Online Learning FAQs
Online Learning FAQs
The most successful online students will have a basic understanding of computer skills, electronic file management, web browsing, etc. They are also self-motivated with good time-management skills. Being able to communicate well in writing is vital.
The major difference between online vs. on campus is that the classroom is virtual rather than at a physical location. This classroom is available to you 24 hours per day, so you can “attend” anytime and complete your coursework.
Your course will be divided into weeks or modules, and follow the same term schedule as ‘on campus’ courses. Your live lectures will be replaced with content that can include but is not limited to textbook readings, PowerPoints or other files, interactive websites, podcasts, and videos. You will participate in classroom discussions, take quizzes, and turn in homework. The classroom website, powered by eLearning, allows you to do this all electronically.
You may have exams online. Tests are timed and are usually offered only during specific days. Some faculty may choose to have these proctored so please read your syllabus very carefully to see if you need to participate in proctored exams. Southwestern does have proctoring services available for those in this area. Please visit the Testing Center page for more information. If you cannot come to a SWOCC campus location, you can generally find a proctor at places like a local library or school. Please make these arrangements ahead of time with your faculty member.
Grading is most often based on assignment grades, participation in class discussions, and test grades. Please read your syllabus carefully for grading information.
Hybrid - A combination of online and on campus instruction on scheduled days and times.
Online Virtual Instruction - Classes are online and you will attend virtually on scheduled days and times.
Online - Classes are entirely online. While these classes are not self-paced (you will still have assignments with dues dates throughout the term), they do provide a more flexible study schedule.
- Access to a High-Speed Broadband Internet Connection minimum 1.5+ MB/s
- Desktop/Laptop – Mac or IBM Compatible
- While mobile or other devices including phones, iPads, Chromebooks, etc., can be used for some coursework and checking email, a desktop or laptop computer may be required for specialized software requirements and plugin functionality/compatibility.
- PC – Operating system should be Windows 7 or higher
- Mac – Operating system should be 10.7 or higher
- Microsoft Office 365
- Registered students can download a free copy of Office 365 by logging in to their student email and selecting the Office 365 link in the top left corner
- Adobe Reader
- Internet Browser – Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
- Other software may be required on a course by course basis.
- Ability to create, name, save and find your documents
- Download and upload documents as well as attach to and save from email
- Transfer files via USB drive and/or cloud storage
- Comfortable communicating with your instructors and classmates online
- Navigate online coursework, due dates, instructions
- Ability to search for and determine legitimate Internet source material
- Self-motivation, persistence, time management: Know that online learning has a unique set of challenges and objectives not found in face to face classrooms.
Questions about assignments should be directed to your instructor or teaching assistant by e-mail, phone, or through our LMS (Learning Management System), Canvas. Each online course will list the faculty contact methods and hours.