What personal skills do I need to succeed in an online course?
How are on-line courses taught?
All Sandburg online courses are taught through a course management system. Prior to the course start date, all students must complete the learning management system orientation, located in the student “mySANDBURG” portal. Lack of familiarity with the online system will impede learning. Once logged into the learning management system, you have access to the course syllabus which outlines the course expectations. In addition to text book readings, instructors may also utilize a wide variety of technology tools to supplement learning, such as, video recordings of class lectures, informational video clips, web-links, social networking programs, etc.
In regards to technology, what do I need to succeed in an online course?
What if I have trouble with the technology? How do I get assistance?
Link to the “Technical Assistance” page for Tech Help Desk information.
Are online courses easier of more difficult than traditional lecture courses?
Online courses are neither easier nor more difficult than traditional lecture classes. The same amount of work is expected with either format. The presentation of the information is different and therefore, in addition to the course content, your learning style and study skills will play a major role in determining the ease or difficulty of the course. Class participation is mandatory. Although flexible by nature, online courses have assignment deadlines just as traditional lecture courses and late assignments are not accepted. If you fail to make satisfactory progress, the instructor has the right to drop you from the course.
What if I need help with the course content?
When does my class meet?
Online classes begin the first day of each semester. E-mail your instructor the first day of class and start out on the right foot. Failure to log-in to your on-line class during the first few days of the semester will result in financial aid being pulled for the class. Online courses are generally conducted "asynchronously" which means students and instructors take turns discussing class material in a back and forth manner. Most instructors require frequent participation online. You can log in to the system whenever it is convenient for you - any time, day, or night, to complete assignments, retrieve, and/or send course information.
I worry that I'll miss the face-to-face contact of a classroom. Will I be able to communicate sufficiently with the instructor or other students?
Many people mistakenly assume that they will feel isolated in an online course. To their surprise, most students find that online courses provide a high degree of personal contact. You will not only be in contact with your instructor, but everyone in the class will be involved in many group and individual discussions. The online format facilitates and enhances communication in ways that would be impossible in other situations. If need be, you can schedule a face-to-face or phone appointment with your instructor.
How do I take my exams for the course?
Some courses are completely online. However, some courses will require exams to be proctored at pre-approved test proctoring sites. Proctored exams may be scheduled by contacting the designated test proctor at your local campus. At the Galesburg Campus, contact Mitch Ray (email@example.com or 309-341-5323). At the Bushnell campus, contact Linda Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-772-2177). At the Carthage campus, contact Mandee Allen (email@example.com or 217-357-3129 ext. 7244. Out-of-district students should contact your local community college testing center to make test proctoring arrangements.
What happens if the Internet is down or if I have computer problems?
Technology is great when it is running smoothly; however, you should plan and prepare for technology glitches. If your computer is not working, try logging off and on again. Rebooting the computer often fixes many problems. You can still access the class by using any computer that is online. The computers at Sandburg and the public library are for your use. If you do not have computer or Internet access at a critical time, contact the instructor via telephone and let him or her know your situation. Never wait until last minute to complete assignments in order to avoid missing critical deadlines. You can never know when computer problems will occur, although you can be certain that at some point they probably will.