Online Student Spotlight - Keith Barlow
M.S. '15 Software Engineering Online
“The education at Stevens is fantastic. I feel very fortunate – I was very impressed with the quality of the education and the subject matter I was learning about.”
Keith Barlow wanted to take software engineering courses at Stevens Institute of Technology and interact with on-campus faculty at the School of Systems and Enterprises whose knowledge and experiences span industry and academia. But, the prospect of commuting over an hour to take graduate software engineering classes was a concern for Keith.
“I’m from the Central/South Jersey area, so my commute to the Hoboken campus would have been over an hour,” says Barlow. So, he enrolled in the Master’s in Software Engineering Online program at Stevens Institute of Technology.
“I loved it,” says Barlow, who graduated with his M.S. in Software Engineering from Stevens in 2015.
The option to study remotely worked out for Barlow, who prefers the independence and flexibility of an online program. An hour-long commute after a whole day at work would have made it difficult for him to pay attention in class during in-person lectures, according to Barlow. But, the ability to take classes online favored his study habits.
“I ended up taking classes remotely versus taking them in person. For me, I found it to be very favorable. I liked the ability to work independently, at my own pace. I did not encounter problems working with cohorts on projects.”
The M.S. in Software Engineering Online program enabled Barlow to take the initiative and stay on top of his own projects. “I could work at my own pace from the leisure of my home. When professors couldn’t lecture, they would load peer-reviewed documents to read. There was a lot of good material in there,” he says.
Stevens faculty advise students on professional development opportunities outside the classroom and students gain inspiration from fellow classmates across the country while working on collaborative projects. Barlow enjoyed the course structure, which had a group component to it. In one of his class projects, he was involved in testing a new version of the Stevens WebCampus portal. For Barlow, it was a great learning exercise.
Immersive experiences, world-class online learning platform
The MS in Software Engineering Online program provides real-time immersive learning through StevensOnline’s award-winning WebCampus platform. For Keith, the technology was easy to use, and it facilitated group collaboration.
“We had email, blackboard sharing, screen sharing, and collaborative documents through Google Documents that made working on assignments easy. We were always doing online conferencing. There was a group component and an individual component. You had to do your homework assignment, do the weekly quiz, and the focus was really on the running group project where there was a weekly deliverable, which was the larger portion of the turn-in. In many classes there was a requirement that you communicate in weekly discussions. And we were able to get our things done. There was nothing hindering our ability – no technical obstacles.
Barlow is grateful for his Stevens experience. “The education at Stevens is fantastic. I feel very fortunate – I was very impressed with the quality of the education and the subject matter I was learning about.”