About Online Courses
There are many different forms of courses utilizing the web for content delivery and this section helps to clarify some of the terminology.
Traditional Web-Enhanced Course
For a course to be web-enhanced it should make effective use of the web. Web-enhanced courses utilize online course activity to complement class sessions without reducing the number of required class meetings. The course follows a traditional classroom setting and augments, rather than replaces a classroom activity with material available online like readings, videos, online applications or online textbooks. These are likely to be the same web resources that are also used for online learning. Traditional courses and web-enhanced courses are very similar, and are sometimes are indistinguishable in most cases. These traditional, web-enhanced courses are not normally considered to be e-learning courses.
Courses taught between 68% and completely online are often called asynchronous. In a totally online course, the students may meet face to face once at the beginning of the semester to become familiar with the course requirements and to meet with the instructor. Usually there is only a one class meeting, but no more than 4 of the 14 weeks in a semester are taught in class. The rest of the course happens online. All discussions, project presentations, delivery of assignments, group work and even tests can occur on the course site.
Courses that combine classroom and online learning are called hybrid, the term used at CUNY to classify a course where 33-67% of the education is provided online. Blended/hybrid courses are one component of e-Learning; they are an attractive alternative for many traditional full-time and non-traditional learners that are often busy working adults within commuting distance of their school and who wish to earn a degree with less classroom time commitment. Hybrid online courses are taught both online and in the classroom. Hybrid courses are regular courses with a special class meeting schedule and often they begin as a regular classroom course would. Usually but not always, the teaching and learning are evenly split between in-class and online time. For example, if a course traditionally meets in a classroom two times per week, a hybrid or blended version might use online sessions and activities to replace one of the traditional weekly classroom sessions. Sometimes a coures will eliminate all but a few face-to-face sessions for lab work or examinations- your professor, the syllabus and the course designation will let you know the type of course you are registering for and the level of in-class commitment you are responsible for.
Course Design and Your Commitment to Succeed in an Online Mode
In online learning you may find that getting the right mix of independent and dependent learning can be complicated – it depends on many factors related to your personal interaction with the specific course, your professor, your academic discipline, your classmates, and the institution. The benefits of a blended approach depend on how well the course was designed, how well the online and traditional components are integrated, and how closely all course activities are linked to specific learning objectives. Most importantly in the equation is how you engage yourself in the learning process both independently and collaboratively.
The best kinds of online courses can connect you to learning that is socially constructed with the help of others. Today’s digital technologies help you share meaning with your peers and even the rest of the world. In creating and presenting your own project based videos, podcasts or multimedia artifacts, just like the best of traditional learning, online learning can move you from being a consumer of education to a producer- so that the process of obtaining, synthesizing and relaying information to others becomes central to your learning.
Articles and Additional Student Resources
- March 1, 2013 Online Netiquette This document frames a courtesy and respect policy and set of guidelines for students posting comments in their online classes and is a helpful one-page addition to your online course suitable for your course documents section. It’s entitled Online ‘Netiquette’ – Being a responsible ‘net’ citizen in a digital world. The document is campus-specific to Lehman College as seen in a few bullets, but can be adapted for your own college using resources that abide by your college’s principles of community and campus policies governing computer use and student conduct. (See link to Online Netiquette.) CUNY Acceptable Use Policy: The City University of New York Policy on Acceptable Use of Computer Resources
- November 20, 2012 From Queens College, Writing at Queens Queens College suggests that faculty use the instruments provided below as part of the their class. However, if you or your instructor is not at Queens College you still have the opportunity to make use of the resource. First, read the “Elements of the Essay” by Gordon Harvey and then select the appropriate checklist found below the link . GordonHarvey Elements of the Academic Essay by Gordon Harvey Essay Checklist for Art_Humanities_Social Sciences by Jason Tougaw Peer-reviewChecklist Math Natural Sciences by Jason Tougaw
- November 20, 2012 Whether you are writing a term-paper, an essay, or even a paragraph for one of your classes you might need help formulating your research question, finding and evaluating internet research, or even help with just getting started. The information found below provides such assistance for students. New York City College of Technology — Takes you to the NYCCT Ursula C. Schwerin Library Online Tutorial Research Assistance Page, where students will find video tutorials on student research
- November 20, 2012 The E-Resource Center at John Jay College offers three links that provide students with assistance on How to improve your essay or paper using APA style. How to improve your grammar and editing skills. How to efficiently use your textbook and better understand key concepts and themes.
- November 19, 2012 Queens College offers a basic tutorial for WordPress beginners. While the advice begins with help on how to log into Queens College’s Qwriting, the advice that follows is applicable to all WordPress accounts.
- November 19, 2012 Below are a list of CUNY recommended writing centers that offer a variety of advice for students. Brooklyn College recommends the Dartmouth Writing Program
- November 18, 2012 The Internet Detective provides useful information on how to correctly use the web to obtain quality information.
- November 18, 2012 The Virtual Training Suite offers assistance in developing internet research skills. Students can choose help from specific college course areas.
- November 17, 2012 Writing Centers across CUNY all provide online support and guidance with writing. Borough of Manhattan Community College Bronx Community College Brooklyn College City College College of Staten Island Hostos Community College John Jay College of Criminal Justice Kingsborough Community College LaGuardia College Leham College New York City College of Technology Queens College Queensborough College York College