So . . . you're in an online
Some of you have been in an
online class before; some of you are brand new to learning
online. In either case, you're in for what can be a great learning
experience! Before we get started, here are a few things you
should know about taking an online class.
"ONLINE" ACTUALLY MEAN?
This class is being delivered entirely
over the Internet, which means that we won't be limited by either the location or time
constraints of traditional, face-to-face classes.
We won't be meeting in a
classroom at IVCC; instead, we will be meeting in cyberspace, each of us
originating from our own computers in Peru, Ottawa, Streator, Toluca, Mendota,
Peoria, or wherever. We also won't be meeting at a specific time each day; rather, we will meet whenever one of us is
online contributing to the class. You may choose to work at 8:00 am or
8:00 pm, or 2:00 pm or even 2:00 am, while one of your classmates may choose to
log on at 10:00 am during a break at work. One of the wonderful things
online learning is that you can work on the class at a place and time convenient
to you and your personal schedule.
AN ONLINE COURSE THE SAME THING AS A CORRESPONDENCE COURSE OR INDEPENDENT
Even though online learning is very flexible,
you should understand that this online class is not a correspondence
course nor an independent study.
you may work at home when it’s convenient to you, the class is not
self-paced, as these other types of courses often are. As you will see when
you look at the class schedule, you still will need to keep up with numerous specific
due dates for writing assignments, exercises, discussions, quizzes, and other
components of the class. Just as in a
class you might take on campus, work that you turn in for this class after
the due date will be penalized or may receive no credit at all. So,
when it comes to due dates and keeping up with assignments, this class is no different than a
traditional class on campus.
IS AN ONLINE CLASS EASIER THAN
A CLASS ON CAMPUS?
Actually, an online class is not an easier version of the same class offered in a
traditional classroom. The basic
course requirements and grading standards for this online version of the course are the same as those for a section of the course offered in a classroom.
You’ll be doing a significant amount of reading, writing, and
discussing of course material.
The general rule of thumb for college-level courses is that
students should spend at least 2 hours of time out of class for each hour in class.
For a class that meets on campus during a regular 16-week semester, then, you would spend about
3 hours in
class and would spend about 6 hours out of class:
hours total per week. To do well in a 16-week online class, you would plan on spending at least this same amount of time working on the class,
even though you wouldn't be meeting on campus.
However, our summer class is just 8 weeks long, half the length of a regular semester. That means you'll spend more
time per week than if the class lasted for 16 weeks. In fact, if you do the
math, if you spend 9 hours each week completing the work for a 16-week course, you
would plan to spend as many as
18 hours a week completing the work for an 8-week summer class.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THIS ONLINE
My goal in this online class is to deliver
the same materials and to provide the same learning opportunities to you as I do
to my students on the campus of IVCC.
other personal goals that you may have for this class, your primary goal should
be to learn as much as you can about writing for business,
industry, and technology. Put another way, your goal should
be to grow as a writer—to be better at and more comfortable with writing when you
finish the class than you are now. Whether you consider yourself a
beginning writer or a seasoned veteran, I hope that you find something in the
class that will help you improve your skills.
FEW CLOSING THOUGHTS
I’m really looking forward to our class.
If this is the first time you’ve taken an online class, don’t
worry—we’ll familiarize you with the online environment as we go along.
Having taken and taught online classes, I can vouch for the fact that online
learning can be a highly engaging, effective, and rewarding experience.
To help you learn even more about online learning and
whether you're ready for the exciting opportunities it offers, you can check out
the following link:
Are you ready for an online class?
If you ever have any questions or concerns
about the course (even before it “officially” starts), please don’t
hesitate to contact me. My phone
number is 815-224-0336. My e-mail
address is firstname.lastname@example.org. When you contact me, I’ll do my best to get back to you as
soon as possible.
Good luck in the class!