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In Course: Demo Course ( Demo Course)
Instructor: Dr. John Chambers

PACKET: What You Should Know About Online Courses

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Expectations

Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements

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Session One

Student and Instructor Expectations

Online courses are very different from onsite courses. Most students like being able to work from home and choosing the time of day (or night!) they "go to class". They also find they like the one-on-one email communication they have with the instructor, and the forum discussions they carry on with the rest of the class. However, there are other things to consider before you begin...

A certain level of computer literacy is expected
The student's ability to use a computer is assumed if he or she signs up for an online course. These courses will not teach basic computer skills.
Skill assumptions include: basic Windows, using a mouse, saving files, cutting, copying and saving text. Understand the limitations and frustrations of the Internet. Can you meet the requirements for the necessary equipment? Be aware that you can take the course via the student open computer lab in Novi or Troy.
Are you a self-starter?
Online courses require students to do a bit more on their own. This includes looking for solutions to problems that crop up. The instructors have no idea who is having trouble as there are no puzzled facial expressions as there may be in the classroom.
Do you need face-to-face interaction with the instructor?
If you do, then you may want to rethink the whole online experience. As noted above, online courses require that you be a bit more independent than classroom courses. Get used to using email as your main connection with your instructor.
All instructors are not the same....
Just as in an in-class course, you would not expect each instructor to do things exactly the same from semester to semester. Even online they all have different personalities, expectations and idiosyncrasies. There are certain things that you can expect though:
  • You can expect answers to your email questions within 24-48 hours.
  • You can expect to see assignment and test grades one week after the due date.
  • You can expect to view your new weekly assignments and readings each Monday by 6:00 pm.
  • Are you a procrastinator?
    Because you are not working within a tight schedule week to week, it is very easy to let things slide. This is the main pitfall of an online course--time management. You need to make sure your time management skills are sharp so that you can keep up with the work. Just as in a classroom setting each week builds upon the last. And remember this very important bit of information...there is every bit of an investment in time as is required by an in-class course. The time you save is drive time--not class work time.



    Continue in this packet by clicking on the next heading at the left: "Hardware and Software Requirements"