Online Study Overview
This brief introduction to eLearning at Edmonds Community College will help you decide and prepare to take online classes.
Students who are successful in the online environment are committed to their studies. Online classes do offer convenience and flexibility but they can be more demanding of time and energy than regular classes.
Online students need to:
- Use technology properly
- Log in regularly to participate in their classes, usually at least three times per week
- Plan their time well to ensure enough time to study and complete assignments
- Exercise self discipline in order to complete assignments on time
- Take notes as they study
- Commit 10 - 15 hours per week per five-credit class
- Enjoy communicating in writing and reading the writing of others
- Be able to work with others to complete projects
- " Speak up" to their instructors when problems arise
- Quality input into your class is often an essential element of the online classroom experience. You must be willing to share your ideas, carefully consider your responses to the sharing of others, and be prepared, occasionally, to have your ideas challenged.
Computer & Connection Requirements
To be successful as a Edmonds Community College Online student, it is important to have a computer system that can adequately support you in the tasks that you need to accomplish. You'll need to have access to a computer system that meets the minimum Edmonds Community College Technical Requirements.
You will need to have a reliable connection to the Internet. Dial-up connections will be much slower than broadband, but adequate for most online courses. Broadband connections are encouraged for courses using real-time chat and collaboration tools. Review the course syllabus for specific requirements. You can set up a connection to the Internet by signing up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). There are many different ISPs available to choose from. Your local phone or cable company may offer Internet access.
You will need to have an e-mail account. Most ISPs will provide you with an e-mail account as part of their Internet access package. If you are not sure if you have e-mail, check with your ISP. You can also use free e-mail services such as Yahoo! mail and Hotmail.
Basic Computer Skills
Online learning challenges some students without strong computer skills or with computer equipment that is not working properly. Here are some preliminary questions to ask yourself to see if you need to brush up on your skills.
- Can you create, save, find and manage files on your computer?
- Do you know how to install software on your computer if you need to ?
- Do you currently have an email address?
- Do you know how to send and receive email attachments?
- Can you access email and the World Wide Web at least five times a week?
- Do you know how to "paste" text from a word processor into an email?
- If you do not have your own computer, can you get to campus to use the computer labs or arrange to use some other computer at least 2 hours per day?
If you hesitated to answer YES to any of the questions above, you may find the distance learning environment more challenging. Select a link above to see a short tutorial or visit a campus computer lab to practice the skills mentioned above.
Currently, the college uses both Canvas and Blackboard course management systems, a type of software that allows instructors to easily put course information online. Each course receives its own web site which is password-protected, and only students that are registered in the course have access to the course content. Each course has its own Discussion Board, Virtual Classroom (chat room), a Digital Drop-Box, Course Material, and online quizzes and tests.
All students have an account created for them automatically, within 24 hours of registration. View the Login Instructions to determine your eLearning username and password. This account gives you access to your online classrooms. Links to online classrooms will only appear if the instructor has made the classroom available and intends to use the online tools.