Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Online / Distance Learning Students

Man in bubbleWelcome to Montgomery Community College

 Montgomery Community College students can incorporate online courses into their program of study. Some programs offer their entire degree online; others provide online courses but require in-person course work as well. Check your program's homepage for more information about specific degree requirements.


Online courses offer the busy student several advantages.


Flexibility
Online students don't commute to a physical classroom. Instead, they work inside a course management system to complete assignments and interact with instructors and classmates. There are due dates for course work, but students can login to the course management system at their convenience.

Excellent instructors
All our courses are taught by highly-qualified instructors, known for their academic achievements and the practice of their disciplines. Online courses allow the College to expand our faculty pool beyond the Montgomery County area, offering students the chance to work with excellent instructors from a much wider area.

High levels of interaction
Online students communicate with their instructors and classmates through discussion boards, group assignments, and the occasional live online event.

While online courses offer many advantages, students should consider the following before registering for their first online course.

Time commitment
Online courses are NOT an easy alternative to traditionally taught courses. Our online courses are typically NOT self-paced and students are expected to complete course readings, group projects, and assignments by their scheduled due dates. Most instructors require their students to log in and participate in the online forum at least 2-3 times a week. Online attendance is marked by active participation and lack of participation can result in being dropped from the course.

Technical Information
The College provides an online student orientation to train students on specific technologies used in online courses. However, students should have a reasonable knowledge of basic personal computing before they take an online course. Specifically, students should be able to:
• Navigate a web browser
• Compose and format documents in commonly used software programs
• Upload and download files
• Work within a file/folder structure on their computer
• Have access to a high speed internet connection

Hardware/Software Requirements
Online students should be aware of the hardware and software requirements for their online courses. Students should contact their advisor about their course requirements prior to registration. The Center for Academic and Technology Support (CATS) is also available to assist you with questions about your online hardware/software requirements.

Distance Learning with Blackboard
The bulk of your online course experience will happen within a course management system call Blackboard. This web-based software includes areas for you to read and view course content, communicate with your instructor and classmates on the discussion board, upload and download course assignments, take online exams and quizzes, and monitor your grades.

Support /Orientation for Distance Learning Courses
Students enrolled in online courses must complete a mandatory enrollment / orientation assignment requirement by the census (10%) date to prevent being dropped from their course. These requirements are included in with the course syllabus and posted on Blackboard.

Online students have access to the college's Help Desk in the CATS Lab at 910-576-6222, extension 217 or 524. 24/7 assistance is available by calling 855-588-2930 or submitting a ticket through the MCC Blackboard Help Desk.

Finding and Registering for Online Courses
Registration for distance learning courses follows the same procedures as traditional classes. Each distance learning course is equivalent to the on-campus section(s) of the same course in terms of objectives, contact, rigor, and transferability. Distance learning courses are also approved for financial aid. Students interested in enrolling in online courses must (1) be computer literate; (2) have access to a computer regularly and continuously; and (3) have access to the Internet regularly and continuously. In some online courses, students may be required to have specific software. Students should discuss these course requirements with their advisor to ensure their success.

To register for an online course, students follow the same policy as registering for a face-to-face course. Registration for online courses through WebAdvisor is available by clicking on the WebAdvisor icon near the bottom of MCC's homepage.

 

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