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Online Learning                         

Frequently Asked Questions - Getting Started

Question Answer
What is online learning? Which courses are offered online? Just like traditional on-campus courses, all online courses are taught by an instructor with whom you communicate on a regular basis. Most courses also have textbook requirements. Most courses require you to login to Blackboard or Canvas frequently to read content and presentations, submit assignments, take quizzes, tests, and exams, participate in discussions, and more. You should expect to log in several times each week.

In general, online courses fulfill the same general education and transferability requirements as regular courses, but the courses are delivered via alternative modes such as the internet, video, CD-ROM, or any combination, sometimes with on-campus meetings. Coursework can be completed at the campus, at home, or almost anywhere--flexibility is key. Students don't necessarily need to be technical (although for fully online courses you should be at ease using the internet and have an email account), but they do need to have the discipline to complete their coursework according to the guidelines set by the instructor. To view a current schedule of all distance education courses, return to the Online Learning homepage, then click on the appropriate menu link on the left.
Whom do I contact/Where do I go if I need help with online courses?
Do online courses fulfill General Education requirements? Are they transferable? In general, online courses fulfill the same general education and transferability requirements as regular courses, but there are exceptions. To find out if a specific course meets GE or transferability requirements, check the Counseling office GE and transferability lists.
Would an online course work for me? Are online courses easier than regular courses? Students often have the misconception that online courses are easier than regular on-campus courses or do not require textbooks. Not true! Online courses go through an additional review process and can be just as demanding, if not more so, than regular courses. Just like traditional courses, the level of ease/difficulty of the course depends on many factors, such as how the instructor designed the course and and the learning style of the student.

To be successful in an online course, students must have the discipline to stay on track with coursework. You don't necessarily need to be very technical to succeed in an online course, but you must have your own email account. You also need to be able to navigate the Internet and know how to send email with attachments.

Find out more on our orientation page.
How does an online course work? What is a hybrid course?
Will I ever need to come to campus? How do I enroll/begin?
You must have an email account and internet access to take an online course. Students log into a web-based course management system such as Blackboard or Canvas several times a week to submit assignments, take quizzes, and communicate with the instructor and classmates (usually in a discussion board). You log in at your own convenience, though at least twice a day is advised.

Most importantly, you need self-discipline to log in several times each week, study your textbook(s), and complete all assignments and quizzes as directed by your instructor.

It is possible that you will not need to come to campus at all unless you are enrolled in a hybrid course that requires several on-campus meetings per semester. Other online courses may have two required on-campus meetings (an initial orientation as well as a final meeting). Check the schedule of classes for dates, times, and locations.

How to search for classes/enroll/begin.


Access Codes / Instructional Materials Fees

Some instructors require students to purchase an access code (often along with the required text book) that unlocks digital resources required for the class. Example include resources from McGrawHill Connect, Cengage, and MyMathLab. These resources will then become available either within Blackboard or on the textbook publisher's web site throughout the semester. Most instructors, however, do not require an access code.

Should your instructor require one, students typically have some options on how to purchase it (these differ according to the publisher):

  1. The code often comes shrink wrapped with a new text, or
  2. It might be purchased separately from a used text at the bookstore, or
  3. It might be purchased separately on the publisher web site with a credit card.

If there is an access code fee for your course, your instructor will let you know at the beginning of the class.

I'm trying to add, but the class is full or has already begun. What can I do?
Prior to the class starting, you will have to keep checking CLASS-Web in case any students have dropped the class. Once the course begins, you can contact the instructor to find out if he or she is adding additional students. If the instructor is adding additional students, he/she needs to provide you with a four-digit add-authorization number which CLASS-Web will ask for when you try to register for the class. If it is an online course, you can try emailing the instructor. If it is an on-campus course, try attending the first class meeting.
Are there computer labs on campus available for me to use? Please visit our drop-in help page.
How do I find books for my online class?

Your instructor will let you know what textbooks to use (if any) by contacting you before the course officially begins or once the course has begun, usually via the syllabus. The easiest place to find your textbook for a class at Chabot is the Chabot College Bookstore. You can order most books and supplies online. For more info, you should contact the Chabot College Bookstore.

What is the drop policy for online/hybrid courses? For complete information on drop policies and procedures, please consult the Chabot College Catalog.

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