Online Courses FAQ


What is an online course?

Online classes are courses delivered over the internet. Online courses have the same learning goals, objectives, and amount of work as face-to-face courses. Online courses at Kaskaskia College are not self-paced courses, while you can set your own daily schedule, you still have due dates for your coursework. Students interact with their instructor and each other through e-mail, threaded discussions, and sometimes group work.

I work part-time/full-time. Do I need to be online at any certain times?

Since our online classes are asynchronous there are no required hours to be in class on the campus of Kaskaskia College. You can access your class from anywhere you have access to the internet. However, an online learner must be able to commit up to 4-6 hours a week to course work.

How many hours a week should I expect to be online for my class?

The amount of time that you spend in your online course is actually more than a face-to-face course. Since you do not meet in a physical location for class, course information and activities are completed online. Depending on the required assignments for the class, you should be spending anywhere from 4–6 hours per week and in some cases more per class. Some activities may be offline, such as reading assignments from a required textbook.

Do I have to come to campus for anything (i.e. exams, research)?

If you are taking an online class (OL), you typically do not have to come to campus for anything related to the course. However, Kaskaskia College also offers proctored online courses (OP), which require that exams or labs be completed in a proctored setting, which would require a visit one of our campuses or prior arrangements to use an approved facility located near you.

If I do not have to come to campus for exams, how do I take them online?

Online exams are provided through the Learning Management System (Blackboard). There is a variety of ways that instructors deliver online exams:

  • Timed exams require quiet, uninterrupted time, since they must be finished in one sitting
  • Untimed exams allow students to begin and end them during a period of a few hours to a few days (depending on the instructor)
  • Open book exams often require students to seek out the information to construct an answer

Not all online classes include traditional exams. Most classes provide other means of assessment also such as papers, projects or group projects. Most online classes also include intensive reading and writing.

Are online classes easier than face-to-face classes?

In a word: no. Depending on your study habits and willingness to participate, some students consider online classes to be more difficult than face-to-face classes.

Online classes are not independent study courses, since they have a weekly schedule just like a face-to-face course. Students are able to log in to their classes and complete their assignments late at night, but each assignment will have a due date just like in face-to-face classes. As in any class, looking ahead each week to plan study time accordingly usually creates successful outcomes.

It is important to note that a successful online student must be self-motivated and not a procrastinator. Online classes contain the same amount of information as in a face-to-face course. If a student falls behind, catching up can be very difficult.

Can I meet with the instructor or arrange for tutoring if I need help?

Yes! You always have the option to meet with your instructor or request tutoring. In fact, it is encouraged!

What computer skills do I need to take an online class?

To be successful in an online class, a student should be able to:

  • Open a web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer.
  • Connect to the Internet, and type in a web address
  • Search and access websites with a web browser
  • Understand basic web/Internet navigation
  • Log in to a site with a user name and password
  • Copy and paste text from one document to another
  • Attach a document or file to an email

What are the technology requirements for an online class?

  • Access to a reliable computer with an internet connection
  • A back-up computer (examples: library, school, friend or relative’s computer)
  • A web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer
  • An email account: All students are provided with a student email account here at Kaskaskia College.
  • A word processing program such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Pages that can save in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format

NOTE: Kaskaskia College does not provide support for personal computers of students. Students must contact their own internet service provider for help with internet access problems.

What if I do not have a computer at home?

It is not completely necessary to have a computer at home if you are willing to commit to using a computer at your local library, a friend or relative’s house, or one of the many computers available on the main campus or education centers here at Kaskaskia College.

How do I know if I am ready to take an online course?

If you can send and receive e-mail, can browse the Internet, and have self-discipline and motivation to learn and complete the class, then you are probably ready. If you are not sure if an online class is for you, you might want to take the self-assessment quiz, OASIS (Online Assessment System for Internet Students).

Once I am registered, how do I access my online course?

All courses are accessible through the Learning Management System, Blackboard. A link to Blackboard can be found at the top of the Kaskaskia College website or by logging into your myKC and using the link for Blackboard there.

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