Online Courses Appeal to Busy Students
Online learning, also called distance learning, is more than simply logging into a course whenever you want. While they offer flexibility and convenience, online courses are not easier than on-campus courses, nor are they meant to be independent studies.
More and more students choose distance learning to help them meet their educational goals and earn certificates or degrees in a variety of disciplines. As many people seek flexible learning options to help balance their career goals with work and family life, online courses can meet this need.
Distance learning courses are available in two formats at Carroll Community College—completely online or hybrid, which combines online learning with scheduled in-class meetings.
Online and hybrid courses use a learning management system called Blackboard to deliver content and class activities. Faculty who teach online/hybrid courses are experienced classroom instructors who have adapted their courses for distance delivery. Carroll currently offers more than one hundred online and hybrid courses each term.
Students in an online course follow the same course syllabus and learning objectives as in a face-to-face course. Within Blackboard, students can expect to use a variety of tools to access course content (including video and audio files), interact with one another and their instructors via discussion boards and web conferences, submit assignments, and take tests and quizzes.
Is Online Learning Right for You?
Students who have never enrolled in an online course need to understand their own learning preferences to determine if online learning is right for them. This includes the number of hours a student can devote to working online each week, the importance of having face-to-face interaction with the instructor and fellow students, and the amount and type of feedback preferred from the instructor.
Students who are successful in online learning demonstrate they are:
• Excellent time managers who can devote 5 to 7 hours per week for each online course
• Comfortable logging into Blackboard 3 to 4 times a week and using various web browsers
• Proactive communicators who can use email, text, discussion boards, video conference or other technologies to regularly participate
• Good at prioritizing tasks to complete work on time
Having reliable internet access, an email account and up-to-date software such as Microsoft Office Suite are essential. Students are also encouraged to have a convenient workspace and a regularly dedicated time for studies. The habits of routinely entering the course and keeping track of due dates are also important to course success.
Other habits that give you an advantage in online learning are willingness to email your instructor, eagerness to participate during discussion periods, and allowing for reflection by pacing your readings and participation.
Different Format, Same Support
Students enrolled in distance learning courses through Carroll Community College can access the same level of support as students who come to campus. These services include online and proctored testing, online tutoring, Blackboard help desk, remote library and research services, and online advising.
If you think you are ready for online learning, then Carroll Community College is ready for you!
For more information about distance learning opportunities at Carroll, visit our Non-Credit Online Offerings page.