You may be wondering if online learning is right for you. Or, you are wondering what exactly online learning entails. To get an idea of how online learning works and what you will need for the enedeavour, read our online orientation and discover the world of online learning.
Welcome to the UMD Online Learning Orientation.
Online learning takes place in a virtual learning environment on your computer.
Your link to the online course materials, your instructor and your fellow students will provide you with information, assignments, interaction and collaboration that broaden the capabilities of a traditional classroom setting.
Active online communication with your instructor and classmates is characteristic of virtual learning. In addition, fully online programs allow students to complete all required courses without ever meeting in a traditional classroom.
You need to know how to:
Online courses are much like on-campus classes, but they are delivered through a learning management system called myCourses.
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On your course site, you will find a syllabus that explains the course objectives, assignments, and schedule.
From time to time, you may have real-time visual contact with your instructor or your fellow students using online video tools.
However, most of your communications will be on a flexible basis using such online tools as emails, blogs, discussion boards, audio and video files, chat rooms, and other similar options.
- Typically, you complete readings and assignment each week of the semester.
- Often, discussion boards are used where you discuss readings with your classmates.
- Your instructor may design a team project, which will require you to work with a group of classmates to complete an assignment.
Announcements: updated information from your instructor automatically appears when you enter your course
As in any on-campus class, online courses require that you:
- Complete readings and assignments on time to accomplish course objectives
- Manage your time effectively to keep track of work and progress in the course
- Periodically check your progress to ensure you are at the same stage as your classmates.
Instructors provide feedback in a variety of ways:
- Written feedback and grades
- Rubrics, or list of expectations and outcomes for weekly feedback on different assignments
- Individual communication and discussion is available to answer questions and provide feedback on your course progress.
- Set up a folder on your computer for all online learning materials; inside that folder, create a separate folder for each course.
- Save all files and retain all communications to your folders.
- Establish a schedule for regular log ins to your course(s) to respond to emails and discussions.
- Print out important documents, such as your course schedule, to keep by your computer.
- Ask any questions you have immediately in order to keep up with course work.
When you have a course content question or concern, email your instructor as soon as possible. Or, post a question to a discussion board, if that option is available.
Take the Online Readiness Survey
More questions? Contact us