You have access to a computer and a connection and you know the basic functions of a browser. Connection fees are your responsibility, and should be included in your budget in addition to course registration fees. You might also have access to a printer to offload some readings, if you don’t want to work only on the screen. You have a few floppy disks to save your work. If you do not meet all of these conditions, it is better to educate yourself around you. Unfortunately, we will not be able to help you answer them.
How does an online course work?
The course is organized in sessions of approximately one week each, and begins on a predetermined date.
You have to do a certain amount of reading and research on the Internet, you will answer questions and then you will participate in written discussions in the forums. Groups can be formed to make presentations to the rest of the participants. External specialists or actors will be invited to participate in certain discussions. You will carry out a research and a final presentation on a subject of your choice in agreement with the teacher.
You will have to work 5 to 8 hours per week, at a time and place of your convenience. However, you will need to log in several times a week. You will have the possibility of downloading on your disc and possibly printing part of the readings if you do not wish to work all the time online (however allow 2 hours online per week at least, to participate in the forums).
The evaluation will be broken down as follows: 30% for participation in forums 40% for work after sessions, 30% for final work. A certificate will be awarded with 80% points.
The course will take place with a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 registrations. This will allow personalized attention and direct contacts. The full registration fee must be paid no later than 10 days before the start of the course. The amount of your registration will be refunded up to 4 days after the start of the course if you decide not to continue.
Is a distance course easier than a face-to-face course?
In distance education you find yourself in a much different situation than in a face-to-face course or seminar. There, you can attend the course in a passive attitude, come and consume a particular teacher, choose from the options those that suit you. In such a situation, if you are present, and listen more or less, you will be able to come out satisfied. It is not sure that you will learn much. Online, you’re going to have to do a lot of the work yourself. But educators say this is how we learn most effectively.
Online, most communication takes place in writing, even in electronic communication, although images are also used. Online, therefore, you lose the abundance of non-verbal communication of the face-to-face course, which is so rich and important. Online, you gain in precision in the expression of your thought, the shape of each other tends to become uniform. Online, prejudices related to gender, ethnicity, age, disability, in short, appearance, are fading.
An online course is not a panacea. It’s not like watching TV or going to the movies – you’re going to have to make a commitment to make the most of it.
Why sign up for a course when I can learn on my own from books, magazines, or the Internet?
What a course offers you, in addition to reading, is a method, support, exchanges. This is also valid for a face-to-face course as well as for an online course. The great novelty with the new technologies linked to the Internet is the possibility of two-way communication, of exchange. In traditional distance education, we found ourselves alone in front of books, notebooks, possibly videos. Then we filled out multiple choice questionnaires that we mailed back. New technologies allow exchanges and interactions which are essential for learning. Will you try a virtual learning community?