You need to determine if the advantages of eLearning outweigh the disadvantages in your situation. Please take the Online Readiness Self-Assessment as a starting point to see where you might stand. Some other factors you might consider:
Online students are expected to have a basic knowledge of how to work with their computer and its operating system and a basic knowledge of software applications such as word processing, email, internet browser, and search engines.
Please see the Technology Requirements page for the most up to date specific information.
Enrollment is the same as for a face-to-face course. If you are already enrolled as a student, simply choose courses with a “W” or “B” in the course section will put you in an online or blended course.
Once registered for an eLearning course, your course instructor needs to make the course available to students. Several days before the start of the course, your course instructor should send you information on how to access your course online. If you do not have access to your course in Canvas by the official start date of the semester, please contact the course instructor directly.
eLearning courses cost exactly the same amount as traditional face-to-face courses at Shelton State. Take a look at the Tuition & Fees page for further details.
Most eLearning courses will use the same textbook used in a face-to-face version of the course. However, some eLearning courses access all course materials directly via the internet at no additional cost. Prior to the start of an online course, the course instructor should send you the course syllabus which will contain the materials that you need to purchase for the course as well as information on where you can purchase them.
Almost all eLearning courses do not require you to come to campus. If you are taking a blended course, there will be some required on-campus meetings in a face-to-face format and the rest of the course will be online. Both online and blended courses have two required proctored exams that may or may not be required specifically on Shelton State’s campus. Any additional requirements for online courses should be clearly indicated in the course syllabus.
eLearning courses generally begin one week after the on-campus courses for begin but end at the same time dates. The Registration Information page on the Shelton State website has the Academic Calendars available for your convenience.
As a general rule of thumb, the time commitment for an eLearning course is expected to be similar to the time commitment if the same course were taught in a traditional face-to-face classroom when taking into consideration the time spend in the classroom and the time spend doing homework and other out of class activities.
eLearning courses are accessed through the Internet. Once students enroll in a course they access it through Canvas. Students do not install the LMS on their computers; they simply use its tools directly from the Canvas website. A typical course is divided into a series of lessons, similar to a face-to-face course.
Not usually. Often other students will be taking the course at the same time and you will communicate with them and the instructor via the discussion tools in Canvas. The instructor sets specific deadlines to complete each activity, but students usually do not need to access the course at a specific time each day.
Most eLearning courses are offered in an asynchronous format, which means students and instructors do not all have to access their course at a specific time each day, but can access and work on the course at times that are convenient to them. In most eLearning courses, it is extremely important that students participate in the course at least 4-5 times per week. Specific requirements for participation will be laid out by your instructor.
Online courses are treated the same way as face-to-face courses and are held to the same academic standards.
It is the responsibility of student to seek local technical help with the computer and software they need to take an online course through the myShelton site, technical assistance on accessing the course and working with the Course Management System should be available through the Help section of the Canvas website or by calling 1-866-722-5898.
If you need help in an eLearning course, your first stop should be with your instructor. Make sure you understand how the course is structured and the expectations. If you find you need tutoring, online students have access to on campus tutoring as well as “Smarthinking Online Tutoring” through Canvas, which offers tutoring in most subject areas virtually 24/7.
Online students have the same online access to the college library as on-campus students. All students can also access library resources from off campus. The Library Services website provides detailed information on the services provided online and on both the Martin and Fredd Campuses.
Whether a course was taken online or in a traditional classroom environment at Shelton State will have no bearing on whether the course transfers in to another school or not.
Ultimately, it is the school that you want to transfer the course to that needs to determine if the course will be accepted or not. Hence, it is always wise to check with the receiving school prior to starting a course.
The STARS transfer guide will help you to get a better idea of what may or may not transfer across the state of Alabama.
Excerpted and edited from NCPSA Distance Education FAQs.