Advantages of Distance Education:
- Distance education courses allow students to work on their own time rather than report to class at a particular time.
- Travel time and expense is greatly reduced.
- Distance education courses allow students to work from home or office.
- Students who prefer written communication may do well in distance education courses.
- Students may get to know faculty and other students on a deeper level in an online course since many are more inhibited in a classroom setting.
Disadvantages of Distance Education:
- Distance education students may miss the face-to-face interaction with students and instructor.
- Students who are not disciplined and self-motivated may find it a challenge to keep up in a distance education course.
- Students who are poor typists or who are lacking in technical skills may be at a disadvantage in a distance education course.
- Distance education courses may actually take more time than a traditional course.
- Students may experience occasional difficulty to immediately reach other classmates and/or instructor through technology.
What skills do I need to succeed in a distance education course?
People who are successful at distance education possess two categories of skills: technical skills and study skills. For technical skills, you should know basic word processing, how to send and receive emails, how to send and receive attachments, be able to navigate the Web, and have basic knowledge of Macintosh or Windows operating systems. As for study skills, you should be self-motivated, be able to manage your time well, have good communication skills and be diligent. Patience and a sense of humor are also helpful!
Your home or workplace environments' internal wired or wireless network and system configurations can also restrict the functionality of Moodle. Access to content may be affected, as may the possibility of uploading files. File size limitations may also apply.
Operating systemRecommended Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OSX Yosemite, iPad or other iOS8 mobile devices.
At present, the Moodle Mobile app is not supported due to poor performance. We recommend that on a mobile device you log in to GUAM COMMUNITY COLLEGE Moodle using the web browser unless you are completing an assessment or activity that has a grading component. If you are completing an assessment or activity that has a grading component we recommend that you use Moodle through a desktop or laptop browser.
Internet speedUse a broadband connection (256 Kbit/sec or faster as this will ensure that you can view videos and online presentations) through USB wireless modem, ADSL, T1/T2, fiber optic or cable. Dial-up access will be significantly slower and we do not recommend it for using Moodle.
Internet browsersCompatible browsers include: Google Chrome 32 bit version 38 or later (recommended for optimal compatibility, this has been thoroughly tested on Windows) Safari 8 or later (recommended for optimal compatibility, this has been thoroughly tested on Mac) Mozilla Firefox 35.0 or later Note that add-ons and toolbars can affect any browser's performance. MS Internet Explorer is not recommended.
If you have any difficulty accessing GUAM COMMUNITY COLLEGE Moodle, ensure that you are using one of the supported browsers above before you contact helpdesk support. If you are using MS Internet Explorer 9 and experience problems accessing Moodle, visit this page to fix site display and get some technical information on what to do.
SettingsWe recommend that the following be enabled:
Cookies Pop-ups (in both Internet browser and security software)
We recommend that you use the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. Please note that iOS products iPhone, iPad, etc. do not support Flash natively but there are web browsers available in the App store that do.)
Content and Resources viewingWe recommend that you use the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. To view all the resources uploaded to Moodle, you will probably need to have Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or an equivalent (e.g. Open Office, Viewer) installed.
SecurityAs with all software or hardware firewalls, ensure that you enable uploading of files. Install and maintain an updated antivirus software.
Know how to use productivity software
MS Office Tutorials – Microsoft’s own training site.
MS Office 2000 Tutorials – Provided by Florida Gulf Coast University, these free tutorials teach the basics of using MS Office Suite.
Your email account and know how to email attachments
Learn about chat
Chat Tutorial – View a short tutorial showing how to use the chat function in an online course.
Know how to log into your course
Open the communication lines with your professors
Prepare your calendar
Some Final Thoughts for the Road
Before you leave to embark upon your online educational adventure, let’s review the major points. Before your first class, you should:
Eliminate Spyware and set your browser
Get productivity tools (MS Office, Open Office, viewers)
Get an email account and learn how to send attachments.
Learn about chatting.
Log into your course before the first class to familiarize yourself with the system.
Keep the lines of communication open with your instructor.
Know how to get support.
Prepare your calendar for class and homework.
There is one more thing to remember. GCC is dedicated to your success as an online learner.
Hopefully, once completing these tasks, you will feel confident and prepared for your first online course. There is a plentitude of opportunities awaiting you in the world of online education. By enrolling in your first online course, you have taken the first step. Good luck, and make sure to have some fun along the way!