Don't be embarrassed if you are enrolled in a hybrid class or an online class for the first time and are unclear about what to expect in these new forms of courses. Your instructor is your best source of information and will make her or himself easily available to through email, phone and voicemail.
To help you get started, however, here are some frequently asked questions about hybrid or online classes. Please keep in mind that these are general questions and you should always check with your instructor for specifics.
Instead of attending lectures on campus, online students learn off campus at their convenience. Some teachers require face-to-face meetings (most often orientation or final exam), but many courses are completely online.
Learning materials vary from class to class, but may include textbooks, video demonstrations, PowerPoint presentations, interactive lessons, and Web resources. Learning activities may include writing papers, posting comments or essays to online discussion forums, completing individual or group projects, and taking quizzes. While students can choose when and where they work, there are usually deadlines for assignments and exams.
Students interact with their teacher and classmates via web discussion forums, e-mail, chat sessions, and phone calls.
No, most online classes are NOT self-paced classes. You can expect due dates for homework, online class participation, and other activities similar to those you would find in a "regular" on-site class.
No. The course content of an online class is identical to that of an on-site class on the same topic. Some people think the workload is even more demanding than a regular face-to-face class because you have to be a self-directed learner and stay motivated to keep on top of your work.
You will have to do more reading and writing in an online class because this is the main method of communication. For example, instead of listening to a teacher lecture, you may be asked to read the lecture. Instead of answering a question verbally in class, you may be asked to write it.
The most successful online students tend to share the following characteristics. They:
The most successful students tend to have the following skills:
Strictly speaking, no. But you must have easy access to a computer with reliable internet access throughout the semester. You can access computers on campus in several locations (such as the Learning Resource Center and computer labs, for example). Some students complete online classes from work (having arranged this beforehand with their employer, of course), public libraries, or houses.
In short, you should plan to spend at least the same amount of time you would spend for a face-to-face class. For a 3 unit class, that would be about 9 hours per week (3 in-class hours plus 6 homework hours).
Usually not. You will have deadlines for posting your assignments, quizzes, etc., but as long as you meet these deadlines, you can do the work when you choose. You would be well-advised to set up a daily schedule to avoid being overburdened at the end of the week. Some instructors require you to log into Blackboard and post to the discussion board or turn in assignments two or three times a week. If you have a problem, contact the instructor or use the discussion bulletin board to try to get help from other students in the class. You won't like the feeling of leaving work until the last minute and then running into trouble!
For the most part, you won't really "meet" in a physical face to face sense. Instead, the class will interact regularly through the Internet and you will communicate with each other using discussion boards, chat, and email. Your instructor will make course materials and assignments available using web pages, discussion boards, and announcements.
This varies, but you will usually get assignments through Blackboard or a book publisher's website with instructions for turning in the work. You might be asked to upload your work, complete an online quiz, or participate in web-based discussion. Many teachers use Blackboard to manage assignments, discussion, quizzing, and grading.
Online classes are very different from face to face classes on campus. In general you can expect to:
Your teacher will do all the things a teacher does in a traditional class.
You can expect:
You should not expect:
There typically is little difference here than in a regular class. Instructors can expect that everyone will participate in the class with courtesy and consideration for each other and for the instructor.
E-mails and web postings should be appropriate, on the topic at hand, and reflect a professional demeanor. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following: disruptive, plagiarism or dishonesty.
It is a violation of college policy to plagiarize or to recycle work. Do not:
Instructions are the following page: http://www.gcccd.edu/online/student/online-student-help-desk/email.html
Required class materials and text books are listed with each class description in the online syllabi. All class materials and textbooks, unless otherwise specified, are required for the first day of class.
Go to the link for Blackboard that is posted on either college's website under "Online Services" (http://www.cuyamaca.edu or http://www.grossmont.edu). You can also bookmark this URL: https://gcccd.blackboard.com
Please review the "Blackboard login instructions" on that page.
If you are unable to access the course, please contact your instructor via email. Instructor email addresses are located in the Directory.