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LIB732
Intro to Gavilan Online

Lesson 1
Types and Requirements

Welcome to Gavilan Online, your source for education from a distance.
Types of distance courses:
Gavilan College offers three formats for the distance learner:
 
Online Courses:
In an online course, all or most course instruction takes place online through the use of materials and activities posted on an internet site. Some courses require 3 or less in-person meetings, usually an orientation at the beginning of the semester, a mid-term meeting for review or to take an exam, and a final exam at the end of the semester. These courses offer the ultimate in flexibility: keep your own hours, dress as you like, no need for childcare or transportation. However, they are not self-paced; you must keep up with the class on a weekly basis. Registration and rules governing these courses are the same as those of traditional on-campus courses.

 

Hybrid Courses
Hybrid courses require some online meetings and some face-to-face meetings, usually 50% of each type. These courses give you the best of both worlds: the comfort of live meetings with real students and an instructor for some of the classes, and the convenience of sitting at home in your pajamas for some of the classes.
 
Telecourses
Telecourses usually require 3 or fewer meetings on campus, once for the orientation and distribution of video tapes, once for a midterm, and once for a final exam. The rest of the course consists of viewing videos either from rented tapes or on the GavTV Channel 18 charter tv station, and contributing to online discussions (through an Internet-based classroom) about the videos.

 

Perils and pitfalls of distance learning:
Before you decide to take a distance education course, you should know the pitfalls. Yes, the schedule is flexible, the commute and dress code are hard to beat, but the very nature of a distance course also creates problems that often make it hard for students to be successful and finish the course:
As a distance learning student,
  • you are isolated. You can go through the entire course without talking to another student.
  • you are invisible. If you are having problems, your instructor won't know unless you tell her. It is up to you to ask for help.
  • you are dependent on your own self-discipline. If you let too many days go by without logging on to your class, you will get behind and find it very difficult to catch up.
  • you are dependent on computers. The day your 10-page essay is due, your computer will catch a virus and your entire hard drive will be wiped clean. You need to get into the habit of saving everything on portable memory devices (disks, flash drives). And you'll have to know where to go to access your class when your own computer lets you down (Gavilan Library, public libraries, your friends and relatives).
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Here are some quizzes to take to test your readiness. These quizzes are from Cerro Coso Community College, one of the first California community colleges to offer an online program. The first quiz will test your technical skills. Do you have (or have access to) the right equipment and a connection that's fast enough? Do you know how to download plug-ins to view movies or hear audios? Do you know how to send attachments?

The second quiz will test your personal skills as a student. Do you have the discipline, the time management skills, the study habits, the reading and writing skills needed to be successful?

Take these 2 quizzes and write down your answers to the questions in the box to the right. You'll be using them in your assignment.

What was your score for the technical skills quiz?

What areas should you improve in?

 

What was your score for the Student Skills quiz?

What areas should you improve in?


Here's another readiness quiz from eLearners.com, a web portal that provides resources to online learners and connects them with online learning providers. Click on the button that says Start the Advisor.

You will have 4 short pages of questions to answer. When you finish, you'll be rewarded with a result screen that looks something like this:

result screen from elearner

Notice there are four individual scores (technology access, personal factors, technical skills and learning style), plus an overall e-learning compatability factor at the top. Write down your totals for each of these areas. You'll be using them for the assignment.

What were your scores for:

Technology Access?
Personal Factors?
Technical Skills?
Learning Style?

Overall e-learning compatability factor?


Tips for success in online courses
  1. Be open minded about sharing life, work, and educational experiences as part of the learning process. Introverts as well as extroverts find that the online process requires them to use and share their experiences. In this format, you can't sit quietly at the back of the classroom and never raise your hand. On the plus side, students are given time to reflect on the discussion, write and rewrite their response before posting, instead of having to think and speak spontaneously in front of the entire class. The online format eliminates all the visual barriers that hinder some individuals in expressing themselves. As they say, "on the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog".
  2. Be able to communicate through writing. In the online course, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable in expressing yourself in writing. The Gavilan Writing Center can give you help in your writing, but you must be prepared to write a lot.
  3. Save a copy of everything you write and submit to your class. This is very important. Things happen with computers. Assignments or email messages disappear. You need to keep a copy of everything, just in case. In fact, right now you should create a folder on your computer called "LIB732". Save everything you create for this class in that folder.
  4. Be self-motivated and self-disciplined. With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes responsibility. The online process takes a real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the process.
  5. Be prepared to ask for help. Nobody can see you when you're having problems. It's up to you to get help.
  6. Use the Gavilan Online system and all the services available to distance learners. Not only will you be getting into your classroom through Gavilan, but also using many other services, such as the library, financial aid, counseling services, the writing center, and tutoring services. There are programs that will lend you textbooks and laptop computers for the semester. A successful student will find out about these services and make use of them.

We'll be covering all these services in the lessons to come, so you're already off to a good start, just by taking this course.

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Assignment #1

Congratulations!

You've already completed Lesson #1. Now go to the Assignment #1 link (under Week 1). Click on the "Edit My Submission" button under the assignment description, and in the box that appears, answer these questions:

    1. From the Cerro Coso Community College quizzes,
      What was your score for the technical skills quiz?
      What areas should you improve in?
      What was your score for the Student Skills quiz?
      What areas should you improve in?

    2. From the E-Learner Advisor,

      What were your scores for:
      Technology Access?
      Personal Factors?
      Technical Skills?
      Learning Style?
      Overall e-learning compatability factor?

    3. From taking these 2 sets of online readiness quizzes, do you think that you can be successful in an online course? What qualities in yourself will help you? What qualities might hinder you?

We strongly recommend that you first write your answers in a word processing program, then save it (see tip #3 above). Then copy and paste it into the assignment #1 box.

    1. Finally, click on the "Save Changes" button under the text box.
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Address of this webpage:
http://hhh.gavilan.edu/jparker/1.html
Last updated on June 15, 2009
For questions or comments,
please contact Joy Parker at
jparker@gavilan.edu