Chapter 10 Online Learning
- Avoid making common assumptions about online courses.
- Online courses have many advantages and some disadvantages.
- Online learning is at least as effective as traditional face-to-face courses.
- Know how the characteristics of online learning fit with your personal needs and circumstances.
- There are numerous learning strategies that can help make your online learning experience successful.
Many colleges or universities have free short courses to familiarize yourself with an online platform. Check with your local institution or another institution to research this option. For example, College of the Rockies has a free Sample Course available to familiarize students with online courses. It can be accessed on the learning platform, Moodle, and gives a little tour through the sample course so people can see how things are set up and organized. Anyone can access the free course and in the course, there is a video link which shows how to navigate the course.
Familiarize yourself with a Moodle Platform to view how an online course can be navigated.
- Go to www.cotronline.ca and click on the Sample Course link. It will take you to the online course named, “Sample Course – Learning How to Learn at College”. Click on, “Start here. Click on this link and watch the attached video to find out how to navigate your course.” This video will show you how to navigate an online course in Moodle. Then you can try navigating the Sample Course on your own.
- Go to the Sample Course homepage again. It has an introductory section followed by six chapters from Academic Honesty & Avoiding Plagiarism (first chapter) to Writing a Quiz, Test or Exam (last chapter). Clicking on any of these chapters will lead you into the content of each chapter respectively. Move around the course by going into and out of chapters, checking out the introductory sections, and going back to the home page by clicking on Sample Course on the navigation bar at the top. Moving around the course will help you get used to the learning platform.
The purpose of this exercise is to get experience using a learning management system such as Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, or Brightspace. Find a short (possibly free) online course, and take the course to familiarize yourself with using an online platform. If you can’t find a short course to use, feel free to use the Sample Course above. Write a short report about your experience. It should include:
- The name of the course you took including a link.
- The type of learning management system that it used (if available).
- Comments about your experience doing the course.
- Was it user friendly?
- Was it easy to navigate around the course?
- What was your general impression?
- Were there aspects you liked or disliked about learning this way?