Online Course Basics
What is an Online Course?
An online course (sometimes referred to as a Web-based or
Web-delivered course) is a class taught via the World Wide Web.
Online courses are a form of distance learning. You can take the
course at a “distance.” This means you should be able to take the
course without coming to campus.
Most Southeast Online courses fit this description, though there are
some rare exceptions where an on campus meeting is required. Online
courses are also distant in time. Southeast Online courses are
asynchronous courses. This means that you do not have to be online at
a specific time taking the course. Your most convenient time may be
at three in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the evening. Other
students may logon at different times.
Southeast Online courses are not self-paced courses. You cannot
complete the entire course in just a few weeks. Typically, Southeast
Online courses have materials and assignments provided on a weekly
basis, or even smaller chunks of time.
Southeast Online courses are the same courses that are taught in the
face-to-face (F2F) classroom. They are simply sections of the course
taught in the online environment, i.e. on the Web. For the most part,
the content and materials are the same as you would get in the F2F
class. The delivery is different. Class material is delivered via
text or multimedia.
Typically, material in an online class will be reading text on the class Web pages. Supplementing that may be assigned reading from the
class textbook, links to other Web sites, images, animations,
simulations, interactive modules, PowerPoint presentations, audio, or
streamed voice-over images or videos. Assignments may be in the form
of filling in forms, readings, email messages or attachments,
discussions, quizzes, exams, materials uploaded to the Web site, or
others as determined by the instructor.
It is important to remember that online courses are very time
intensive. Plan on spending as much time in your online course
as you would spend sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture and
doing your homework outside of the classroom. The time you spend
in an online class is typically the same as a traditional class, you
just spend your time differently. You no longer spend time
sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture: instead, you are
reading and researching on your own. On average, plan on
spending about nine hours per week for each of your online classes.
If you are taking a class in a summer session, keep in mind that you
will cover the same amount of material as you would in a sixteen- week
course, but the timeframe is more condensed. In essence, one day
in a four-week summer course will cover the same material covered in
one week of a sixteen-week course.