WATC > Interested in Online Learning? > Frequently Asked Questions
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are online courses?
  2. What are hybrid courses?
  3. What are web-enhanced courses?
  4. What are some of the advantages to learning online?
  5. What should I consider before enrolling in a hybrid or online course?
  6. Is there an orientation to help me get started?
  7. Do I need to purchase a textbook for online/hybrid courses?
  8. Where do I purchase my textbooks?
  9. Do I have to attend any class meetings on campus?
  10. Do I have to be online at a certain time each week?
  11. Are hybrid and online courses self-paced?
  12. How do I turn in assignments and take tests?
  13. How do I communicate with the instructor and other students in the course?
  14. When will the instructor get back with me if I have questions?
  15. What if I need technical help?
  16. What student services are available to online students?
  17. How do I get enrolled?
  18. How do I log on?
  19. When can I log on?
  20. What if I have more questions?

What are online courses?

Online courses are delivered through the web using a learning management system. These courses cover the same objectives and competencies as courses offered face-to-face on campus.  Instead of having an instructor physically present, you will get notes, lectures and assignments from web pages (and video material in some cases), participate in discussions, communicate, research, and take quizzes, and turn in assignments using course tools. You will still have a live instructor, classmates, textbooks, a syllabus, assignments, feedback and exams.  All course assignments, exams, etc. will have due dates that you will need to meet each week.  There are usually not any required times to be online each week, unless specified by the instructor or noted in the Interactive Course Schedule.

What are hybrid courses?

A hybrid course is a blend of face-to-face instruction with online learning. In a hybrid course, a significant part of the course learning is online and as a result, the amount of classroom seat-time is reduced.  At WATC, hybrid courses will usually meet 50% of the time online and 50% of the time face-to-face.  In a hybrid course, lectures, assignments, discussions, and tests will be delivered  online, face-to-face and a combination of both.

What are web-enhanced courses?

A web-enhanced course is a course that still meets face-to-face for the entire semester, but the instructor uses a learning management system to enhance the course with supplemental material.  Examples of supplemental material an instructor could make available would include the course syllabus, PowerPoint handouts, lecture notes, informational hand-outs and links to textbook or course-specific websites.

What are some of the advantages to learning online?

You get the same high-quality instruction and course content as a face-to-face course, but without the day-to-day obstacles like fixed class schedules and travel time to get to a class.  Online Learning also lends itself to more individualized one-on-one instruction and smaller class sizes.  This is definitely an advantage compared to the lecture based group instruction you may get in larger face-to-face courses.  Another advantage is that you can log on to the course at a time that is best for you – even if you’re an early riser, or night owl. Finally you don’t have to worry about parking, gas, or daycare hassles!

What should I consider before enrolling in a hybrid or online course?

In a hybrid or online course you and the instructor are connected through a computer network. You receive instruction, compose and submit assignments, ask questions, discuss issues and actively participate in the class anytime and anywhere you have access to the Internet.

It is highly recommended that first-time online students limit themselves to one or two online courses their first semester.

Online courses aren’t for everyone.  It is best to be sure that this style of learning fits you before committing to a number of courses.

Although you can access the course anywhere or anytime, there is a definite class structure and deadlines! Hybrid and online courses require that you are fully aware of the instructor’s expectations and requirements.

You need more self-discipline than required in most other learning formats. Highly motivated, responsible and self-directed are key phrases that describe students who are successful in online learning.

Good reading skills are a must as the instructor is not physically present and will be communicating course information and lectures to you in writing.

You also need easy, reliable access to the Internet. If you are not already very comfortable with word processing and using the Internet, then wait to take an online course. Instructors are there to teach the course content; they cannot teach you the necessary “computer literacy” skills at the same time!

Take our technical self-assessmentto get a good perspective on your current technical readiness.

Is there an orientation to help me get started?

It is highly recommended (but not required) that first-time hybrid and online students complete the Online Learning/ANGEL Orientation course that is available online after logging on to the system.

Students may also to choose to attend one of several face-to-face Online Learning Orientations offered every semester for hands-on-help.  A member of the Online Learning Staff is available for questions during this time and the sessions usually last approximately 30 minutes depending on the skill level of the student.

Do I need to purchase a textbook for online/hybrid courses?

Yes, textbooks are required for the majority of hybrid and online courses.  Our friendly bookstore staff will be happy to assist you with finding and purchasing the necessary textbooks and course materials.

Where do I purchase my textbooks?

You may purchase textbooks and course materials from the WATC Bookstore.  The bookstore is located at the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) campus and the Southside Education Center campus.

Do I have to attend any class meetings on campus?

All hybrid courses will have class meetings on campus as indicated in the Interactive Course Schedule.

Some online courses will also have class meetings and/or proctored exams on campus as indicated on the Interactive Course Schedule.

Do I have to be online at a certain time each week?

Hybrid and Online courses usually do not have specific times you have to be online each week, unless specified by the instructor of the course.  You will, however, have due dates each week that you will need to meet.  When you go online and complete the work is totally up to you as long as you have it turned by the due date!

Are hybrid and online courses self-paced?

The majority of WATC’s hybrid and online courses are not self-paced.  There are specific due dates and deadlines students will have to meet each week.

How do I turn in assignments and take tests?

For online courses, assignments, tests and other coursework is composed, completed and submitted online through the learning management system.  For hybrid courses, some coursework may also be physically turned in at the time the course meets face-to-face, in addition to the coursework that is completed online.

Some online courses also require proctored final exams as indicated in the course syllabus. If you are not from our geographical area, proctoring may be set up in your location. Check with your instructor for details.

How do I communicate with the instructor and other students in the course?

Communication online with the instructor and other students in the course is accomplished by using the course mail and discussion forum tools in the learning management system.

Students may also call the instructor or make an appointment to meet with the instructor if necessary.

When will the instructor get back with me if I have questions?

Instructors are expected to answer student questions via course mail and/or discussion forum within 24- 48 hours.  Please allow the instructor this time frame to get back with you before declaring them unavailable.

What if I need technical help?

First contact your instructor as they may be able to assist you and  answer your question.  Next, you may contact the Student IT Help Desk and they will be happy to assist you.

What student services are available to online students?

All student services and student resources available to face-to-face students are available to online students. Visit WATC’s home page to see what resources are available to students.

How do I get enrolled?

You may enroll with an academic advisor at any of our campuses.  For more information on getting admitted and enrolling see Enrollment Process.

How do I log on?

All students will be sent a letter with their login information (username/password).  Once this has been set up, students will access their hybrid and online courses through myWATC.  For more information, see Log In.

When can I log on?

Students can log in at anytime.  However, students will not be able to access the course content  for hybrid, online and web-enhanced courses in Online Learning until 7 days prior to the class start date.

What if I have more questions?

If you have additional questions, please e-mail onlinelearning@watc.edu.

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