schedules, our enrollees can expect to engage in live sessions that use a flipped-classroom approach, where students can fully hone the skills and understanding that their reading and individual assignments have introduced. In these lives sessions, students participate in group discussions, breakout sessions, class presentations, debates, and other active-learning experiences. We believe that collaboration is an important part of any learning experience. That is why we emphasize it in our virtual classrooms so that our students will be fully prepared, flexible, and confident when they are running their own. Plus, students will have a chance to get to know and engage with faculty and fellow students in the learning experience through video introductions and familiar social tools like messaging and chat.
American University works with our students to arrange student teaching experiences with top-quality teachers in schools near them. Because we consider the student teaching element of the program to be so important, we work hard to ensure that the experience is as convenient, supportive, and fruitful as possible.
To make the most of these observation hours, we have integrated a simple yet innovative tech solution: we ask our students to record their student teaching experiences using their own smartphones or devices. The footage of the live environment is then reviewed by one of AU’s instructors, who can see what the student teachers are learning and how they are applying their skills and new approaches in the classroom. Our instructors offer constructive feedback on students’ strengths and areas for improvement—always with an eye toward helping to develop a student’s own approach, individuality, and creativity in the classroom setting.
This additional layer transforms the student teaching experience into an opportunity for rich insight by the students, and we have found that it leads to highly prepared and confident instructors ready to lead their own classrooms.
Our Washington, DC, campus’ location means we’re part of an active community of educational institutions that are working together to improve educational systems and enable our students to do their part. When our students enroll with us, they become lifetime members of this thriving community.
Each of American University’s programs within the online School of Education offers students the benefits of partnerships with the likes of the Lab School of Washington, a pioneering, arts-based scholastic day school for students (grades K-6) with learning disabilities that was founded by Sally L. Smith in 1967.
We also understand the importance of developing lasting working and personal relationships with fellow students and future educators. For this reason, our online education programs have always emphasized group work, collaboration, and a feeling of intimacy within our online classrooms.
Students can expect personalized attention at every step of the way during their coursework and fieldwork experiences—just another benefit of our intimate learning environment and low student-to-instructor ratio. We offer 24/7 tech support and open “office” hours with faculty so that students get the support they need.