Online Learning Tour

The structure of online classes varies greatly dependent on what software or course management system your instructor uses. Most of our instructors use a program called ETUDES which offers a uniform look to all online courses designed in it; others have custom-designed the "look and feel" of their online courses by using various software. Expect even more variety, as instructors are introduced to other emerging technology for the design, delivery, and evaluation of online courses.

What does this mean for you?

In terms of course software/management requirements, nothing. For the time being, you are not expected to buy any licenses or install any programs. You will be able to access the online course via your web browser.

Adjusting to the different course layouts may take some effort. It is important to take a tour of the course early in the term to familiarize yourself with its layout, to ensure that you are clear about its navigation structure and comfortable with its layout. In a way, this is not very different from adjusting to traditional courses. Some traditional courses are held in large auditoriums while others are conducted in a large circle or in round tables.

Adjusting to different instructor teaching styles will take some effort. Again, this is not much different from adjusting to teaching styles when taking traditional classes. Some traditional instructors lecture while others conduct workshops or rely heavily on group work and discussion. Expect similar differences in online instructors. It is important to know your learning style and figure out early whether the online course and instructor will meet/match your learning needs.

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This orientation was originally developed by Vivie Sinou as part of a grant from the Chancellor's Office, CA, 1999-00, and was adapted for Foothill College. The webpages were designed with ideas from Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction, Illinois Online Network, and input from members of the California Community College Distance Learning Consortium.

Last Updated September 12, 2014
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