Online Learning: You Don’t Have to Go to Class, to Be in Class

By TAYLOR DUFFIELD
Staff Writer

Juggling a part-time job, a full-time school-schedule, with other obligations? It may be time to consider fulfilling your college-credited courses online.

The online courses offered at CCC are credited towards your degree and may be a solution for students struggling to balance commitments. The CCC website states, “Distance Learning provides students the opportunity to take courses that may have otherwise been inaccessible due to scheduling constraints.”

Classes are executed using the Internet system, “Blackboard.” Blackboard allows students to access their courses to complete exams, surrender assignments, and much more. This information is available to the students whenever they have access to a computer with Internet capability. Around the clock admittance to Blackboard allows students to fulfill course obligations and view class lectures at their convenience.

However, as the CCC website states, “certainly many students are attracted to Distance Learning courses because of their convenience, but it is also true that some may fare better in a traditional classroom setting.” Students of CCC struggling to utilize technological tools may experience difficulty in an online environment. Lacking knowledge to maneuver Blackboard could distract from the course, resulting in an unsuccessful class.

Being particularly “tech-savvy,” but with lack of reliable access to a computer or to the Internet, will hinder the online learning experience. Most classes do not require you to be available at a specified time, excluding deadlines for class assignments, discussions, and tests. Aside from hindering deadlines, limited resource to Blackboard will prevent access to essential material required to complete accurate work.

Online learning professors rely on Blackboard and email correspondence to communicate with their students. Professors expect that students check Blackboard and email on a daily basis to remain updated to new information. Without a reliable computer, the potential to succeed is slim if the student fails to maintain the course obligations.

Sarah Galzerano, a student at CCC, discussed her experience with learning online. “I didn’t want to take English composition classes on campus, because I thought it would waste my time, because I do my best writing at home. Also, I liked the idea of the flexibility of online classes. They definitely gave me extra freedom for when and how I did my work.” She described the independence of an online course environment. “I could do my work while I was in my pajamas, in bed, eating a snack, or doing anything else for that matter.” However, she does warn that online learning may not be suitable for all students. “Online learning might not be so convenient for a student who needs constant reminders about assignments, and doesn’t have the responsibility to check up on them, online, on their own.”

CCC has a way for students that are considering online learning to help them decide if it suits their learning style. On the CCC website, the distance learning page encourages students to partake in a questionnaire designed to determine what to expect in an online setting. Students interested in pursuing an education online should first check the technological requirements on the CCC website and take the online learning questionnaire. Perhaps try one online class first to see for yourself if an online environment truly is for you.

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