Question: Why take an online course?

Answer: Online learning offers many advantages at the same time researchers have concluded there is no significant difference when it comes to the quality of the learning experience when online courses are compared to traditional face-to-face courses — see the “No Significant Difference Phenomenon” by Thomas L. Russell companion web site.

Looking specifically at the advantages of online learning:

  • Online learning provides students with more scheduling flexibility when the learning activities are asynchronous;
  • Students save time by not commuting to and from campus classes;
  • By eliminating the time and place constraints of typical face-to-face courses, online course-related materials can be more customized and expansive; and
  • Student-centered learning typically translates into greater student interactivity and engagement.

Distance Learning at SCS

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Question: Is online learning for you?

Answer: At the same time online learning is appealing to many students, some students continue to prefer face-to-face learning. When considering whether online learning is right for you, keep in mind how distance learning cannot provide the same types of friendships and extracurricular activities/learning that are typical in campus-based classes.

Also, in addition to the minimum computer and software capabilities listed above, each student enrolled in an Internet-based course will need:

  • An interest in utilizing the Internet as a distance education mode;
  • Self-motivation – with an on-line course students need to take the initiative to review the online course materials, keep up with the reading and project assignments and participate in the on-line discussions; and
  • Adequate written communication skills to communicate effectively through the mediums of essay submissions, e-mail, and “chat” discussions. While the instructor for Internet-based courses is available almost “on-demand” through e-correspondence and e-office hours, being comfortable with written communication is an imperative for distance education students.