Allyson Whorton Varlas

Literacy Education M.A.

“If you are a night owl, you can complete your work at night; if you are an early bird, that will work for you as well.”


Allyson says that even though the program is all online, the assignments are often group assignments.

“Every course I have taken in the last year has had some sort of video chat, discussion board, or collaboration. It is also helpful that many of us follow the same path in the program, so many of us who started together will finish together.”

Allyson says the faculty in the Literacy Education program engage with their students on a weekly and sometimes daily basis through online video chats, phone calls, and they respond to emails quickly.

When grading assignments, they also leave feedback and comments on your work so you know what you did well on and what you may need to focus on more.

“WVU Online is easy to access and affordable. I have learned so much. You can balance your work, classes, and social life all at once when taking online courses.”

1. Biggest Challenge
My biggest challenge was reading articles online. I comprehend so much better when I have a hard copy in my hands. But this was easy to overcome, because I just printed the articles.

2. How Online Learning Prepared Her for the Future
I am now more prepared to learn about unfamiliar technologies.

3. Her “Big Three” Things Learned from Online Classes
I am not camera shy anymore. Since I have had to complete video chats and post recordings of myself, it is second nature to me now; 2) I now easily communicate my thoughts through discussion boards and emails; 3) I quickly understand and use new technologies.

4. WVU Campus Resources She Found Helpful
WVU’s online library services are so helpful! They are my go-to for research articles and journals.

5. Things She Didn’t Expect
I was not expecting to build the relationships that I have online, or to have a “normal” college-professor relationship, but I was 100% wrong. The director of our program is wonderful, and she makes sure to build those relationships with you, even if it is over the phone or through email.

6. One Word to Describe Her Degree Program

7. One Word to Describe Her Degree Program