Reading Area Community College (RACC) is committed to offering its students a quality online education. Online courses are available in a variety of disciplines and several programs are fully online. RACC’s Online Learning Department has incorporated continuous improvement procedures that evaluate online courses on a regular basis in order to maintain a consistently high quality of education. In today’s mobile environment, ease of access across platforms is critical, and RACC offers this access through the use of Canvas by Instructure, a web-based learning management system (LMS) utilized by educators from kindergarten through college.
RACC continues to add online courses to its Course Catalog. Academic divisions, working with RACC-certified course development faculty, identify areas where courses can be fully implemented in an online environment.
In addition, RACC offers hybrid courses that use a combination of online technologies and classroom content. Hybrid courses offer students a balance of online course content and classroom lecture time, enabling students to complete many learning objectives online but still interact with their instructor face-to face. Weekly classroom time varies for each course and offer students both the flexibility of an online environment and the experience of a classroom environment.
Am I Ready for Online Learning?
While online courses sound convenient, they are not for everyone. Students may believe that online courses are easier than traditional classes but that is not the case. Online classes do absolve the student from attending class on campus. However, the core competencies of online classes are the same as traditional courses. This means you’ll be required to do the same type and amount of work that is required in a face-to-face class. Quizzes, discussions, and assignments with due dates are all present in online courses just as they are in the traditional classroom.
To be successful in an online environment, students need specific skills and qualities. They should have good communication and time management skills. They need to be self-motivated and persistent in the face of technical challenges.
Students need technical skills as well. Whether students access online courses through a computer or other internet-connected devices, they need to understand how to interface with the Canvas LMS on their particular device. There are Student Resources to assist with this, but it is up to students to understand how to navigate using their device. In addition, students will be communicating via some form of keyed-in, text-based format. While not critical, knowledge of keyboarding can ease the task of participation in an online course.