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Online Learning Orientation

 Title  Body
 What is an online course?  In the OCDSB, the term "online course" refers to a fully-online credit course.
 How will I access my online course?  To enter your virtual classroom you will access the Internet and then login to a software program called Desire2Learn. Desire2Learn (D2L) contains all of your lessons, assignments and evaluations as well as the tools you will use to interact and communicate with your classmates and your teacher.
 Will I ever meet my teacher or classmates face-to-face?  You may have some kind of a face-to-face session at the end of the course as part of the summative evaluation, however most students will interact with their classmates by email, in the discussion board and with teachers, also by phone or web conference.
 What makes online courses different?  You will likely experience more communication between you and your classmates than you usually experience in a face-to-face classroom. Your teacher will be more of a facilitator than a lecturer and you can expect to be more actively engaged in your own learning.
◦Instead of a face-to-face classroom discussions you will be communicating with your teacher and classmates via email and a discussion board.
◦Using email and a discussion board to communicate gives you more time to think about your responses.
◦You may have the flexibility to schedule time for this course when you are the most productive. You will have to manage your time effectively and remember to login to the course regularily.
 Check out some tips for success in eLearning  
◦Be realistic. You may get to select the hours that you work, but you will have to dedicate time to work. Remember that you are expected to spend the same amount of time on elearning courses as you would be spending on regular classroom (or face-to-face) courses.
◦Set goals and deadlines for yourself, and stick to them. Keep an agenda or calendar to give yourself reminders in advance of assessment/evaluation due date. 
◦Organize a study schedule each week and stick to it.
◦Avoid interruptions. Find or create a place where you can focus and work productively.
 What are the technical requirements? You will need access to a computer with 300mhz processor or faster, 128mb RAM minimum, 10GB hard drive. Browsers Blackboard supports Windows Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0 and Netscape 4.77 and 6.1.5. In addition, Desire2Learn supports screen readers and other browsers designed to facilitate and enhance accessibility. Currently, Desire2Learn is not designed to work with browsers like AOL and Opera. Please note that you will also require an e-mail address. Your Teacher will need to able to reach you by e-mail  in addition to being able to communicate with you in Desire2Learn. 

Review Plug ins and Players 
for a list of common software applications used with Desire2Learn.

Review the technical skills survey to assess whether you have the computer skills needed to succeed in an eLearning course.


eLearner Readiness Quiz

An online course isn't for everyone. Now that you've had a chance to find out a little bit more about online learning, use this quiz to help you decide if an online course is a good choice for you.

print it out and check the answer key at the end
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