As an Associate Professor in the Adult & Career Education Department in the College of Education at Valdosta State University, Dr. Whisler teaches on-campus and online undergraduate and graduate VSU courses, as well as eMajor classes.

In addition to teaching eMajor classes, Dr. Whisler is the Associate Professor & OAT-OBC Advisor in the Adult & Career Education Department in the College of Education at Valdosta State University.

Teaching through eMajor has made her a better face-to-face teacher because of her online teaching experience. "Teaching online has taught me the importance of pre-planning and communicating instructions clearly," Dr. Whisler says.

"Interacting with online students needs to be a priority for online instructors, and it presents unique challenges", she says. Some online students call her, and those on campus stop by her office - but most communication occurs through email and discussion forums.  Dr. Whisler tries to communicate clearly to the entire class through announcements and assignment instructions. She also provide a CyberCafe where students can post questions so that the whole class can benefit from seeing them and the responses. When students do have questions, she makes it a point to respond to them the same day, if possible.

Dr. Whisler says students need connections with other students, so so she uses Wimba in most of her online classes as a place for them to meet in small groups. "They are usually a little apprehensive at first, but quickly become 'hooked'," she reports. Online learning provides convenience not only for students, but also faculty.

Whisler loves giraffes, travel, and nature. Something interesting about Whisler is that she learned she was expecting her second child (who is now 27) during an 800-mile bicycle trip (Ragbrai) across the state of Iowa. She rode an average of 100 miles a day, in 100+ degree temperatures, and slept on the ground (in tents) at night.

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Hello, I am Dr. Farooq Khan and I am the Professor of Chemistry, and Interim Dean, College of Science and Mathematics at the University of West Georgia.

There are several major differences in face-to-face and online classes.  In a face-to-face class, there are students who rarely speak up.  In eCore classes, discussions are required, so that there is no “quiet” student.  Second, in a face-to-face class, I inject quite a bit of humor.  I would have to work hard at writing humorous lines for eCore courses while ensuring that I am not taken out of context.  As a result, I am a very solemn eCore instructor.  Finally, in eCore Chemistry, I find that ideas that can be expressed very simply in a face-to-face environment (simple figures, formulae, equations, etc.), take a lot more ingenuity. 

One of the things I do differently using eCore than my face-to-face class is that I am more serious. Secondly, I try to be very careful in defining expectations and deadlines explicitly, more so than a face-to-face class. 

The writing skills of eCore students pleasantly surprised me at first.The eCore students are older than the typical traditional students in face-to-face courses, and their life experiences are reflected in their writings.   

In addition to Chemistry, I also teach Environmental Science. Teaching online, I have learned how to moderate discussions on sensitive topics (immigration, health issues, taxation) while teaching ENVS 2202.  I have also adopted this format for face-to-face courses, where appropriate. 

An interesting thing happened on a recent trip. The Atlanta airport is one of the busiest in the world, and I am particular about reaching three hours ahead of time for international flights.  (My wife says I stress too much!)  The last time I showed up, and saw long lines, an agent asked me to try one of the computer-aided check-in counters.  I told the agent that it would not work for international flights.  She scanned my passport, and within a minute I got my boarding passes printed for the entire trip!  I had three hours to kill now!  I ate an expensive meal, and bought a John Grisham novel (that I had at home, half-read).  If my wife were present, that would be cause for chagrin!

Something my students might not know about me is that I am a New York Mets fan!  I spent 1985-1990 at Columbia University, and became a Mets fan during that span when they were a really good team.  A quarter century later, while living 30 miles away from Turner Field, I still root for the Mets, not a particularly competitive team any more during most years.

*Learn more about the University System of Georgia's eCore and see Dr. Khan's chemistry class.