Scenario #1: Jayden
Jayden is 22 years old and is living at home with her parents and two younger siblings (still in high school and junior high). Her parents are letting her continue to live at home provided that she either has a full-time job or she is in school full-time. If she goes to school full-time, her parents will pay half of her tuition. Jayden does not know what she wants to study, but since the first year at every college she researched was focused on general education, she figured she would simply get started. Besides, she really doesn’t want to work full-time. She works part-time at the local pizza place as a waitress, and those hours are plenty for her to pay half her tuition and still have some left over for fun. Many of her friends that went to high school with her are still in the area, and she hangs out with them 3-4 times a week. Jayden is technically passing her classes, earning Cs and Bs for her assignments, but she admits that she has blown off a few minor requirements and doesn’t really read the textbook. She says she is doing well enough without doing all the work – so why should she work harder? It’s not like she is on probation or anything.
Unforeseen event: In the third week of the course, Jayden’s father has a heart attack. He is in the hospital for a week, and her mom is constantly by his side. It looks like he is going to have to go through some rehab and therapy for a few weeks. Jayden has to help take care of her younger siblings – preparing meals, driving them to school, making sure they do their homework.
Scenario #2: Kamden
Kamden is 35 years old and has three children under the age of 7. She also works full-time. She drops the kids off at daycare every morning at 6:30, goes to work, and is home by the time they get off the bus. Kamden is busy with “kid-stuff” until they go to bed at 9:00. That is when she begins her homework. Many times she is so tired by Thursday and Friday night that she takes those two nights off from class and just goes to bed. She then works hard through the weekend to catch up. She feels bad that she isn’t spending as much time with the kids as she used to, but she feels that her degree will make a better life for her family. She has never missed any class work, and she has submitted every assignment, but she is really struggling in her economics course. She currently has a 67%, and it is the lowest grade she has ever earned. She really does not know what to do with this situation.
Unforeseen event: One of her children catches the flu and has to stay home from daycare, which means Kamden cannot go to work. She is falling behind at work, and also falling behind in her classes. She wants to make sure her other two little ones do not come down with the flu, so she is trying to quarantine the sick child. This is hard to do as a single mom.
Scenario #3: Lloyd
Lloyd is 27 years old, and he is tired of working in a dead-end job. He is really motivated to make a better life for him and for his 3-year old son. Lloyd has never been the strongest student, but he is going to tutoring every week to help him with reading comprehension and writing papers, and his grades are mostly Bs. With the custody arrangement from his divorce, he has his son every other week. Lloyd is finding that during the weeks that he has son, he has less time to dedicate to his studies, so sometimes he has to catch up on reading chapters in the next week. He finds ways to do that, but sometimes he doesn’t learn important information until the week after it would have been particularly useful. Consequently, his posts show that he sometimes hasn’t read the material. Worse, he lost track of the deadlines for written assignments. A big paper is due tomorrow, and he doesn’t have time to do the research and write the paper. He found a paper online. He figures he can change and modify just enough of it that it will be mostly his work. He has promised himself that he will pay better attention next time and will never find himself in this situation again. Besides, he’s not really doing anything wrong, right?
Unforeseen event: Lloyd lives in Florida, and a hurricane is forecast to hit his hometown. The authorities are strongly encouraging evacuation. He has 24 hours to make a decision – hunker down, or get out of town. It is likely that he will lose internet and power for what could be several days.
Scenario #4: Mark
Mark is 40 years old and does not have a computer at home. His boss at work is allowing him to stay late after work and use his work computer to complete his schoolwork. On weekends, he goes to the library. He is finding time to complete and hand in all his assignments, and he generally does very well on them. Because of earning good grades in high school and his own perception that he is completely capable of learning anything thrown at him, Mark is confident that he will be successful, and he believes he will do it on his own. He’s smart, but he is often described as very, very quiet. Mark is not very comfortable around people, and he doesn’t like interacting with them. Even at work, he is rarely seen talking to or with his co-workers. Because Mark is so confident in his own abilities and because he does not enjoy discussions with others, he does not see the point of the “reply to others” part of discussion posts. He really doesn’t care what other students think about his posts – the only person who matters is the professor because the professor does the grading. Mark’s initial post is always the first one in the thread, and it is generally more complex that anyone else’s posts. Mark posts his initial comments every week, but never responds to his peers in any of his classes. His professors have been reaching out to him encouraging him to be more active in the posts, but he has not changed his behavior. Mark usually earns A’s on his tests, quizzes, and papers, and has figured that even with losing the points on the discussions every week, he will still pass the classes, so he sees no reason to change.
Unforeseen event: Mark has not read the syllabus for his strategic management course – and what he doesn’t know yet is that he must participate in a team project for this course. He needs to work with a small group of his classmates each week to complete verbal and written assignments. This means that he has to have internet access on a daily basis, and must collaborate with his teammates to make “strategic business decisions” for the Business Strategy Game (which is an online activity). At the end of the course, each group member submits an evaluation of their peers, and so his teammates will have a chance to determine part of his grade for this course.