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Online Learning Readiness

What Is Distance Education?

Distance education, also called e-learning, and online learning, is a form of education in which the main elements include physical separation of teachers and students during instruction and the use of various technologies to facilitate student-teacher and student-student communication.

"Distance learning." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 7 Nov. 2016.

Distance Education at Jefferson State is defined as access to college courses via educational technologies and Internet based content delivery methods that reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the need for students to be in particular locations at set times to receive instruction.

  • Some Internet courses have on-campus requirements. Use the Check On-Campus Requirements link to learn how you can use the online class schedule to check Internet courses for on-campus requirements before registering.
  • All hybrid/blended and interactive videoconference courses have regularly scheduled on-campus class meetings.
  • Distance education courses follow the same semester calendar as traditional lecture courses.
  • Students enrolled in Internet and Hybrid/Blended courses become responsible for course content and assignments available in Blackboard on the official first day of class.
  • Students enrolled in distance education courses at Jefferson State Community College do not pay an additional charge associated with verification of student identity.

What does it take?

The successful online learner takes personal responsibility for his or her learning. The characteristics of a successful online learner include:

  • the ability to manage your time along with your other work and family obligations
  • the ability to prioritize your online class as much as a traditional class
  • self-motivation, since there may not be a professor or classmate continually checking in with you
  • technology skills, including comfort with computers and any software applications and plug-ins required to complete your tasks

From "Strategies for Success in Online Classes" via EBSCOs Learning Express Library.

A Few Definitions

Online learning:  any educational activity, guided or not, that takes place online instead of in a classroom.

Online courses:  courses with learning objectives that facilitate learning via the Internet; course readings and materials are access online. The physical classroom is replaced with a digital classroom as part of a learning management system.

Traditional classes: take place face to face; interaction takes place with everyone at the same time while physically in the same space like a classroom.

Hybrid classes:  combine elements of traditional classes (like in-person meetings) with elements of online classes (like providing resources online).

Course Management System or Learning Management System:  a web-based learning environment often password protected and designed to offer the same kinds of interactions as those in a traditional class.