WHAT IS ONLINE LEARNING?
Online learning involves the use of online technologies to teach, administer and deliver course materials. It allows easy communication between individuals and groups, access to information and interactive online resources. This creates an active-learning environment to complement current, print-based resources, instruction, tutorials, and self-directed learning.
Studying online will present a new learning experience. It is a different way of learning and communicating with the instructor and other course participants. Instruction provided via the Internet is often referred to by a variety of names such as "e-learning", "online learning", or "Web-based instruction". Online courses are different from regular classes in some important ways, such as not meeting in a classroom at a regular time and place and communicating with the instructor and other students in a cyber environment, instead of face-to-face.
WHAT IS AN ONLINE COURSE?
An online course is accessed over the Internet:
- supervised by an online instructor who is certified in the area being taught and who actively participates in the students' learning
- facilitated by an on-site facilitator
- driven by student participation with a wide range of activities that encourage students to learn and explore on their own
But online learning also offers advantages over face-to-face classes. Far more than just textbooks via the Internet, online courses seek to:
- harness the best technology has to offer, from text and images to audio, video and multimedia
- foster a comfortable, welcoming learning community through continual communication and discussion
- allow students to work and learn anytime, anyplace, when and where they work most effectively
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A PSRC ONLINE COURSE?
- A PSRC Online Application, approved by Gudiance Counselor and Principal.
- A copy of the PSRC Internet Use Agreement signed by the student and parent/s must be on file at the local high school.
- All online courses have the same prerequisites as a course taken at the local high school.
WHEN IS THE COURSE TAUGHT?
All of the PSRC online courses are ASYNCHRONOUS, which permits interaction across the barriers of time and distance 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 90 days per semester. Each course has its own established deadlines and timetables for work/assignments to be submitted.
WHAT SCHEDULING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS TO TAKE A COURSE ONLINE?
Based on school administration approval, a student can take an online course during one of the daily four periods. Alternatively, a student may take an online course as a fifth course each semester, which means the student receives five (5) units of credit per semester. School administrators will work with the individual needs of the student.
Dual enrollment courses are recorded in the student's record as historical data at the end of the semester. Please consult with the principal and/or counselor regarding how a grade for dual enrollment courses will be computed in the GPA for programs and awards. This is especially important for SENIORS or students wishing to improve their GPA.
HOW IS COURSEWORK ASSESSED AND WHAT ARE THE TESTING PROCEDURES?
Teachers have the discretion to use different types of assessment, evaluation and testing procedures. A teacher may decide that the course assignment or activity requires a face-to-face traditional classroom environment at some time during the semester; however, this will not conflict with regular school hours nor is it a regular course requirement for the student. Any state mandated test shall be administered in a face-to-face setting at the local high school. Students will submit assignments and work requirements electronically to the instructor. Other forms of submitting work may occasionally apply.
WHAT COURSE CREDIT IS GIVEN FOR AN ONLINE COURSE?
Online courses receive the same number of course credits as on-site courses.
WILL I BE A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE LEARNER?
Many of the skills needed most to be a successful online learner are the same ones you use in any class: preparation, organization and self-discipline. The difference is in how you apply them. Other skills are less intuitive but just as important. The following are based on advice from experienced online instructors and students and provide helpful information when deciding your potential for success in an online course:
- Is your need to take an online course high or moderate? The greater your motivation for taking an online course, the greater the chance you will succeed as an online learner.
- Do you feel comfortable with writing out your thoughts (as opposed to saying them out loud)? Then you can be a successful online learner.
- Are you comfortable with using the technology (Internet, downloading & uploading files, email) involved in online learning? Do you know how to open, close, name, save, delete, move files and type efficiently? Are you comfortable with navigating the WWW? Do you understand how to send and receive email? If so then your chances for success are greater. Having experience with technology makes an online course easier.
- Can you work independently or do you require constant reminders or monitoring to complete assigned tasks? Online courses require commitment and discipline to complete assignments. Without a face-to-face instructor reminding you daily what is due in class each week, you will have more responsibility for your own learning. Remember, an individual's motivation for taking an online course directly affects the person's commitment to completing assigned tasks. Pairing up with another student in the course for support and encouragement can be helpful for students who need support. Do you rely on social cues such as facial expressions and voice tone to understand words and meanings? If so, you will need to adjust to the online environment, which has different social cues.
- Do you tend to feel insecure when contributing to classroom discussions? Students who tend to be quiet in the traditional classroom find the security of the online environment enables them to speak freely and often. Students who like to contribute to classroom discussion find the online environment allows them more freedom to speak (write).
- Are you at least an average reader? Online courses require reading from a computer monitor what would be spoken by the teacher in the traditional classroom. If you like to read, or can at least grin and bear having to read instructions, you have one of the characteristics necessary to be a successful online learner.
- Are you a procrastinator (wait until later)? To delay or put off assignments in the online course is easier to do than when working in the traditional classroom. As before, consider what motivates you to take an online course. Is your motivation stronger than your tendency to procrastinate? If so, then you can be successful in an online course.
***Before you register for an online course, consider all of the above points to determine your capability of succeeding in an online course.