What Every Student Should Know About Online Learning



THE NATURE OF ONLINE LEARNING:

The teaching offered in this course is not designed to just instruct, but to enable learners to fully participate in learning conversations. Interaction between and among students provide the power for this platform, thus students must take responsibility for creating a stimulating and engaging online learning environment. This will involve checking email on a regular basis, logging into the class website regularly to keep up with assignments and participate fully in online discussions, and scheduling regular blocks of study time each week.

Online learning generally provides considerable freedom, allowing students to often choose when and where they’ll participate in class activities. But at the same time, students have the same kinds of deadlines and structured responsibilities of a face-to-face class. In other words, flexibility must be balanced by responsibility. Like a face-to-face course, online courses require that assignments be completed by due dates, attendance (via your logins to your course), involvement in online discussions, and sometimes group collaboration. Most students enjoy the active learning that online classes involve.
 
 

PREREQUISITE COMPUTER SKILLS:

It is critical that you have the minimum technical skills necessary to succeed in an online course. You should have the ability to use the computer and basic software (word processing, spreadsheets, and browsers). You should be able to download (save) and upload files and documents. If you are a novice WebCT user, you should take the WebCT student tutorial before proceeding with an online course. The WebCT student tutorial at

http://webct.westga.edu/public/ABCMERGER1111/index.html (username= guest and password = guest) and the WebCT Student Orientation at

http://www.webct.com/oriented/viewpage?name=oriented_orientation_program_home are highly recommended.
 
 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

- a 486/66Mhz (minimum) PC with 16 MB of RAM OR a Macintosh PowerPC with 16 MB RAM or better OR any other Macintosh with a 68040 processor and 16MB or RAM or better

- 28.8 modem or better

- an internet service provider

- Netscape 4.0 or better OR MS Internet Explorer 3.0 or later (but not Netscape 6.0 and Internet Explorer 5.5 service pack 1)

Please see further details on technical requirements at http://distance.westga.edu/vitalinfo.html.
 
 

ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES

Distance Learning Library Services http://www.westga.edu/~library/depts/offcampus/

(678) 839-6507 or email cgoodson@westga.edu

The Excel Center for Academic Success http://www.westga.edu/~EXCELcenter/

(678) 839-6280 or email helpme@westga.edu

Student Services http://www.westga.edu/~stusrvc/

(678) 839-6384
 
 

FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES

The Office of Financial Aid at West Georgia http://www.westga.edu/~finaid/

(678) 839-6421 or email finaid@westga.edu
 
 

COSTS AND PAYMENT POLICIES

How to pay fees can be found at: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/online/fees.html

Distance Course Fee Policy: Off-campus course students (section#s 40-99) are not charged on-campus fees, except for the Technology Fee. See links below for specific and up-to-date fee structures.

Undergraduate Fee information is available BUT make sure you scroll down to the Off-Campus Fee section: http://www.westga.edu/~admiss/index.php?id=feestuition

Graduate Fee information is available BUT make sure you scroll down to the Off-Campus Fee section: http://www.westga.edu/~gradsch/forms/printable/FeeSummary.pdf

UWG ONLINE CONNECTION

An Orientation Site for students attending UWG solely through on-line courses

http://www.westga.edu/~online/

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The Distance Student Guide is the most informative and complete resource for distance learners at West Georgia. Please see http://www.westga.edu/~distance/handbook.html.

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