Distance learning is a flexible and convenient alternative to taking face-to-face courses; however, online courses are not easier! Online learners need to be ready to take an active role in their learning to ensure a successful learning experience.
Athens Technical College requires at least one proctored activity in each online course. A proctored activity is a required learning event such as a midterm or final exam or presentation for which students must appear in person and present photo identification (such as a driver's license or Athens Technical College student identification card) to verify their identity. A proctored activity must be one that is accomplished on campus as specified by the instructor. In special circumstances, students may complete the proctored activity at an approved alternate site such as a college or university testing center or other educational or military settings.
The following phrases explain distance learning at Athens Technical College:
- Taught by college faculty, distance learning courses are comparable to the same courses taught in a traditional classroom setting.
- Distance learning courses have the same course content, student learning outcomes, and grading policy and criteria as face-to-face courses.
- Students who take online courses need strong study, time management, Internet, and reading comprehension skills to be successful.
- On average, online courses require a minimum time commitment of 15 hours each week to complete all assignments. Students interact with the instructor and other students through the online learning environment.
- Thinkwell and MyMathLab learning management programs are used for the majority of math courses offered at Athens Technical College. BLACKBOARD LEARN, a learning management program, is used for all other distance learning courses available at the college. Students receive a username and password to access these learning management programs.
Eligible for E-Learning at Athens Technical College
In an effort to ensure the best chance of successful completion of online courses, Athens Technical College requires students who plan to take online courses to meet the following criteria:
- Must have successfully completed the E-Learning Orientation Assessment prior to meeting with their advisor.
- Must hold a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
- May be in learning support in only one area (English or math).
- Must have completed ENGL 0977 and required reading learning support (if applicable).
- Must meet all course prerequisites.
- Must be in good academic standing; students on probation or who are returning to college after having been academically dismissed are ineligible to take online classes.
- Must have no history of failing (F) or withdrawal failing (WF) grades in the courses they wish to take online.
- Students with no previous college experience may take online classes provided they meet course prerequisites and have completed the Orientation Process for Online Classes.
Definitions of Types of Distance Learning Courses
The following terms describe the instructional methods used to deliver distance learning courses at Athens Technical College:
- Online — Online courses are taught using the Internet, with the bulk of the course content, activities, and interactions occurring online. Online courses require at least one proctored activity.
- Hybrid — Courses are taught primarily via the Internet and partially face via face-to-face instruction on campus (Example: Monday/Wednesday on campus; all other coursework online).
- Web-enhanced — Online resources are used to supplement face-to-face classroom instruction. The web-based component of the courses support classroom instruction and may require students to use the Internet to interact with one another and instructors, to review content, do research, complete and/or submit assignments, or take tests. Almost all courses offered at the college are, at minimum, web-enhanced.
- Video-conferencing — Face-to-face course taught at two or more locations at the same time. The course is delivered by interactive audio/video technologies with instructor teaching in one of the classroom locations and broadcasting to the other classroom location.
Support for Distance Learners
The dean for general education and online learning supports faculty and students and manages the college's web-based instruction and instructional technology needs. Students requiring technical support for their distance education courses are encouraged to:
- Visit the E-learning web page for information regarding software and hardware requirements.
- Contact course instructors for assistance.
Submit a help request form through the college website
. On class days, students can expect a response from technical support within 24 hours.
For more information about services and resources available to all students, including distance learners, please visit the Current Students link on the college website.