POLICE Magazine

JUL 2017

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PoliceMag.com 25 ® Dyneema ® and Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology are trademarks of DSM. education are as good as or better than in the classroom. He cites the flexibility and control this type of learning affords stu- dents as a primary reason why. "ey can do their online learning in the morning or at 2 a.m. after their shift, and they can repeat the materials over and over until they know it. ey just back it up and play it again." ONLINE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE Though the benefits to online ed for law enforcers can be somewhat obvious, DeC- esari cautions that this type of education isn't for everyone. "e primary disadvantage to online education is the type of learner that you are," he says. "If you are a tactile learner, you will have problems with online edu- cation. ese classes are based on lec- tures, speeches, videos, reading, and freeinfo.policemag.com/764205 "If this program had been self-paced, I would probably still be in my second semester. I had to be very regimented and look ahead." —Sgt. Geoffrey DeCesari San Diego Police Department online discussions with other students. While my style of learning fit well with this programming, if you need to touch things to learn, then classroom education might be a better fit. You also need to have some personal drive to meet deadlines and work at home." Bradford concurs, "One thing we have found is that sometimes people come into an online program thinking it's not going to be as academically vigorous as a class- room program, and these individuals are surprised at how much effort it takes for them to do a class online. We occasionally have people who drop out because they cannot keep up." Jason Lemon, dean of Professional and Continuing Education at SDU, asserts that certain personalities are better suited to an online format vs. a classroom experi- ence, and vice versa. ough online learn- ing appears to work well for law enforcers because it offers scheduling flexibility, he says "goal and action-oriented people" thrive in this space because there is no time wasted in "driving, parking, waiting around for other students or the instructor, and dealing with administrative things (like roll call). Every moment spent in an online course can be an active and engaged learning time. But students who need the physi- cal structure of being at a cer- tain place, at a certain time, in order to get their assignments and learn the material will appreciate an on-ground course more than an online course." Schroeder emphasizes that students need to seek out educational opportuni- ties that hit a variety of learning styles— all programs (whether in a classroom or online) are not created equal. e best programs, he says, present material in a variety of ways. Programs that utilize vid- eo, audio, text, case studies, simulations, and other forms of interactive study meet the needs of a variety of learning styles. Success in either type of program re- quires discipline. DeCesari says he en- tered his online program with the thought that he would study on Tuesday, Wednes- day, and ursday nights, but that went out the window in short order as he found his studies disrupted by calls for service. He says he had to learn to look ahead and PHOTO: POLICE FILE

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