Understand that Online Classes:
- May require more study time and preparation than a classroom course.
- Are not synonymous with independent study. They adhere to a regular schedule with weekly assignments and deadlines.
- Require good time management, organization and self-discipline.
- Often require more reading than a classroom course. You must read everything the instructor posts to the course.
- Often include ave weekly or daily online discussions for posting questions and answers.
- Are typically more flexible than in-person courses, allowing you to log on and access course content anytime, day or night.
- Require regular access to a computer and good typing skills.
- Require you to take initiative, advocate for yourself, and ask questions.
Prepare for Online Classes
Step 1: Learn Important Online Strategies
Successful online students from DCTC explain the skills and strategies necessary to do well in an online course. This is an excellent checklist to help you understand what is required.
Step 2: Purchase Your Textbooks
At the online DCTC Bookstore, you can search for your course materials, purchase your textbooks, pay for them, and have them mailed to your home address.
Step 3: Run a Computer System Check
Verify that your computer meets the technology requirements for taking online courses. Contact Information Technology Services for help with any technology related to online learning, and to access user guides for technology you will be using for online courses – including D2L Brightspace and Zoom.
Step 4: Log Into Your Desire2Learn (D2L) Account
Most online courses use D2L, an online classroom. You should log into D2L using your StarID before the semester starts so you can be certain your access is working. You might be able to log in sooner but you should be able to log into D2L 12 hours after you register for a class within the month before the start of the term. The classes you are registered for should appear in the My Courses list, but you will not be able to go into a class site until the course start date (some instructors open their class sites to students before the start of the course start date).
Step 5: Verify You Will Receive Email from D2L
After you have access to a class site in D2L use the Classlist tool to verify the email address in D2L is correct. That is the address D2L will send messages to when sent by instructors and classmates from within D2L. If you prefer to use a different email address make that change in E-services.
Determine Your Online Readiness
Decide if taking an online or blended/hybrid course is right for your learning style. Be certain to speak with a counselor or advisor if you have questions about how to be successful in an online class.
WANT TO SAMPLE OUR ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT?
Contact our Center for Teaching and Learning staff to gain access to our Brightspace Orientation for Students course.