Types of Classes
Online Learning encompasses eLearning, hybrid, and face-to-face courses that use online technologies for instruction.
eLearning courses provide the most flexibility for students, as they are taught completely online. Some classes may have a single on-campus orientation meeting.
Your classwork and interactions with your instructor and fellow students occur primarily online. Online instruction may be supplemented with printed or online textbooks and perhaps CDs or DVDs. Some courses require proctored testing. Email, discussion groups, and chat rooms provide a high degree of student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactivity.
Some eLearning courses may allow students to proceed at their own pace; most follow a schedule provided by the instructor.
Hybrid courses meet on campus, but replace some on-campus meetings with online instruction and interaction. Some courses may have as few as two or three on-campus meetings; others may meet weekly or on a more regular basis.
Not all hybrid courses have the same requirements for number, days, and times of face-to-face meetings. Additionally, hybrids may meet at any of our physical campus locations.
Face-to-face courses meet on campus on a regular basis, and may also have online instructional components
Many of our face-to-face courses use online extensions to provide additional notes, research, assignments, and links to further reading and study resources. Some instructors also conduct quizzes and assessments online.
eLearning and Hybrid courses are fully accredited college courses. The credits earned and requirements fulfilled by them are identical to those for face-to-face sections of the same course. Application and registration procedures, tuition/ fees, assessment tests and prerequisites are also identical to face-to-face classes. eLearning and Hybrid courses appear exactly the same as face-to-face courses on transcripts. All courses have specific beginning and ending dates. For greater scheduling flexibility, eLearning and Hybrid courses are also offered in 6 to 10 week formats with starting dates in March, April, May, June, July, October, and November.
Students in online courses should have regular access to a computer with a DVD/CD-ROM drive and an Internet connection. Comfort using a word processing program, web browser and email is also recommended. All three BCCC campuses, Newtown, Upper Bucks, and Lower Bucks, have computer labs available for student use.
Who Should Take eLearning and Hybrid Courses?
Self-motivated and self-disciplined students who can handle college level work and who are comfortable studying independently are successful in these courses. Online Learning provides the flexibility that mature students need to juggle their many responsibilities while advancing their career and personal goals in a more convenient manner. Successful eLearning and hybrid students include those with full-time jobs, homemakers with young children, the elderly, those on rotating work schedules, the disabled, and anyone who has difficulty traveling.
Are eLearning & Hybrid Courses Right For You?
If you answer yes to the following questions, then an online class may be for you:
- I need this course - NOW!
- I am self-motivated to study and self-disciplined at completing assignments without close supervision.
- I have time available each week to devote to the coursework.
- I have reliable access to an internet-connected computer with a CD/DVD drive.
- I usually have no difficulty understanding texts and written assignments.
- I am comfortable using, or learning to use, technology.
- I am comfortable communicating through email and/or discussion boards.
- I can attend an on-campus orientation meeting if one is scheduled (eLearning).Course Offerings
- I can attend all scheduled on campus meetings of the course (Hybrid).
There is a strong correlation between a student's success in online classes and his/her maturity, past educational performance, and motivation. Students who are aware of the additional work and discipline required to excel in an online class are much more likely to succeed in that environment.
Some students mistakenly sign up for online courses believing the courses will be easier or the workload lighter because there are no regular face-to-face meetings. In reality, eLearning and hybrid courses often require more work and self-discipline than their face-to-face counterparts. For example, students should plan a minimum of 6-9 hours per week for each 15 week (standard semester) online course, 8-12 hours per week for each 10 week (modular) course and 12-15 hours per day for each Intersession course. Students with weak study skills or who are marginally motivated are advised to register for face-to-face classes with more traditional classroom instruction and preset meeting times.
Find Out More
Full descriptions of all online courses, including the specific technology and meeting requirements for each course, can be found on our website at www.bucks.edu/welcome.
To help you decide whether a specific course is right for you, feel free to contact the instructor directly to discuss the specifics of the class. For support or general questions regarding online learning, please visit the website, www.bucks.edu/virtual, attend one of our monthly webinar information sessions, or contact the Vritual Campus/Online Learning Office.