Online Learning Help: Students

Each Online Learning Course has its own set of requirements and learning activities. In general, you will view lectures on the College's Moodle Course Management System. Students complete assignments and projects, interact via telephone, fax, e-mail and/or Moodle with your instructor and classmates, take quizzes and pass a final exam.

Getting Started – Are you Ready?

Common Myths about Online Classes and Online Learners

    Online classes by nature can be more demanding because of the increased reading (online lecture materials, plus the textbook), and the required interactions between course materials and classmates.

    Online students are also more accountable for the same assigned workload as on campus classes and it is expected they will spend as musch time if not more with the material. On average, students (on campus or online) should spend about two hours of studying for every hour of class time (this includes reading, writing papers, projects, preparing for tests). Time management is critical for success as you juggle your busy schedule with your studies. Making a schedule for yourself that includes time blocked out for all your work and life obligations and time to "attend" your online class and complete all the work is a helpful way to see if you have time to commit to online learning.

    Online learners need to be self-disciplined, motivated, and able to work independently since learning is the student's responsibility. Each class will have its own policies and deadlines which must be observed. Online classes do provide flexibility, in terms of when the student works on a course, but students need to be able to manage this flexibility accordingly and not use that flexibility to put off doing the work.

    What's nice about online classes is that you can take a class from anywhere in the world and you can work on assignments at any time of day. However, online classes are structured learning environments and there are specific deadlines and due dates for course work. The instructor sets the deadlines in order to keep everyone on track and interacting with each other as a whole.

    Additionally, not all locations have strong internet connections which can hamper your ability to navigate your class site. And, while it may seem appealing wo work at a local coffee shop, you must decide if this is really the right setting for you to concentrate and do your best work.

    Online classes are not just about completing course work. You are often required to regularly participate in graded discussions in your online class. If you only log in once or twice during a week you may not be able to engage with your classmates and instructor at the same level as students who log in more often. Online classes are rich integrated learning environments just like the traditional classroom. Therefore, they require attendance several times a week.

    Instructors will expect that you have the necessary skills to come to class. The instructor's role is to focus on subject specific course material, not teaching you how to use a computer or the internet. If a course requires the use of specialized software then you can expect to be taught how to use that specialized software. Prior to starting an online class you should plan to know how to use a computer, the Internet, and the standard online tools such as email, web browsers, word processors, etc. on your own.

    Online learners are resonsible for having or finding access to a working computer with an Internet connection that meets certain minimum requirements. Most instructors won't accept the excuse that your computer was broken. Be advised that mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.) may not have all the necessary features and functionalities needed to successfully complete an online course.

    Actually, students who have taken online classes say they feel there is more attention from their instructors than face-to-face classes. Most instructors are logging on daily, checking for questions on assignments, watching out for assignment problems, etc. and usually get back to students within a reasonable amount of time. Some instructors offer "virtual office hours" where you can contact them during a certain day and time either via e-mail, chat, or webinar. When you have a question or concern about your class or the material, you can often post a question in your online class site or email the professor for more help. Professors make an effort to answer emails and questions promptly, but they are not sitting in front of a computer 24 hours a day. A response may take some time.

    Most online classes have discussion components and some have group work. Therefore, you need to be accountable and cannot remain anonymous. Class discussions allow students to interact with the course material by sharing ideas, opinions, asking questions, etc. with both classmates and the instructor. Most students find that there is more discussion and interaction in online classes because more classmates participate and more voices are heard.

    You are responsible for what you "say" in an online class and faculty expect the same level of student conduct and professionalism that is expected in the traditional classroom in an online class.

    Online courses at Cape Cod Community College occur during regular schedules (i.e. Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Semester, Intersession). They are not correspondence courses which a student completes at their own pace. They follow the same term calendar as far as registration, paying, policies, midterms and finals, etc. as on-campus classes. They have assignment deadlines just like an on-campus course. Not meeting these deadlines and falling behind in their coursework is the leading reason why online students do not succeed.

    Online classes are integrated learning environments that offer a structured framework for course materials. Online course materials include textbooks, student guides, Internet sites, videos, and more. There also is discussion and collaboration among classmates that helps you apply knowledge to develop skills.



For questions regarding using Moodle or online course questions please contact the Office of Online & Blended Learning: 508.375.4040 or e-mail

Students with disabilities who feel they need accommodations in online courses must contact the O'Neill Center, MM Wilkens Hall S-222: 508.362.2131 x4317.

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