Distance Education Frequently Asked Questions
Distance Education is a term used to describe the teaching and learning process that takes place when the instructor and student are separated by place and/or time. Distance delivery methods are particularly suited to students who find it difficult to attend regular on-campus courses because of schedule conflicts, family and work responsibilities, or travel barriers. Distance Education courses carry the same academic credit and rigor as traditional on-campus classes and follow the same semester start and end times.
What types of distance learning opportunities are there at LCC?
Distance education is designed to meet the needs of a diverse population through flexible, alternative delivery methods such as Internet courses, Hybrid courses, Web-assisted courses, and Information Highway/Two-way Video courses. Distance education students follow the same guidelines for application and registration as traditional students. In addition, identical academic standards, criteria, content, quality, and student support services apply to distance education courses as to all other college courses. There is an online orientation for Internet students to assist them in succeeding in the course.
- Internet-Based Courses
LCC offers a variety of Internet courses for students who want to supplement their on- campus courses or for students who need courses to meet their career goals. Students work independently by utilizing Internet tools such as email, chatting, discussion forums, video, fax, and telephone to communicate with instructors. Students enrolled in Internet courses are guided by a qualified instructor and have access to the same resources as traditional on-campus students. Students enrolling in Internet courses should have a working knowledge of the Internet, Windows, and email, and should possess processing skills.
- Hybrid Courses
Hybrid courses combine traditional classroom-based instruction with the tools of online distance delivery. Primary course delivery is online with a requirement that students also meet in traditional face-to-face sessions.
- Web-assisted Courses
Web-assisted courses also combine traditional classroom-based instruction with the tools of online distance delivery. Primary course delivery is via traditional face-to-face sessions with a requirement that students have Internet access as a supplemental part of the course.
- Information Highway/Two-way Video Courses
Information Highway/Two-way video courses feature live video and audio interaction between the instructor and students at different sites. Students can interact with instructors and other students through monitors, microphones, and other technologies. LCC may offer courses on the North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH). This two-way interactive technology connects LCC and its students to students at other North Carolina community colleges with a statewide fiber optic network. This may allow students an opportunity to enroll in courses not usually offered by LCC.
Internet courses allow the student the freedom to receive instruction at his or her own time and place; however, this freedom comes with MUCH GREATER responsibility. The student becomes almost completely responsible for his or her own time management. There is no set class time, so the student MUST set aside time to participate in the instruction and study. The student MUST possess the discipline to maintain the necessary time schedule in spite of all the demands life places on his or her time. The instructor is not sitting at the front of the classroom to see if the student is in class. Attendance is determined, not by being present, but by completing the course assignments as scheduled by the instructor. The student MUST be comfortable using technology to receive instruction, to ask questions, and to submit assignments.
- Able to study independently
- Studious/Above Average
- Able to Read and Write Well
- Able to Think Critically and Solve Problems
- Timely in Keeping Up With Assignments
- Dedicated/Committed/Goal Oriented
A successful Distance Learning student is one who has:
- Access to a computer with Internet access
- Access to software needed for courses, such as word processing software
- The ability to browse the Internet
- The ability to search for information using the Internet
- The ability to use email to send and receive messages
- The ability to access email attachments and send email attachments
Distance education courses require that you have access to a computer with a high speed internet connection along with the ability to print, if needed. You will also need to have a backup computer in case your primary computer is not working. The backup computer can be any computer with a high speed internet connection that you can use. Some examples of a backup computer are computers located at the library, computer labs at school, or a relative or friend’s computer. Remember you are responsible for completing your assignments and tests on time. Be sure you have a backup computer available.
Distance education course students might find it easier to neglect the course because of personal or professional circumstances. The time you spend on the course is set by you, not by the college class schedule. Be sure you have the motivation to follow through and finish.
Some students prefer the independence of distance education courses; others find it uncomfortable.
Distance education courses give students greater freedom of scheduling, but they can require more self-discipline than on-campus courses.
Some people learn best by interacting with other students and instructors. Some distance learning courses may not provide as much opportunity for this interaction as traditional classes.
Distance education courses require students to work from written directions without face-to-face instructions.
Students enrolling in Internet Courses MUST possess the ability to use the Internet and E-mail prior to the start of classes. If you can find your way around this site without help, you should have no trouble finding your way through an Internet course. If you have had help getting to this point, be sure you can find your way on your own before enrolling in an Internet course.