What is an online course?
An online course is like a face-to-face course and more. Most online courses use an interactive “virtual classroom”. Generally online courses are designed and structured in the same way as any other course, and they are run and assessed in the same way, with an added advantage, the class is available at anytime and anywhere. A typical course held in the virtual classroom can include the following:
- Course handbook which includes the course objectives, learning outcomes, expected duration, Syllabus, assessment criteria, etc.
- Lecture Notes & Hand-outs
- Various Multimedia Materials (Video tutorials, articles, slide shows, downloads)
- Assessments, exercises, and assignments.
- Resources and Web-links
- Support through email, phone, Skype or Zoom
Online courses have highly advanced technical platforms to facilitate the communication between learners, instructors, mentors, and institutions. In addition, social networking platforms are also can be incorporated into the system, they include the following facilities:
- Announcement system
- Course e-mail
- Course calendar
- Discussion forums, chat rooms, and Blogs
The degree of use of these facilities depends on the course and its requirements.
How does your online course works?
Each course has its own set of resources and activities, called modules, and is customised in terms of organisation and appearance under different topic headings. Course modules are filled with activities presented in the form of texts, pictures, slides, audio, video, etc… The VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) track your progress including attendance, interaction, quizzes, and assignments . Courses are password-protected so that only enrolled students and teachers can have access.
- You can upload Assignments for teachers to mark. Teachers get an automatic alert when a new assignment arrives. All marks are stored in the VLE grade-book.
- The built-in Chat module is a handy teaching tool for groups of students working with or without the teacher to discuss an issue, or answering questions set by the teacher. The chats are saved and can be reviewed by the teacher at any time.
- The Forum module enables you to have virtual seminars. The teacher provides a text or audio-visuals file, which the students respond to, one after another.
- The Glossary is like the database, except you can allow users to rate each other’s contributions.
- The Quiz module offers a wide range of quizzes and tests with which teachers can create revision activities.
The campus navigation is quite intuitive, and there is a help function always available. Your first encounter is when you try to Login for the first time. Once you have logged in, there is a side menu which gives you all the functions you require, just try them out. Your courses are also listed on this menu, select and enter the course. The final item is your course. Now all you have to do is to follow the lessons. To know more about how does your online course work visit the following pages.