Question #1: How do I know if e-learning is right for me?
Question #2: What is the e-learning experience like? Is it like a "regular" classroom?
Question #3: In an e-learning environment, how do I communicate with my professors?
Question #4: What technology will I use in my e-learning course?
Question #5: Will I have to travel for my e-learning course?
Question #6: How do I obtain my e-learning materials (videos, books, readings)?
How do I know if e-learning is right for me?
A prospective e-learning student should consider the following issues before enrolling in a e-learning course or degree program:
- Time management - Can you balance your time among courses, family, and work?
- Motivation - Are you motivated to take the course/degree and complete it?
- Flexibility - If you like flexibility (taking courses on your own time), then e-learning may be for you.
- Self-directed - You will receive some instruction and direction in a e-learning course, but a lot of the learning will be self-directed; you are in charge of how much you learn
What is the e-learning experience like? Is it like a "regular" classroom?
Depending on the technology used, it may look like a "regular" classroom if it's being delivered by interactive videoconferencing. But in most cases, it's not like a regular classroom. E-learning courses are provided through some type of technology (videoconferencing, Web/Blackboard, streaming video). You probably will have some feeling of isolation, because most likely you won't be in a classroom with other students. But you do have the flexibility of accessing your course on your own time. You'll also find that you will probably be able to interact with the instructor more often through mediated channels (phone, email, chat) than you would be able to do in a large class.
In an e-learning environment, how do I communicate with my professor?
In a traditional classroom setup, you have the opportunity to ask questions face to face. With e-learning, you can still interact and communicate with your instructor, but it's a little different. In videoconferencing, you still can ask questions of your instructor through the interactive audio and video (the instructor can see and hear you through a television monitor, and you can see and hear the instructor). With other types of technology, the communication methods may be through chat sessions, electronic bulletin boards, the telephone, and email.
What technology will I use in my e-learning course?
This depends on the course. The technologies that FAMU uses include Web/Blackboard, videoconferencing, videotape, and streaming video. You will need to check with your college/department and possibly with a course's instructor to find out which technology is used. We've provided short descriptions of delivery methods to help explain how these are used at FAMU.
Will I have to travel for my e-learning course?
Generally, you will not have to travel on a regular basis to a central location, if it is a Web-based course. For videoconference courses, however, you may have to travel to a site that has the videoconferencing equipment. Occasionally, an e-learning class will require a special class meeting at the Tallahassee campus or other centralized location. In some cases, this may require an entire weekend at the beginning of the term. Refer to individual course descriptions to determine whether a given course has such a travel requirement. The instructor should also notify you of such requirements.
How do I obtain my e-learning materials (videos, books, readings)?
Material and supply fees are assessed for certain courses to offset the cost of materials or supply items consumed in the course of instruction. Material and supply fee information is available from the academic departments offering the course. To obtain materials, you must contact the specific academic department or college. They have the materials or will direct you to where you need to go to purchase the materials.