About Online Learning
What is the difference between an online course and a hybrid course?
Online courses at KSU are 95% or more distance education courses. Online learners may live in diverse areas and time zones, though occasionally a faculty member may request a campus visit for orientation or testing. A proctored exam alternative is made available for students at a geographic distance of 50 miles or more from campus. It is the student's responsibility to obtain proctor approval from the instructor prior to scheduling a proctored examination.
Hybrid courses at KSU are 50% or less on-campus classroom based courses, and 50% or more distance education. Hybrid courses replace one or more on-campus classroom meeting per week with distance education pedagogy and technologies. Students can expect out of class activities that are conducted via the Learning Management System. These may include discussion activities, virtual team meetings, wiki and blog activities, and self-guided assessments and evaluations.
E-learning includes all forms of electronically supported teaching and learning. The term is often used to reference both out of classroom and in-classroom educational experiences using technology. Most courses at KSU are e-learning courses and use the D2L Brightspace system. Course notes, assignments, projects, evaluations and grades may be posted on web pages using this learning management system. Face-to-face courses may also be e-learning courses. Online Learning includes all forms of e-learning, but is predominantly delivered to distance learners.
What is the difference between 100% online and 95% online?
100% online courses are those courses that do not require any on campus visits or proctored exams.
95% online courses will have one on-campus requirement, typically an orientation or exam. A proctored exam alternative is made available for students at a geographic distance of 50 miles or more from campus. It is the student's responsibility to obtain proctor approval from the instructor prior to scheduling a proctored examination.
What is eCore?
eCore - short for electronic core-curriculum - allows University System of Georgia (USG) students the opportunity to complete undergraduate, general educational requirements online through accredited colleges and universities. Each course is consistent in both design and accessibility standards and taught by professors hand selected from USG institutions.
eCore offers courses in the general education curriculum. The core curriculum primarily consists of courses required during the first two years of college for a given degree. Not all core curriculum classes are available via eCore.
What is the amount of time needed for one online course?
An online student can expect to spend at least as much time in an online course as they would in a face-to-face course, and sometimes more.
To give you a point of reference, for a 3-credit hour online course in a typical 16-week session, a student should expect to spend approximately 6-9 hours per week engaged in class work. In the summer semester, with the compressed 8-week schedule, the time dedicated per course will significantly increase.
The notion that online courses are easier is not necessarily true. They are more convenient, but still require the same dedication and attention as a face-to-face course.
What are the benefits of online learning?
Online learning provides considerable freedom, allowing students to often choose when and where they'll participate in class activities.
- Save time and money spent commuting to a campus
- Continue working at your current job while you are taking classes
- Attend your class from anywhere as long as you have a high-speed Internet connection
- Learn at your own pace and study at your convenience
- Learn new technologies
- Interact on equal footing
Students will have the same kinds of deadlines and structured responsibilities of a face-to-face class. In other words, flexibility must be balanced by responsibility. Like a face-to-face course, online courses require assignments be completed by due dates, your attendance (via logins to your course), involvement in online discussions, and sometimes group collaboration. Most students enjoy the active learning that online classes involve.
What are the challenges of online learning?
Online learning is not easier than traditional classroom learning. While the benefits are many, students that enroll in an online course because they believe it is easier, soon learn differently. Self-motivation and discipline are required to succeed in distance learning courses. For many, distance learning offers access to education not previously available. It also provides a solution to flexibility needs, work and travel responsibilities, and family challenges.
A successful experience in distance learning requires a basic familiarity with technology. Resources are available for students through University Information Technology Services for those interested in distance learning, but in need of a technology refresher. It is also strongly recommended that students have ready access to a computer or laptop with a high-speed Internet access, such as DSL or cable broadband. Online courses will require students to download and access course materials. Online learning success depends on preparation, motivation, dedication, and planning.
What equipment and technology will I need to be successful at online learning?
Online learners will need a computer, Internet access, basic software (such as Microsoft Office Suite, Windows Media Player, Quicktime movie player, anti-virus protection and a compatible browser), and auxiliary equipment (such as a webcam and microphone headset for video-based communication). Of course, technology needs will vary by course. But this list applies to the majority of courses.
- Computer: Online Learners will need reliable access to a desktop or laptop computer that has adequate memory and processing capabilities for large file downloads, video players, and synchronous meeting applications.
- Auxiliary Equipment: The Digital Learning Innovations team also strongly recommends a WebCam and Headset for video-based communication. Many newer laptop or monitor set-ups are pre-equipped. These items may be required by faculty on a course-by-course basis.
- Internet Access: Online courses at KSU use the web to deliver courses at a distance. So, to learn in an online course smoothly, you need a high-speed Internet connection (such as DSL, Broadband, etc). This is especially important to the online learning experience.
- Software: While this will vary by course, you will need a recent version of the Microsoft Office Suite. Access to MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and MS Excel are expected and necessary for viewing course material or completing assignments. Additional requirements include anti-virus protection, Windows Media Player, QuickTime movie player, and a compatible browser. Visit UITS Training for additional information on software training, compatibility, and available downloads.