Introduction to Online Learning is a 1-credit, eight-week online course that prepares students for the online learning environment. Many WNCC instructors strongly encourage students to take IOL before enrolling in a semester long online course. The topics covered allow students to learn how to use online tools while discovering how to become an active and engaged online learner.
- Getting Started: What should you do when you begin an online course? Are your technical and study skills up to the level they should be for online learning? Do you know how your personal learning style might impact your online experience?
- Online Communication: It's easy to think that when you're an online learner, you're alone. This unit helps you to begin interacting and contributing to the creation of your online classroom. Everyone has a part. Learn the ins and outs of communicating your ideas and thoughts without your voice. Learn about reflective thinking--an essential self-communication process. Learn how to "see" the people behind your computer screen, and help others to "see" you.
- Submitting Assignments Online: Learn how to submit assignments onscreen and via an attachment in an electronic assignment dropbox.
- Time Management: How do you determine how much time you need to devote to online learning? How is credit earned? What does time have to do with it if you're an online student? How can you balance everything and stay on track?
- Online Testing: Find out what it's like to take an online test. See a variety of test questions--multiple choice, matching, short answer, long answer. Learn how to find your test results.
- Exploring Online Options/Chat: What kind of courses are offered online? How many students are learning online today? Which colleges and universities offer online courses? How can you tell the difference between a degree-mill and an accredited institution? Complete a chat assignment to compare findings with your classmates.
- WebConference/Evaluating Resources: Learn how to evaluate websites you might use for creating reports or writing papers. Attend a web conference to meet "live" with your entire class while you review the course and prepare to complete your final assignment.
- Final Reflections: Complete a final assignment looking back at what you've learned during the eight weeks.
Something For Everyone
Beginning and experienced online students enroll in this class and come away with new skills. During the first week, you can expect to see your classmates expressing surprise that the class is made up of a lot of people "just like" them. Many are taking their very first college course and arrive with the assumption that they will be the only beginner. We enjoy watching the relief roll through the discussion boards as the students realize they're not alone. Experienced online learners are a valuable resource for us, as they often share that they are able to use what they're learning to make improvements in all their classes--not just the online ones. We like to create a very active and supportive learning community.
Discussion and interaction is a major requirement of this course. Students should expect to spend roughly 2 hours per week on "in class activities" and about 3 hours outside class each week working on short written assignments and readings.