Online courses at Notre Dame College are delivered in an accelerated format, with most courses running for eight weeks, rather than the traditional, on-campus format of fifteen weeks. The same objectives and academic content that are covered in a classroom course over 15 weeks are covered in the online course in only eight weeks. In order to successfully complete a three credit online course, a student should expect to spend a minimum of 8-10 hours per week participating in learning activities related to the course. Learning activities will be a combination of online and offline assignments. Please note there are no holiday breaks in online terms.
Are you ready for an online course? A great deal of research has looked at the qualities that successful online students possessed. Following is a list of the most common qualities the studies found. Although an online student doesn’t need to possess all of the qualities listed, the successful online student will possess most of them.
- Initiative as a self-starter; does not procrastinate.
- Discipline to complete projects by deadlines instead of waiting until the end of the semester.
- Motivation to read, write, and participate fully in class activities.
- Ability to work independently and in teams.
- Flexibility in dealing with technology problems.
- Excellent reading and writing skills in the English language.
- Ability to learn from the printed word - the majority of materials and communication are available through reading and writing.
- Discipline to set aside specific times on a routine basis to 'participate' in the course.
- Willingness to ask questions for clarification.
- Good basic computer and email skills.
- Good time management skills.
Technical requirements – Most students already have everything they need to participate in an online course. The following items will give a student the best chance for success in an online course:
- A computer (laptop, desktop, or netbook) purchased within the last 2 years
- Microsoft Office 97-2003 or 2007 (One copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Software Package is available to each Notre Dame student (one time) for a fee of $40.00. Contact the IT Department, 216-373-5244.
- A broadband internet connection (dial-up connections will not support the online tools)
- Current version of a media player such as QuickTime (available free at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/ or Windows Media Player (available free at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/windows-media-player)
- Current version of Adobe Reader (available free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/)
- Virus protection software is strongly recommended
- Some courses have what is called a “live classroom” using Adobe Connect. If the course you are enrolled in uses the live classroom, you will need a computer headset. (Available for as little as $29.99 at outlets such as Radio Shack, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Microcenter). This component is necessary to alleviate feedback through internal speakers when you are talking in the classroom.
- When reading the Academic Schedule, if the Live Classroom is a required component of your course, the day/time will be indicated on the schedule. Your course syllabus can provide more detail as to the expectation of participation in the live classroom meetings.
If you feel that you have the desire and ability to be successful in an online course, start by contacting your advisor. After getting the approval of your advisor, students are required to complete “Is Online Learning for Me?”; this is an orientation module. To enroll in and complete the module, you will go to http://moodle.ndc.edu. Log in using your NDC network login and your current password. In the Search box enter Is Online Learning for Me?.
Search results will appear as a course to select for enrollment. Click on the title to self enroll. Should you need additional support you can contact the Distance Learning Office to access this orientation module, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
After completing all reading, viewing the video tutorials, and completing the readiness assessment, you will meet with the Anna Zaks (email@example.com) in the Student Success Center to obtain final approval. Both the advisor and Anna Zaks must clear you for registration of an online course.