Online classes offer a variety of advantages over traditional on-site classes, including:
- flexibility in schedule
- freedom of location
- other online learning advantages.
Discover Online Learning
Online classes are every bit as valuable as on-campus ones. They require as much time and effort as your on campus classes, too. However, online students have a new opportunity previously unavailable to community college students: to live anywhere while taking classes. Most online classes are asynchronous, meaning students can check in and submit assignments anytime between course deadlines. Asynchronous classes mean students can often remain in jobs that previously would have prevented them from enrolling. Online classes are also helpful if arranging for childcare posed an obstacle to enrolling.
Online learning requires comfort with reading: most class information is presented through text, rather then in-class lectures. In addition, computer experience is helpful for communicating with fellow students and professors.
According to Southwestern College, successful online students share certain characteristics:
- Prefer to attend class at home rather than on campus and thus determine for yourself when you “go to class.”
- Enjoy using computer technology and the Internet to access student learning materials.
- Expect to build beneficial career skills with information technology due to hands-on experience.
- Able to use online environments to communicate with other students and with professors.
- Comfortable with e-mail, online discussion boards (forum), chat.
- Willing to develop fine-tuned time management skills.
- Exhibits independent learning skills.
- Works in a self-motivated style.
- Have “keyboard comfort” so that you don’t spend your time concentrating on the keyboard rather than concentrating on class content.
- Comfortable asking for clarification if something is unclear.
- Have experience surfing the World Wide Web.
Online Learning Technologies
BlackBoard is an online learning platform on which faculty organize course content, moderate discussions among students, and track student progress on assignments. It is the primary way course content is delivered to students.
For a successful learning experience, check out these recommendations, in addition to working knowledge of either a Windows or Mac computer:
- Install applications (Example: Adobe Reader)
- Open and create .zip files
- Copy and paste functions
- Make a new and edit and save an existing document
- Use office software (examples: Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Run and update a virus protection program
- Have access to reliable and speedy internet connection
- Send and receive email messages, including uploading and opening attachments
- Search and surf with a web browser