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					  Introduction To
  Online Learning

Prince George’s Community College
           January 2002
    What is Online Learning?
 Your computer becomes your classroom
 Interact with fellow students and your
  instructor through email and Blackboard

 Flexible, convenient…NOT EASIER!!!!!
 Requires a minimum of 6-9 hours/week
 Includes discussions, assignments,
  exams … and FIRM deadlines
     Who Should Take
     An Online Course?
 Successful   online students have

  –Technology Skills

  – “Student” Skills
 Required Technology
– Hardware: Pentium class computer
     at least 32 MB RAM
     a 28.8 modem

– An Internet Service Provider

– Your own email account
            Technology Skills
   To be a successful distance learning student
    and minimize frustration, you should have
    Basic Computer Skills and be able to:

    –   Type (keyboarding skills)
    –   Use a mouse
    –   Cut, Copy and Paste text
    –   Use email
    –   Attach a file to your email
          Technology Skills
   Since online courses depend on being able to
    navigate using the Internet, you should have
    Basic Internet Skills and be able to:

    – Connect to the Internet
    – Start your Internet browser
    – Point your browser at a specific URL (web
    – Use a search engine
           Technology Skills
   Want to know more? Take the technical skills
    Self-Assessment at
         “Student Skills” -
         Questions To Ask
   “Is Distance Learning Right For Me?”

    – Read the information and take the brief self-
      assessment provided at

    – Based on your results, consider carefully whether a
      distance learning course will be a good choice for
         “Student Skills” -
         Questions To Ask
   What grades do you typically earn?

    – Not surprisingly, students who typically do well in
      an on-campus class also do well in a distance
      learning class.

      If you usually do well in your studies (C grade or,
      hopefully, better), you will probably do well in a
      distance class.

      If you often earn a D or F grade, you will not find
      distance courses easier.
         “Student Skills” -
         Questions To Ask
   Do you understand and remember what
    you read?

    – Most online courses are heavily text-based. You may
      be assigned a great deal of reading from your
      textbook, the course web page and other sources.

      If you are a very slow reader or have difficulty
      reading and remembering what you read, you may
      have more difficulty in being successful in your
      online course.
          “Student Skills” -
          Questions To Ask
   How much time do you have to devote
    to this class?
    – In general, the college recommends that for each class
      hour (45 hours) there should be 2 hours per week of
      homework. With this guide in mind, you must study
      between 2-3 hours per week for each credit hour -- or
      approximately 6-9 hours each week.

    – You must have time -- or make time -- for this class.
      Distance learning allows you to study at a time that is
      convenient for you (midnight, early morning, on the
      weekends), but you must have time to do the significant
      studying required to be successful.
         “Student Skills” -
         Questions To Ask
   Do you meet deadlines?
    – Students sometimes think that a distance learning
      course will be “self-paced” … that students can set
      their own deadlines as long as the course
      requirements (assignments, tests, projects, papers,
      etc.) are completed by the end date of the class.

      In fact, most distance learning courses have firm
      deadlines set by the instructor. Some instructors will
      accept late work; some will only consider extensions
      for serious and documented emergencies.

      Take a distance course only if you are prepared to
      work independently and meet deadlines without
      being prodded.
           Tips for Success
   Budget your time             Do your work “off
   Don’t procrastinate;          line” and save your
    don’t get behind              files to disk before
   Meet deadlines                you send them
   Login to to your online
    course often (3-5 times
    per week minimum)            Confused? Need
   Always save a copy of
                                  Help? Questions?
    your files                    Ask your
   Participate actively          instructor and
   More Information About Online
    Learning at

    including articles about online learning,
    self-assessments, “Successful Students

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