Leeward Community College Student Handbook for Distance Education
Table of Contents
- A Basic Checklist
- A Successful Online Learner
- About Leeward Community College
- About Distance Education Courses
- How to Succeed in Distance Courses
- Tips for Success in Your Online Courses
- Special Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Leeward Community College is committed to quality distance education as a method of improving education opportunities for students.
This Student Handbook for Distance Education outlines resource information that will enable a student to benefit from the opportunities afforded by distance education.
- Do you have consistent/easy access (12-15 hours per week per online class) to a reliable computer with the software required?
- Do you have access to a computer with high speed Internet access?
- Are you comfortable using the Internet to find information?
- When you read a textbook do you tend to understand and remember most of what you have read?
- Do you do a good job of meeting deadlines so your work is on time?
- Are you comfortable expressing your ideas in writing?
- Is it easy for you to read and follow directions?
- Do you require face-to-face interaction to understand something?
- Can you work independently (You do not need someone looking over your shoulder to motivate you.)?
- Do you have word processing skills such as creating, editing, or saving documents?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, it’s probably not in your best interests to take an online course this semester. Without these basics, you may not experience success in an online course.
If you answered YES to all of these questions, you have the time and skills to take an online course.
- Is responsible for maintaining his/her own equipment and Internet connection.
- Is expected to use professional communication at all times. (See Netiquette.)
- Is responsible for meeting all deadlines – plan ahead. Procrastination is the enemy.
- Is expected to have a high speed Internet connection, although most Leeward CC online courses will be able to run on a dial-up connection.
- Is proficient in the use of computers and productivity software such as email and word processing.
- Participates in the class with the instructor and classmates.
- Takes notes!
- Reads, listens to, and/or watches the course materials as often as required by the course.
- Develops self-discipline.
- Can problem solve; for example:
- What if you have a family emergency?
- What if the electricity goes off?
- What if your computer crashes?
- What if you lose your USB flash drive (or other external storage device)?
Leeward Community College’s proven commitment to affordable, quality education is a foundation of our mission. As part of the University of Hawai‘i system, we are dedicated and responsive to our community, providing an open door to the world of educational opportunities.
- From the Leeward Community College Website > About
Counseling and Advising Services
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Phone: (808) 455-0233 or (808) 455-0234
Email: leeward [at] hawaii [dot] edu
Educational Media Center
Location: L-116 (Lower level of the Library Building)
Phone: (808) 455-0222
Leeward CC is committed to helping you achieve your educational goals. It all starts with being sure you know about Financial Aid opportunities. For more information visit: http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/finaid
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Location: (In person) AD 210
Telephone: (808) 455-0606
Fax: (808) 454-8804
Email: lccfao [at] hawaii [dot] edu
Federal School Code: 004549
Please email our Leeward CC Laulima Support: itech-l [at] hawaii [dot] edu
Learning Resource Center
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) is a friendly place where you can get help with your courses, develop confidence in your own abilities, and strengthen your learning skills. We offer a variety of help, including tutoring and many other services--and it's all free!
The LRC content tutors and writing consultants offer help in a wide range of subjects. Content subjects include writing help for any Leeward course, reading & study skills help, and computer help (MS Office). A wide range of courses are also covered. For more information visit the LRC web site at: http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/lrc/
Leeward CC Bookstore
Please visit our bookstore website for more information: http://www.bookstore.hawaii.edu/lcc/home.aspx
The library website is available from on- or off-campus at the following link: http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/library/
Proctoring Services for non-UH System Institutions:
There is a standard system-wide proctoring fee of $25, per test, per hour that applies. The fee is payable by CHECK or money order ONLY. Checks should be made payable to "Leeward Community College". ***IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE: If proctoring fees are not paid, your exam will not be forwarded to your instructor at your designated institution.
Please contact lcctestcenter [at] lcc [dot] hawaii [dot] edu for more information.
Please email our Leeward CC Help Desk: lcchelp [at] hawaii [dot] edu
Learn on your own time. Distance Education offers you the opportunity to take college courses without having to come to campus or to significantly cut down on the trips you have to make. If work or family schedules conflict with on-campus classes, you don’t have to give up important responsibilities to pursue an education.
The difference between a Distance Education course and a campus-based course is how each is delivered. DE courses are delivered to you electronically via cable, satellite, ISDN, or phone line. Instructors utilize various methods of communication to conduct the course, such as Web 2.0 technologies, social networking, threaded discussions, email, web conferencing, audio and video.
Any student can take a DE course. Just as some people are more successful at regular courses, others are more successful at DE courses. In general,a successful distance education student is someone who wants or needs a flexible school schedule and knows how to study independently. Not sure if DE is for you? Take our online Distance Learning Self Assessment.
To take a DE course, you must first apply for admission to Leeward CC. After you've been admitted as a student, you can then register for the course. Information on admission and enrollment services.
- From the Leeward Community College website > DE Courses
Type of DE courses
In order to be successful in any course, you will need to know the course requirements and expectations. This is where your syllabus comes in: your syllabus is a contact between you and the instructor, outlining what will be taught, how the instructor will know that you understand the content, and how you will be assessed in the course.
Read the syllabus carefully; ask questions if you do not understand any of the course requirements. Do not expect the instructor to answer questions where the syllabus can be used to find the answer! However, if an instructor does not hear from you, he/she may well conclude that you are grasping the material and do not need assistance.
You are also expected to observe proper online etiquette. Appendix A, Netiquette, has the basic rules or you to follow.
As an online student, your computer becomes your primary interface to your courses, your instructor, and your fellow students. In order to effectively use this interface, it will need to meet certain minimal requirements. If your computer cannot perform the functions you need to complete a class, you will have to make the effort to appropriately upgrade your computer equipment. You instructor might also provide you with further information, such as preferred file types and specialized software.
You don't need to be a computer geek or guru to succeed, but you do need to have some basic technology skills, such as word processing and using a Web browser. If you don’t presently possess these skills, you will need to pick up on them fairly quickly. If you don’t think you can learn these technology skills easily, you may need to develop new skills, take a class or do some reading before enrolling.
You will need skills in:
- Basic word processing
- How to send and receive emails
- Uploading and downloading files
- How to send and receive attachments, and navigating and conducting research on the Web
- Spend some time at your computer and on the Internet every day, getting comfortable with your equipment and surroundings. Practice your computing skills until you feel confident that you can complete class assignments.
The personal computer is the primary learning and communication tool in most distance courses. Needless to say, you will need regular access to a computer with an Internet connection. With the availability of new technologies, a computer capable of playing multimedia presentations is ideal. You may find it especially convenient to have such a computer both at work and at home.
Most online courses will allow you to use the operating system of your choice. Windows-based PC’s and Macintosh systems are the most popular operating systems on personal computers, and often one or both of these are the only systems supported or endorsed by education providers. Regardless of your preferred platform, the college will have specific minimal requirements for your hardware. Be sure your system meets these requirements before you enroll in the course.
Similarly, certain software may be required to access course information, retrieve course components, work collaboratively, or interact with instructors and other students. These software requirements will almost always be made explicit to you at the beginning of your course. If you are not given specific software requirements, be sure to ask what software and version you will need to obtain, install, or learn during a given course. A current Web browser will almost always be a requirement for accessing course materials.
As an online learner, you’ll be doing a lot of work using the Internet, including reading course materials, research, and interacting with fellow students and instructors. The speed at which you connect to the Internet can affect how productive you are, how well you are able to fulfill your assignments, and how satisfied you will be with your online course experience.
This connection speed is measured and commonly referred to as bandwidth (though the label is technically inaccurate). The theory is simple: the higher your bandwidth, the quicker you will receive and send data over the Internet. Whether you are using a dial-up modem, cable modem, DSL connection, or fiber optic network, it’s helpful to know how fast your connection is and whether your course will require a minimum connection speed.
The further you progress in higher and continuing education, the more responsibility you will need to take for your own learning. You will begin to define and prioritize what you need to know, how you will learn it, and how you will assess your progress. Outside direction and measures of your learning will continue to be a part of your education, but these will serve more to guide and direct you in your exploration of knowledge.
As you explore the many avenues of learning available and begin to define your individual path, you will still need to work with your instructors to make sure you are meeting the requirements of the individual courses. Proving you understand the subject matter and can apply what is taught is still important.
Online learning requires students to be self-directed, that is, to take initiative in the learning process. Online students should be able to analyze their learning needs, identify available resources, and select and implement strategies to meet these needs.
This need may seem fairly obvious, but without self-discipline, you cannot be a successful online learner. In residential classes, you have an instructor and peers with whom you interact on a regular basis. You also typically meet at a certain time and place each week. This interaction and schedule help to keep you on task in your coursework. In an online learning environment, especially if you do not meet at specific times, it’s much easier to put off assignments, discussion, and responsibilities. In this context, self-discipline means motivating yourself to pay regular and consistent attention to the work that needs to be done, and doing it without delay or procrastination. Even more than in a residential course, falling behind in an online class can jeopardize your likelihood of completing the course and earning the credit.
Balancing Responsibilities and Setting Priorities
Vital to a successful online learning experience is the ability to balance your responsibilities, both within and beyond your course. Knowing how to set priorities is key to getting the greatest benefit from your online education experience. Find out before or as the course begins exactly what work is required of you, and do your best to plan ahead. Inevitably you will have more tasks to accomplish than you have time in which to complete them. At times like these, do your best to determine which course activities are most vital, and concentrate on those. Do not hesitate to ask for advice or help from your instructor.
Just because a course is delivered in an online format does not necessarily increase or reduce the stress you may experience taking it. Consider your own sources of education-related stress when choosing to take courses online. If you feel high stress from giving in-class presentations, then an online course would probably save you from that kind of stress. On the other hand, if using computers and related technology makes you experience excessive stress, you might reconsider taking a course online, since most online courses rely exclusively on computer technology.
Strategies for managing course-related stress include:
- Know your deadlines. These include course deadlines as well as important events occurring elsewhere in your life while you are enrolled in the course.
- Plan ahead. If you know that your time will be consumed by a non-course-related activity during a particular week, do your course-related activities ahead of time.
- Ask for help resources, especially technological resources, and have them at hand when you are working on your coursework.
- Keep in touch with your instructor. If you do fall behind, let your instructor know immediately, and ask him/her for assistance in planning how you will catch up.
In order to meet and exceed course requirements and instructor expectations, you’ll need a clear understanding of exactly what those requirements and expectations are. The course syllabus acts as a contract between you as the learner and the instructor. It outlines what will be taught, what you will need to do to show your understanding of the content, and how you will be assessed. Read through the syllabus early and carefully. Do your best to develop a sense of the “big picture” of the course -what will be due, and when. Then concentrate on the individual pieces, such as assignments and assessments.
Proactively Seek Clarification
If something about the course or the material is not clear, don’t wait for your instructor to make it clear. Especially in an online environment, instructors have fewer cues to alert them to your confusion. They cannot see your puzzled expression or hear you ask, “What?” When you are unclear about an aspect of the course, ask your instructor. Use very specific questions, seeking exactly what something means, what you will be expected to produce, etc. If an instructor does not hear from students, he/she may well conclude that students are grasping the material and do not need further assistance. If something is unclear to you, it may very well be unclear to the rest of the students in the class. Your questions may help others in the learning process as well. So ask, early and as often as necessary.
Become an “Active Learner”
In a traditional classroom, you may have sat through lectures or presentations, took some notes and waited to understand what the instructor thinks about the subject. This passive reception of information does not work well in an online environment. The subject matter will likely be presented to you in many different media, including text, still images and visuals, audio, video, and live or off-line conversations that use text or audio. You will need to become more actively involved with these materials, pulling them together in a way that makes sense to you.
To be successful in this environment, actively seek ways you can best understand the course material. Read, listen to, and watch the course materials more than once. Take notes as you do so. Interact with your instructor and classmates. Become involved in discussing and defining course topics. By creating your own definitions and models to represent the topic, or working with others to create shared definitions and models, you take ownership in the final product which can help you in understanding and internalizing the subject. Do not simply accept and memorize. Question everything, particularly if it doesn’t make sense or seem to fit with what you already know. Critically evaluate the information you receive. Everyone stands to benefit from your active learning, including the instructor and your peers as well as you.
This may seem fairly obvious, but without self-discipline, you cannot be a successful online learner. In face-to-face classes, you have an instructor and peers with whom you interact on a regular basis. You also typically meet at a certain time and place each week. This interaction and schedule help to keep you on task in your coursework. In an online learning environment, especially if you do not meet at specific times, it’s much easier to put off assignments, discussion, and responsibilities. In this context, self-discipline means motivating yourself to pay regular and consistent attention to the work that needs to be done, and doing it without delay or procrastination. Even more than in a face-to-face course, falling behind in an online class can jeopardize your likelihood of completing the course and earning the credit.
Goals keep you on target. If you don’t set goals for learning, then you may not know if you’ve achieved something worthwhile. Make sure you have personal goals in mind, both longer-term goals for your program of study and desired degrees or skills, as well as short-term goals for individual courses and assignments. If you have these goals in mind, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you need to do to meet these goals, and thus have deeper motivation to improve your work.
Ask for What You Need
Beyond asking questions of the instructor to clarify course material and expectations, advocate for yourself with the institution offering the program. Additional services, like academic support services technological assistance, may be available to you as an online learner. If you think of a service that would be helpful to you as a student, and your school does not offer that service, ask whether that service can be created or if special assistance can be provided. If your instructor cannot provide this service or assistance directly, ask him/her to recommend another contact or resource.
Network Etiquette (netiquette) is "cyber speak" for etiquette on‐line and in e‐mail: manners, civility, and shared rules. The rules of netiquette apply to everyone who uses the Internet or any kind of network to communicate to any other person in the world. Here are some very simple rules to follow that will help you to converse more smoothly with your fellow computer users.
Treat other people in cyberspace the way you would like to be treated. Remember that without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way.
Review discussion threads before you enter the discussion. Be careful to write only relevant comments.
Maintain threads by using the “Reply” button rather than starting a new topic.
Limit the abbreviations that you use, such as "u" for "you," “k” for “OK”, and "ne1" for "anyone". This will ensure that everyone understands your message.
Assume that the other person will not immediately know what you are talking about; give a little background information to help the reader understand your topic or position.
Respect other people's privacy.
Writing something in all CAPS is equivalent to yelling. Try to avoid this.
An emoticon is a text representation of an emotion. For example, :) is equivalent to a smile. Do not overuse emoticons, but they can be useful to avoid having a statement be misinterpreted.
Do not make insulting or inflammatory comments to other members of discussions. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
Do not leave the subject field of an e‐mail blank. Your e‐mail provider may send it to BULK, or JUNK instead of the inbox of the receiver, or your anti‐virus software may think that it is a virus of some kind. A subject also allows the receiver to tell what the email is about at a glance.
NEVER give out personal information of any kind via email, chat, or instant message. Phishing refers to the tactic used by criminals in which they will send a legitimate sounding email to your address and ask for information to verify an account. A reputable company, such as a bank, will not ask for usernames, account numbers or passwords through e‐mail.
Responding vs. Reacting
Often you will be required to join in a class discussion and respond to other postings. These discussions may become complex, intense, and even provocative. Before you send off a hastily written, emotionally based reaction to another’s contribution, turn to a word-processing program and develop your ideas into a less emotional and more reasonable response. Then wait a few minutes and reread what you have written before you make your posting public. Learning how to turn a reaction into a response will make your course contributions more meaningful – and likely earn you a higher mark for participation–if participation counts toward your grade. Pausing and rereading also gives you the opportunity to review your writing for organization, clarity, and correctness.
Communication in online courses is of two different types: synchronous or asynchronous.
- Synchronous communication takes place in “real-time,” or at the same time. To be online at the same time as peers and interact with them is to communicate synchronously. Chat, instant messaging, and Web conferencing are examples of synchronous communication tools. Chat sessions and instant messaging can have a lively, immediate feel, and may feel casual or conversational in tone.
- Asynchronous communication, on the other hand, takes place over time, not requiring group members to be online simultaneously. Email, discussion forums, blogs, and wikis are examples of asynchronous communication often used in online courses. With asynchronous communication tools, you browse, read, and respond at your own pace to what others have already sent or posted. Your online course may use one or many of these tools. If possible, practice with the tool before the assignment takes place. Ask your instructor for help if you are unsure how a tool works before you need to use it.
Online learning does not mean you are learning alone. You will belong to a class consisting of instructors, fellow students, and perhaps others with whom you will interact. Your instructor will attempt to build a class environment through discussion questions, chats, group projects, and other activities.
You can help build this classroom environment through your participation. Seeing and speaking to others is not a necessary component in getting to know someone. Through your chats and messages, both real-time (synchronous) and delayed (asynchronous), you have the opportunity to develop personal and professional relationships. The classmates you get to know online may come from very diverse situations and can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. If you are willing to share your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge with your classmates, they may also return the favor.
Building Community Resources
As noted above, your fellow classmates and instructors provide a resource for information and support. An online learning environment can provide several other resources as well. Several of these are discussed in the next section of this document, Research and Resources. Within your online classroom environment, however, you have the opportunity to access and help build resources which can benefit your whole class. Look for areas where you may post reviews for books you have read on pertinent topics, links to online resources, and observations for specific topics. Within your virtual classroom, you and your fellow classmates can build a collective knowledge base which may become invaluable even after your coursework is completed.
Research and Resources
As an online learner, you may not have immediate access to some of the resources and assistance available on a physical campus. However, there is a plethora of information and help available online and through special service arrangements. To make use of these, you will need to make yourself aware of what services are available. You will also need to pay careful attention to the validity of these services and to some legal and ethical issues concerning research and use of information found for academic purposes.
An important part of every academic course involves researching the literature and finding relevant information on the subject. Campus libraries serve as the repository for information, collecting, organizing, and making this body of knowledge available to everyone involved in academic work and research. Fortunately for online learners, most of the services provided by libraries now can be accessed online.
Library catalogs, reference assistance, inter-library loan, and even some full-text books and periodicals can be searched and accessed. Your institution’s library should be the first place you look for additional information beyond your course readings and assignments. Several of the following categories in this section may be made available through your library.
The library at Leeward Community College has many online resources available. For more information, please visit the Leeward CC library website: http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/library/.
Databases online can provide fast and efficient ways to find information pertinent to your topics of interest. They may also provide seamless access to the full-text versions of these articles and other items (though this access may depend on where you are when you are accessing the databases). Each database has a unique interface and search mechanism, so you will often have to experiment and use available help documentation.
Using Web Search Engines
While library catalogs and online bibliographic databases can provide direction and access to scholarly information, the Web itself is a storehouse for billions of documents. For reasons outlined below, it’s usually best when doing academic research to first look for information in books and journals because they go through quality control measures before they are published. Yet the Web can also reveal thousands of potentially useful documents related to your research topics.
Information Literacy and Information Efficacy
Once you find information or research, you must also look critically at what you’ve found to assess its authenticity and truthfulness. How do you know if information you’ve found is reliable and based on sound, honest research? This may apply to books and articles found through library catalogs and online bibliographic databases, and even more so for information found on the web. The web has been described as the greatest vanity press in history, allowing almost anyone to publish almost anything. You as the reader should be looking critically at any information you find.
Here are some critical questions to ask of any information you uncover:
- Who is the author of this information
- Does anyone else, such as a publisher or association, take responsibility for making this information available?
- Has this work been referred or reviewed by subject matter experts?
- Is other important information included with this work such as a date, author’s credentials and contact information, or citations for other works referred to in this work?
- Have any other reputable publications cited or referenced this work?
- All the topics addressed in this section relate to the idea of information literacy, or the ability to locate information, evaluate that information, and use it in appropriate ways. Being an online student will likely increase your level of information literacy. Becoming aware of the concept of information literacy and its implications on learning can help you as you take courses online.
Copyright refers to the rights of an individual or organization that has published a piece of work and is regarded as the owner of that intellectual property. If others use that work in a way which infringes upon the rights of the owner, they may be in violation of copyright law. There are several exceptions to this law, allowing use of portions of copyrighted materials for educational purposes, for ‘fair use’, for library use, etc. For students doing academic work, referencing or quoting from existing works is usually permissible under fair use guidelines. However, it is your responsibility to make sure you are not violating copyright law as you make use of others' intellectual property.
Cheating and Plagiarism
As a student in an online course, you are subject to academic conduct and misconduct rules adopted by your institution. Rules and regulations differ by institution, as do procedures for investigating and disciplining students who commit academic misconduct. You are responsible for learning the rules of your institution.
The Leeward CC Student Handbook defines cheating and plagiarism:
Cheating is any practice which gives one student a dishonorable advantage over another student engaged in the same or similar course of study. It shall include, but is not limited to the following: securing or giving assistance during examinations or on required work; the improper use of books, notes, or other sources of information; or the altering of any grade or academic record. Plagiarism includes submitting as one’s own work or creation of any kind that which is wholly or in part created by another. All sources, including Internet content, whether paraphrased or quoted, must be cited correctly. Direct quotes must have quotation marks around them, or they are considered plagiarism even if the quote is correctly cited. Rearranging parts of author’s sentences or substituting a few words is NOT paraphrasing and also constitutes plagiarism.
Plagiarism is just as important a concept in an online course as it is in a traditional classroom. Even if your instructor does not address plagiarism in the course syllabus or other material, learn your institution’s definition of misconduct and learn ways to prevent it. Ask your instructor for more resources if you need further help understanding and avoiding plagiarism.
Attribution and Style Guides
The simplest way to prevent plagiarism is to maintain proper attribution and citation techniques. As you write academic papers, you will need to conscientiously attribute ideas and quotes you find from the writings of others. The format in which you refer to others' work will depend on the style guide preferred by the department offering your course. Check with your instructor to verify the style guide you should be using.
Study Habits and Skills
- Know Yourself and Your Learning Style
- Recognize Others’ Learning Styles
When it comes to learning, everyone is different. Everyone has their own preferred approaches to new material and their own preferred style of learning. The same studying and learning techniques that work for your friends and peers may not be the best styles and techniques for you.
To understand what style of learning best suits you, you should first try to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and how you approach new learning situations. Assessing your skills and preferences will help you select the type of learning strategies – and perhaps the online courses – that are most likely to keep you interested and motivated and help you reach your learning goals.
In addition to evaluating how you learn best, as you work with others in groups, realize that your peers also have their own preferred methods and styles for learning and completing tasks. These differences can cause conflict if you don’t recognize why others are not seeing things the same way that you do.
Through open sharing about learning styles and preferences, and mutual respect for different approaches and ways of thinking, your team may be able to capitalize on differences by integrating them in unique ways. This may lead to unique insights into your course material and to producing distinctive course work projects.
Identifying Study Skills
Having identified how you and your classmates’ best learn, you can begin to look at specific study strategies and evaluate how well they may work for you in your online course. These techniques may address strategies for reading informational content, taking notes, memorizing information, exploring new concepts, and taking tests to name a few.
The Successful Distance Learner
Based on advice from experienced distance instructors and students, tips are provided to help you get the most out of distance learning.
Good Study Habits and Abilities
One way to be a successful distance learner is to develop good habits and abilities early. These habits and abilities are: check your email at least once a day send copies of all project-related email to the whole group (when working on a group project)
Depend on yourself as much as possible
- Use resources available to you, including online help, tutorials, manuals, course syllabi, assignment directions, and the Internet.
- Monitor your own progress by noting where you are in the course, which assignments you have completed and which lie ahead.
- Communicate with your instructor and peers.
- Reach out when you need someone to talk to, feel frustrated or need help. Remember you are not alone.
- Contribute advice or ideas about the real-world as it applies to the subject matter you are studying.
- Learners who have good learning self-awareness usually have good strategies for better understanding new information and may be more successful in a distance learning environment.
- Learning self-awareness (metacognition) is your ability to be aware of how well you are learning; in other words, to know when you understand or don't understand new information when you read it or it is presented.
When it comes to learning, everyone is different, having their own preferred approaches to new material and their own preferred style of learning. Assessing your skills and preferences will help you select the type of learning strategies that are most likely to keep you interested and help you reach your learning goals. Visit this site for a self-analysis and more information on learning styles, http://www2.piedmont.cc.nc.us/DL/LSI/canfield.htm.
Self-Discipline and Motivation
Another characteristic shared by successful distance learners is self-discipline. This characteristic is usually seen in the learner's ability to stay current with class assignments, participate on a regular basis in online discussions, and develop and adhere to a schedule for class activities.
One thing you can do to promote self-discipline is to dedicate a place for studying. Your own space where you can shut the door, leave papers everywhere, and work in peace is necessary. If you try to share study space with the dining room or bedroom, food or sleep will take priority over studying.
Distance learners must have self-motivation. Unlike traditional courses in which the students and instructor meet face-to-face once or several times a week, most learning activities and communication in distance courses are asynchronous, meaning that class members participate and complete their assignments at different times throughout the day or week. This arrangement can allow you to do class work when it's most convenient for you. However, with this increased freedom and flexibility comes responsibility. It will be up to you to motivate yourself to keep up with assignments.
Set aside a significant amount of time each week for class work. Distance education classes require as much time and effort as instructor-led classes, if not more. Develop a schedule and stick to it. Without the structure of weekly class meetings, you may be tempted to put off class work until the last minute. Instead, you should give yourself extra time to do your work, because technological difficulties and asynchronous communication can slow down the process.
To be prepared, read the syllabus and other course materials carefully to understand:
- Class requirement
- Assignment due dates
The proper form assignments should take the time it will take to get assignments in the proper form, and contact information for your instructor and classmates in case you need help. Once you have the big picture, mark important dates on your calendar.
Technology is not all that we might expect and problems occur that are beyond our control. Servers go down, computers crash, programs freeze and work may be lost. There are, however, things that are very much in your control. Plan ahead; allow time for downloading and installing software (such as plug-ins) that you need for class. Your instructor will often list these in your course syllabus. Download and install this software early, then practice using it. Software programs take time to learn, and the night before an assignment is due is not the time.
If you'll be accessing the Internet from work, find out if your company has a firewall. A firewall may prevent you from accessing particular web sites or using browser plug-ins to view video and audio, and interfere with file transfers.
Expect and plan for glitches and delays by starting assignments early, backing up your work regularly and making contingency plans for chats or online exams. Don't wait until the last minute!
Along with time management goes time commitment and perhaps creating your own study space away from outside distractions as mentioned above.
Completing course assignments and other learning activities can take from five to fifteen hours or more per week. And you may find that you need to be online almost every day. So before enrolling, be sure you can set aside enough time to keep up with your daily or weekly assignments.
Distance classes require a great deal of communication with the instructor and fellow students for assignments and class activities. But without regular face-to-face meetings, it's hard to develop personal relationships. In fact, it's easy to get isolated and feel lonely. Get to know your instructor and classmates by sending email, participating in discussions, and joining chat rooms. You'll find that just like in regular classes, people are your greatest resource. They can give you help, advice and support when you need it, and help get you through the rough spots. You'll also have a richer, more rewarding learning experience if you reach out.
Good communication skills for distance course participation include:
- Clearly expressing yourself in writing
- Thinking ideas through before responding
- Observing “netiquette,” remaining polite and respectful in your communications
- Asking for help when you need it
In distance courses, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing. If you feel that you are weak in this area, try to brush up on your writing skills and find out how much writing is required for the course before enrolling.
Communicating clearly on the Internet without creating misunderstandings is a challenge. One problem is that you haven't any facial expressions, body language, or environment to help you express yourself.
These guidelines should help you:
- Be clear. Make sure that the subject line or title matches your content.
- Always include a subject line with an email message. The subject line should include, at the very least, the course ID as well as a description of what the email is about. Include your first and last name.
- Think two or three times before responding to a posting in anger. Try writing out what you have to say, editing it and setting it aside for a few hours before rereading it again and deciding to post it.
- Think to yourself, am I sure this is what the other person really meant with their posting? Could I have misinterpreted it? Better to ask for clarification before launching.
- Do not use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS--it's equal to screaming.
- Avoid offensive language.
- Make a good impression. Your words and content represent you. Review and edit your words and images before sending.
- Be selective on what information you put in an email. Information on the Internet is public and can be seen by anyone in the world, including future employers.
- Remember you are not anonymous. What you write in an e-mail can be traced back to you.
- Be brief. If your message is short, people will be more likely to read it.
- Be careful with humor and sarcasm. They come across differently online and can easily be misinterpreted. This does not mean to avoid humor. Humor has its place in any classroom, on-ground or online. Just be sure to identify humor as such to avoid misinterpretation.
Federal law requires post-secondary schools to make their programs and services available to all students, including students with disabilities. Online technologies can make many more resources and educational opportunities available to students who would not otherwise be able to participate. These same technologies can also pose other limitations that must be overcome.
A student’s educational records are, in fact, protected under federal law with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) legislation. Passed by Congress in 1974, the act grants four specific rights to the student:
- The right to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student
- The right to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases appends a statement to the record
- The right to consent to disclosure of his/her records
- The right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington
The policies that regulate appropriate computing practice include selecting good passwords for your computer accounts and making sure your use of UH computing accounts and other resources is legal and ethical. These policies help to provide a secure and safe environment for all computer users associated with Leeward CC.
What is a Distance Education (DE) course?
- A Distance Education (DE) course is a course that is delivered to you electronically. At Leeward CC, DE courses are offered via cable television, or the Internet. Instructors utilize various methods of communication to conduct the course, such as Web 2.0 technologies, social networking, threaded discussions, email, web conferencing, audio, and video.
What are the requirements for applying to Leeward CC?
- (If you have not attended college before) You must be 18 years of age by the first day of instruction, a high school graduate or have received a GED.
- (Transfer Student) - completed credit at another college and never attended Leeward.
- Please refer to <http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/enroll>.
What are the tuition costs?
- Tuition costs depend on your place of residency. If you are a local resident, the tuition (which change every couple of semesters) will be around $88/credit hour. If you are a Non-Resident, the tuition will be around $281/credit hour. There are also student fees that you must also pay which include (Student Activity Fee, Board of Student Communication fee, and Student Health Center Fee).
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/tuition for more and current information.
How do I apply for financial aid?
- You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may complete this online or hand in a hard copy. If you are submitting the application online: You must first request a personal identification number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov. If your parents are required for the FAFSA, they must also apply for a PIN. Complete the FAFSA on the WEB Worksheet and enter the information on www.fafsa.ed.gov. For the paper application, visit your Financial Aid Office. Remember to list the school code on the FAFSA.
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/finaid.
How do I find out if my existing credits will transfer?
- You will need to request a Transcript Evaluation Form. If you want the coursework at a previous college to be considered towards your academic goal, your transcript(s) need to be reviewed. This is optional, however if you plan on receiving financial aid, or veterans administration benefits, than it is required.
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/transcript-eval.
Do university transcripts show if courses were taken online?
I am an international student, are there additional requirements that I may need?
- The minimum requirements need for Degree Programs are: You must be 18 years of age OR you must have completed high school or the equivalent. You must have a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
- You will need to fill out the International Student Application Form and a Nonrefundable $25USD fee must be made. A bank statement of the person responsible for payment, High School Diploma, TOEFL, copy of Passport.
- For students transferring from any US college or university: submit the Transfer In form completed and signed by your current US institution. Submit a copy of the I-20 from your current institution.TOEFL requirement: If you have completed English 100 or an equivalent course at a US university/college, the TOEFL requirement may be waived. Submit a copy of your transcripts.
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/apply-international.
What do I need to do before registering for Distance Education courses?
- The first step is to apply to Leeward CC, after you have been admitted as a student, you can register for the course. Registration is done via MyUH. Log on and select “Registration” from the left menu.
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/registration.
Do I physically need to come to campus to enroll in classes at Leeward CC?
- No, registration is done online via MyUH. Therefore, you do not need to be on campus to enroll into classes.
What personal and technical skills do I need to take a Distance Education course?
- Any student can take a DE course. Just as some people are more successful at regular courses, others are more successful at DE courses.
What technology/equipment/software requirements do I need to take an online course?
- Cable courses would require a television set with cable. For Web courses, you should have access to a computer with Internet access. You will also need to have an Alternate Technology Access Plan. Software and other items will need to be taken up with your instructor.
- For additional support resources for DE students, please visit this site: http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/emc/ilearn-student-resources.
Are exams online also? Do I have to come on campus to take the exam?
- This depends on the instructor. Please ask your instructor how exams will be conducted - whether you have to come to campus to take a proctored exam or if exams will be online.
How do I access the online courses I registered for?
- You are able to access your courses (including online courses) by logging into the following websites with your UH username and password http://myuh.hawaii.edu and http://laulima.hawaii.edu.
When is the deadline to pick up books and the needed materials for Distance Education courses?
- The deadline to pick up books varies between semesters. As of currently, there is no date set for Spring 2011. If you unable to pick up books (if ordered online), please do not pick “pick up” option. All orders not picked up will be voided and cancelled.
Can I work at my own pace or do I have to follow a schedule when taking a distance education course?
- Most instructors have a schedule for completing the class. You will need to refer to your syllabus for details about when assignments/tests are due.
Are there scheduled times that I need to be available to participate in my Distance Education classes?
- For Cable Courses: lectures are over Oceanic Channel 55 or Craig Television Channel 21. You can watch the course at the time of broadcast or record it for a more convenient playback time. Teleweb courses’ primary method of instruction is via television yet, you are also required to log on to the Internet for additional course material and communication.
- For two-way interactive video courses: allow students to take courses from other UH campuses. You are required to attend class at an interactive video classroom site here on the Leeward CC campus. These classes are conducted in a “live-real time” interactive setting.
- Internet courses are interactive courses delivered using the Web. Online Classes allow you to access your class material via the Internet and study at the times and places that fit into your busy lifestyle.
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/DistanceEducation.
Do I ever have to come to campus for a distance education course?
- Some courses require that you come to campus to take tests; some require that the final exam be taken on campus or at a proctored location; and still others have no face-to-face requirements. Refer to your syllabus for the course for details, or prior to enrolling in the course, you may ask/email the instructor for details. To find out who is teaching the course, check online click on the CRN # to view more details of the course. From there it will tell you the instructor’s name and when you click on it it will give you their email address. If it says “TBA”, contact the division to find out who is teaching the course.
Does a distance education course require less time to complete than regular on-campus course?
- Because most online courses follow a schedule of activities that last the entire term or semester, plan for your distance education course to last the same amount of time as an on-campus course.
What if I need the library?
- For more information please visit the Leeward CC library web site: http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/library/
What if I need a tutor?
- We provide students with a friendly place where you can get help with your courses, develop confidence in your own abilities, and strengthen your learning skills. We offer a variety of help, including tutoring and many other services--and it's all free!
- For more information please visit: http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/lrc
- To schedule an appointment with a tutor please go to: http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/lrc/
Who do I talk to if I have questions about taking Distance Education courses?
- If there are any questions regarding DE courses, you may ask a counselor or your instructor.
- Please refer to http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/counseling-academic.
What if I need to talk to a counselor?
- Every student is important to us. We want to ensure your success in academics as well as in life. Our experienced counselors and advisor are here year round to help you reach your goals or just help with challenges.
- Leeward has seventeen counselors who can help you chart your path to success and solve any problems that may arise on that journey.
- All counselors can assist you with:
- Career Exploration and Planning - identify the careers or career clusters that reflect the abilities, interests and values you want to use in your career
- Academic Advising - develop an academic plan that will identify the courses you will take each semester until you have earned your degree or certificate
- Personal Concerns - work with a counselor to resolve any problems that are interfering with your ability to concentrate and complete your assignments
Counseling Office Information
M-F: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
In person: AD 208
Phone: (808) 455-0233 or (808) 455-0234
Email: leeward [at] hawaii [dot] edu
For more information please visit: http://www.leeward.hawaii.edu/counseling
How much do I need to know about technology to be able to take an online course?
- A student should have basic computer skills including:
- Operate a Windows-based or Mac? computer
- Perform common computer operations such as:
- Create folders
- Find, copy, move, rename, and delete files
- Create back up files
- Create, edit, format, spell check, save, retrieve, and print a document
- Copy/paste information
- Use email to:
- Send, receive, store, and retrieve messages
- Send, receive, and open attachments
- Utilize a web browser to:
- Access the Internet
- Open Web pages
- Open, print, and save in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- Copy URLs to Microsoft Word
- Use a search engine
How do I know if I am correctly enrolled in the course?
- Course enrollment can be found in your MyUH Portal account. Go to Review my course schedule to view your class list (current term enrollment)
What if I forget my password?
- A student who forgets his/her password must go to https://myuh.hawaii.edu:8888/sessionid=nobody/am-sso-check-status for a password reset.
What if my Internet access is down and I have an assignment due?
- Phone your instructor immediately and ask for guidance. Leave him/her a voice message immediately! Because there are always potential problems with technology, never wait until the last minute to submit an assignment.
- Find Internet access! Call a friend who has a computer; visit a public library and use their computer; if you have wireless, go to McDonalds’s or Starbucks!
Where can I see my grades?
- Grades are available on Star Degree Check at the end of the semester (Check your academic calendar for date), accessible from your MyUH Portal web page.
How do I add a course?
- To officially add a class, you need to access your MyUH account to process the add. If the class is closed, the instructor’s approval is required in order to enroll. Once faculty approval is secured, you must still register for the course either via MyUH account or in-person at the Admissions and Records Office, AD 220 (for a $5 fee). All deadlines related to adding are on the Academic Calendar or the Part of Term table for modular/accelerated courses. If you need help, visit the How to add courses tutorial.
How do I drop a course?
- To officially drop a class, you need to access your MyUH account to process the withdrawal by the posted deadline. All deadlines related to dropping semester long courses are on the Academic Calendar; for Part of Term (accelerated or modular) courses, refer to the Part of Term Table.
- You cannot drop your last remaining class from your home institution using your MyUH account.
- To drop your last class, complete and submit the Complete Withdrawal Form to the Admissions and Records Office by the appropriate deadline. Leeward CC will only drop Leeward courses. If you are also enrolled in courses at other UH campuses, drop those courses using your MyUH account.
- As soon as you know you will not be attending a class, you should officially drop it so that you won't receive a failing grade. A grade of “F” may be issued to students for courses they are no longer attending but have not officially dropped. A grade of “W” will be issued to students for courses they officially drop by the deadline. You are responsible for paying for your tuition and fees for the courses you are enrolled in regardless if you are attending or not.
- For Part of Term courses (modular or accelerated courses which have different start and end dates) that are completed, the appropriate grade as assigned by the instructor will be recorded on your permanent academic record. For critical deadlines for a Part of Term course, see the Part of Term table.
How do I get a copy of my transcript?
- To obtain a copy of your of your permanent record (transcript) from Leeward CC, you need to fill out a Transcript Request Form and turn it in to Admissions & Records, AD 220. All requests must be received in writing. Your academic transcript will include the courses and grades of all of your Leeward CC courses to date.
Transcript Request Form (PDF). The form is fillable using the Adobe® Acrobat Reader. Complete this form and turn it in to Leeward Admissions & Records Office, AD 220.
There is a $5 fee for each copy requested (processed within 5 work days). Special handling or “Priority” processing is available at $15 per transcript (processed with 1 to 3 work days). NOTE: processing does not include mailing time.
- Looking for a Transcript Evaluation from a previously attended college? Info and forms for Transcript Evaluation
What do I do if one of my courses does not appear in the “My Active Site” box in Laulima?
- If you successfully login to Laulima and see either no course(s) listed, only your old course(s) listed or not the course(s) you're looking for, the access problem is likely due to one of the following:
- Laulima does not yet have a record of your enrollment in the course in question. Registrar information takes 24-48 hours from time of enrollment (not counting weekend days) to be reflected in Laulima.
- The instructor of the course you're looking for is not using Laulima.
Are distance learning courses easier than taking the class on campus?
- Students have different opinions about the difficulty of distance learning classes. The course content and objectives are the same as in face-to-face courses. The reading requirement can be intensive. All agree distance learning courses require a lot of discipline. You must be your own motivator.
Is there an orientation that I can take that will familiarize me with Laulima?
- There is an online student guide and orientation videos located at http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/emc/ilearn-laulimaguide, which will help you learn to access and use Laulima tools.
Who is responsible for initial contact, the student or the instructor?
- Unless otherwise instructed, the student should access the course on the first day of classes, just as you would attend class on the first day in a traditional classroom.
What about exam proctoring for students living too far from campus?
- Proctoring arrangements may be available to students living at a distance from LCC. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain an instructor-approved proctor if you are unable to come to campus to take an exam. See http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/itg/testcenter for required information.
Do distance education courses require less time to complete than regular on campus courses?
- No, in fact, research shows that they often take more time to complete.
Are there other students in my distance education course and will I be “aware” of them (will I know their names and will I be able to communicate with them)?
- Student-to-student interactions will vary across courses. Some courses will require weekly interactions via an online discussion board, while other courses may require no student-to student interactivity.
Will I get any help from the instructor during the semester, or am I on my own?
- All distance education faculty are available via phone and email. In any course, the level of one-to-one interaction between faculty member and student varies. In a distance course, however, there is an added factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. Receiving help depends upon the extent to which the student seeks that help.