[Mary Beth Orrange] At Erie Community college, Distance Learning takes three different formats. The primary format is online learning. The second format is through telecourses, where students learn from videos and the third form is what we call project connect that is a synchronous learning which means the students and the teacher are on the internet at the same time, but not in the same place.
[Martha Dixon] We offer several degree and certificate programs in the online modalities where a student can take 50% or more of their courses online.
[Susan Ballard] Some of those programs are business administration, all liberal arts, office management.
[Dr. Jason L. Steinitz] In addition to full programs, it is also true that almost any program that you take at ECC, the general elective requirements, things like math and English and liberal arts courses and science courses and so on, almost all of those are available online.
[Martha Dixon] Our online courses are all in a learning management system called ANGEL. ANGEL is a course platform it lets us have a place for the students to find all of their native course materials for a course. They'll find lessons; they'll find extra materials such as resources to taped lecturers or important readings for the topic. They'll find assignments, due dates, places for them to a drop off their information for their instructors.
[Carol Baker] And the communication tools available in ANGEL allow students and faculty to communicate in a variety of ways. There's live chat, instant messaging, discussion forums.
[Susan Ballard] In addition, the e-mail system within the course management software is very sophisticated. Students can either send an e-mail message directly to the instructor or to other classmates. And they can selectively converse. There are a lot of e-mails that go back and forth throughout the course of a week in a distance learning course.
[Mary Beth Orrange] The big advantage of a distance learning course for an instructor is there able to utilize the richness of the Internet to present their course materials and that provides a much more interesting, much more valuable class then an instructor just standing in front of the class talking with chalk.
[Martha Dixon] I think one of the biggest benefits of a student taking Distance Learning classes is that it fits in the lifestyle of many of our busy students.
[Susan Ballard] Many of our students are working full-time, have families and they really like to be able to complete the coursework via the Internet at 1 a.m. in the morning or whenever it's convenient for them.
[Martha Dixon] The advantage of being able to take a course at a time that fits you, does not mean that you're not meant to meet the obligations of the course as you would in a seated environment.
[Dr. Jason L. Steinitz] There are deadlines on the assignments, there are deadlines on the discussions in which you are participating, so it is not true that Distance Learning courses are self-paced and you can get around to them whenever you feel like it.
[Susan Ballard] Typically the best students to take and be successful in a distance learning course are those that are highly self-motivated and are well disciplined.
[Martha Dixon] I think most students that are most successful are the ones that really know how to take the responsibility for themselves and their work.
[Dr. Jason L. Steinitz] Students who are taking Distance Learning courses, since a lot of it happens on-line, should have some basic computer skills. They should be able to handle, for example, e-mail and e-mail attachments. They should be able to use the internet; go out and find an internet site if they are given the address.
[Carol Baker] If you bought a computer in the last two or three years it should be compatible, but make sure that you have the latest upgrades.
[Dr. Jason L. Steinitz] If something happens to your computer, you get a virus in it or you lose your internet connection, make sure that you have an alternative; a friend’s computer, a computer at work, a computer in an ECC library or one of our open labs.
[Martha Dixon], If there are any questions about Distance Learning; the program, the courses, the main number for the Distance Learning office is 8 5 1 1 9 9 8.