Myths About Online Learning - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Adult Students Graduate Studies
May 25, 2016

Myths About Online Learning

#1 – You Can Take as Long as You Want

Fact: Online classroom sessions start on Monday, discussion posts are due Wednesday nights, and responses, papers or quizzes are due by Saturday night.

#2 – Online Courses are Easy Credits

Fact: In some ways, an online course is more demanding than a classroom course. You need to be self-motivated to be successful in the online classroom. Participation takes place through required and graded discussion forums. You must engage with and respond to course materials. In the classroom, students often come to class unprepared and try to “hide” by letting their outspoken classmates dominate the discussion; you cannot do this in the online classroom.

#3 – You’re on Your Own When You Take an Online Course

Fact: There is plenty of support available to you:

  • Helpline in Moodle, Geneva’s Learning Management System: Online chat, email and phone technical support
  • Advisor: Available for degree planning needs
  • Instructor: Available for course content questions and needs
  • Academic Success Coach: Available for academic support, plans for success, make-up work, etc.

#4 – Online Courses Do Not Follow the Regular Semester

Fact: Geneva courses are eight or nine weeks long, depending on your program.

#5 – Broken Computers are Great Excuses

Fact: A computer and internet connection are requirements for entry into the online program and are assumed throughout the program. This is equivalent to a classroom student being required to have transportation. Using the “broken computer excuse” is the same as a classroom student trying to use a broken down car as an excuse for not coming to class. Find a ride, borrow a car, take the bus; you still need to get to class. The same applies to the online classroom. Find a computer and internet access.

#6 – You Will Be Taught How to Use a Computer

Fact: Do not expect instructors to provide instruction on how to use a computer or Moodle.

  • Technical support is available. If you are having trouble with uploading or recording an audio-imbedded Power-Point online oral presentation for example, tech support will troubleshoot the problems with you directly.
  • Tutorials are available in the Moodle classroom, and Geneva provides tutorial video links for some specific assignments.
  • SSC 095 (Introduction to Geneva College) familiarizes you with the Moodle classroom before beginning your first online course.

#7 – Cramming Your Work into One Session is Fine

Fact: You should log on to the online classroom almost every day, but Sunday is not required.

  • Monday: Start of a new session. Check out the week’s assignments and the “News Forum” for announcements from your instructor.
  • Tuesday: If there are required video and audio lectures, this is a good day to engage in that portion of the session.
  • Wednesday: Discussion Forum posts are always due by Wednesday at 11:55 p.m.
  • Thursday: Instructors have four hours to respond to student posts. Checking-in on Thursday provides an opportune time to read your instructor’s response. Give yourself time to prepare to answer any follow-up questions.
  • Friday: Respond to your instructor and classmates. You are required to respond to two classmates’ posts and answer all questions posted to you by classmates and the instructor. These responses are not due until Saturday night, but Friday is a good day to begin work on these.
  • Saturday: Response posts, papers or quizzes are always due by 11:55 p.m.

#8 – It is Okay to Procrastinate

Fact: Studies indicate that students who succeed in online courses are self-directed. Online students need to be independent learners who can take responsibility for completing assignments on time and meeting set deadlines. Getting behind is easy because the responsibility is in your hands. You must be able to set your own schedule and stick to it. Additionally, instructors apply late penalties to all assignments that are not submitted on time.

#9 – Employers Do Not Accept Online Degrees

Fact: Five years of research shows that online education is equal to any other instructional delivery. Employers know this and rarely make any distinction. In fact, the ability to work in cyber teams is quickly becoming a required work skill. Additionally, online programs must meet the same accreditation standards as any other venue.