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What is Online Learning?

Wondering exactly how an online learning course works?

In a traditional classroom, you often learn by listening, reading, writing, and doing other activities designed by your instructor. Online courses are different because you are not in the same location as your instructor or the other students. In fact, you probably will never meet your instructor or fellow students in person.

Attending an Online Class

In online courses, students "attend" class by visiting the class web pages. They complete assignments according to the class schedule. Students communicate with the instructor and classmates using e-mail and online discussion forums.

This class format is very flexible for busy schedules. Students can often log on to the course at any time of the day (or night). Computer skills and determination are necessary to be successful. Students need keyboarding skills and must be able to write so that others can understand.

Interaction and Feedback

Online students may have more contact with their fellow students online than they would in the regular classroom. There are many ways for students to interact online: discussion boards, e-mail, group activities, etc. It can be fun to meet students. It can also be a great way to broaden your learning experience.

Students may also receive more personal feedback than they would in a traditional classroom. Your fellow students might read and respond to your work. Your instructor might give you more comments (both formal and informal).

Source: Minnesota Department of Education


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