MCC offers a variety of fully online, hybrid and computer-assisted courses that enable anytime, anywhere access to class materials and enhance engaged learning. This flexible learning approach is central to MCC’s responsiveness to students’ needs to balance family and work commitments while pursuing educational excellence.
Online learning is provided through Blackboard, an electronic environment that includes a grade book, discussion board and Web-based access to course materials. These materials may range from simple text files and Web links to PowerPoint presentations, audio files, videos and simulations.
MCC offers three types of distance learning courses, which are listed by the following “Instructional Types:”
- ONLN: Fully online courses. All of your course will take place online.
- OLCR: Online with on-campus requirements such as tests or orientations. Contact your instructor for details.
- HYBR: Hybrid courses. In a hybrid course, you will have scheduled on-campus class meetings and online coursework and interactions. The number of on-campus meetings may vary according to instructor.
The faculty at MCC is composed of experienced educators who are known for providing individual guidance. They provide an electronic environment that encourages student-to-student interaction. Whether it is through discussions, chat or group projects, MCC instructors provide a rich and rewarding experience.
Textbooks for online courses may be purchased from the campus bookstore, or you may order textbooks online at: www.efollett.com.
Technical Requirements and Recommendations
If you enroll in an online or hybrid course or if your on-campus instructor requires you to access Blackboard for materials, grades or discussions, you will need the following to work from your home:
- An Internet connection, preferably via cable modem or DSL, that will provide the speed/bandwidth necessary to access your course and any multi-media material your instructor may require. A slow connection, such as a dial-up, will not provide satisfactory performance.
- A Web browser. You can check your browser’s compatibility with Blackboard at: www.commnet.edu/student/blackboard/bbbcheck.asp. Also use this link to make sure you have the correct version of Java.
- A word processor. Microsoft Word is used by many instructors.
- Other software recommended by your instructor. Commonly used software includes Excel, PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office applications. Your instructor also may require specialized software used in particular disciplines. Some MCC instructors may use various Web plug-ins such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple QuickTime, Macromedia Flash Shockwave, RealPlayer and/or Microsoft Media Player. System and software requirements for a course may vary—please check with your instructor before beginning the course.
- An active email account.
How Online Learning Works
Although fully online and hybrid courses provide flexibility that allow you to access information and participate in course discussions anytime and anywhere that you have a computer and an Internet connection, these are not self-paced courses. Just as in any MCC course, you will have weekly deadlines for assignments, discussions and assessments. The content and expectations in an online course are the same as in an on-campus course at MCC. However, most communication in an on-campus course involves talking and listening, as well as reading and writing. In an online course, communication occurs primarily through reading and writing. Before enrolling in an online course consider the ways that you learn and communicate most easily.
Skills that will help you succeed in online learning include: good time management, familiarity with basic computing such as keyboarding, web browsing and word processing; and good reading, writing and communication skills. If you have never taken online classes, contact the Educational Technology & Distance Learning Department (ETDL) at firstname.lastname@example.org for a login to SmarterMeasure, a self-assessment that will help you decide if online learning is right for you. You also should review the information on the ETDL website for MCC students at http://www.mcc.commnet.edu/students/resources/distance.php. This site includes information about how to log into Blackboard, where to get help, technical requirements for your computer, and other resources.
In any online learning environment, you will be communicating directly with fellow students and the instructor through email and discussion forums. Class discussions will occur primarily through the discussion board. You will read what your instructor and other class members have posted, write responses to readings or questions, and participate in text-based class discussions about the course material. Discussion posts may be written at your convenience as long as you meet your instructor’s deadlines for each discussion assignment.
On average, you can expect to spend the same number of hours working on your online course as you would on an on-campus course, including the hours you would normally spend in the classroom.
For information on:
- Blackboard technical or log-in questions, call 860-512-2857 or send an email message to: email@example.com.
- A particular course, contact the individual instructor.
- Federal financial aid, contact the Financial Aid office at 860-512-3380.