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Distance Learning

Distance Learning FAQs

What do I need to be successful in online learning?

Online courses require more commitment and self-discipline than classroom courses because you must take responsibility for doing the assigned work, getting assignments completed and submitted on time, and being prepared for tests and quizzes. You will need to pace yourself, rather than relying on feedback from the teacher or other students. It is easy to put off your online course when you are not required to be in a classroom each week.

If you are a self-starter, possess self-discipline, and can work independently on a task until it is complete, then you will be a successful on-line student. The ideal distance learner is able to answer these questions positively:

  • Am I self-motivated?
  • Can I work well independently?
  • Do I manage my time well?
  • Can I establish and stick to a regular weekly schedule for class work and assignments?
  • Am I computer and web literate?

You should also have easy access to a computer that is connected to the Internet (preferably not dial-up), be able to store information on your hard drive or a storage device, and have the software needed for the course (usually at least a word processor). You should be very comfortable using a computer before taking online courses.

You will need to check your KCTCS e-mail several times a week and manage your e-mail account. Many instructors use only e-mail to communicate with their students.

How does online learning work?

You interact with your instructor and other students through a course system called Blackboard. You purchase your texts as for any class, but all your class assignments are provided online. You may take your tests online or you may be required to come to campus to take your tests (proctored tests), so read the course section information carefully!

What resources are available and what should I know?

  • Ask your instructor questions when you need information. That's why he or she is there!
  • Work through the Online Student Tutorials so you have an understanding of the course management system.
  • It is your responsibility to schedule any proctored exams at least five (5) days in advance of when you need to take the exam.
  • Instructors do much of their communicating with online students via the announcements section of Blackboard. You should visit Blackboard frequently – instructors post emergency info (which changes the class schedule) and assignment due date changes. Test dates may change or sometimes you are allowed to retake a test...visiting Blackboard often is very important to your success.
  • Check your e-mail often!
  • Use campus resources: Academic Assistance and Advising, the library, and computer labs.
  • Use the Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL) or access the KCTCS libraries through Blackboard.
  • Make sure your mailing address and phone number are current in PeopleSoft. If not, you may not receive important mailings/phone calls from your instructor.
  • Fill out a withdrawal form if you have to drop a class; otherwise, you get an "E".
  • Take these courses seriously; you have to stick with them to be successful.
  • Work hard and enjoy the academic credit you are earning—on your own!

How do I get my textbooks?

 If it is a Henderson Community College online class, you will purchase your texts through HCC's Bookstore. If it is from another college, you will use the KCTCS Distance Learning Official Bookstore. Check out these instructions to guide you through the process.