What is Online Learning?
Asynchronous online learning is an educational delivery method that takes place when the students and instructor are not physically in the same place and course lectures are not confined to the same time each week. Rather, students listen to a recorded lecture during the week at a time that is convenient for them and complete assignments by a specified due date. Online courses, like traditional face-to-face courses, have a syllabus, required textbooks, weekly assignments, projects, papers and tests.
It is important to remember, that although online classes may be more accommodating to a student’s schedule, the content, performance expectations and workload are the same for an online class as in a face-to-face class. In order to be successful in an online learning environment, students must have a high level of self-motivation and self-discipline, and be keenly aware of the course schedule of readings and assignment due dates as they are expected to be self-directed learners.
Course lectures and assignments are accessed through the use of an online learning management system (Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Canvas, etc.). In this learning system, students interact with each other and instructors through chat functions, threaded discussions and via email. The instructor facilitates the online class, and is available to answer questions or provide feedback on assignments during posted office hours in which they can be reached online or by phone.
In order to be successful in an online course, students should have basic computer skills and be able to complete the tasks below.
Send and receive e-mail on a daily basis
Open, attach and send documents from e-mail or online resources
Participate in online discussions
Create documents in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point
Research topics using credible web resources
After training, be able to successfully access online library databases