All of your courses are taken 100% online, from home, work, or your laptop!
- What is Online?
- How does Online work?
- You mentioned Blackboard. What is that?
- What is a virtual classroom?
- How does your system allow me to attend class any time of the day or night?
- Does asynchronous discussion really work?
- It seems to me that not speaking face to face with my instructor or fellow students would affect the learning process. Is it true?
- What is a typical online class like?
- Is an online course easier than an on-ground course?
- Is it possible to talk to my instructor and fellow classmates in private?
- In a regular classroom I can sit in the back of the room and listen. Suppose I don't want to participate in the online classroom?
- What kind of computer equipment do I need?
- Do I have access to a library?
- Is Baker College Online accredited?
- Does Baker provide any help in my job search?
- Definition of terms often used when talking about online courses.
What is Online?
It is the delivery of courses and programs through your computer, using the Internet to link faculty and students. This process can occur between two computers in the same town or between computers on opposite sides of the earth. All students in this environment become actively involved in interactive learning groups.
How does Online work?
The process begins with you enrolling in an online program. Once accepted to your program students sign-up, or "register" for their first courses. All Baker Online students begin their online experience with a three-week online class designed to orient you to the Baker Online classroom, and also review the expectations and requirements of Baker Online students. Upon successful completion of this course you can move on to additional courses ready for success in your new online classroom.
You mentioned Blackboard. What is that?
Blackboard is an Internet-based system designed to allow students to participate in classes in an online format. It allows you to send and receive information from your instructor, the classroom, other students or groups of students. There is no software to install to access Blackboard, but you will be required to have access to the Internet.
What is a virtual classroom?
The virtual classroom is the common meeting area for all students assigned to an online class. Each classroom has a unique name, which will be provided to you before the start of each course. Only students taking that particular class have access to that virtual classroom, thus ensuring privacy for a group of students in a course. You can view the virtual classroom at http://ol.baker.edu.
How does your system allow me to attend class any time of the day or night?
This form of education is what the experts call "asynchronous." This means what you do is neither time nor place dependent. You go online to read lectures, participate in discussion and possibly complete exams. Many of the assignments and exercises required in online courses will still be completed off-line using word processing software. This system is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Does asynchronous discussion really work?
While almost everyone who tries this style of learning likes it, we find that it best suits those who have very busy work and personal lives. One of the barriers prohibiting many busy working adults from going to college is the requirement to be in a particular place at a particular time. Remember that online programs have been specifically designed to take advantage of technology. We have not attempted to replicate a model that works well in a face-to-face traditional environment. The online delivery method gives you the same results, but in a far more efficient manner! Also remember that in an on-ground classroom, students are often allowed to sit without participating. In the online environment, this is not allowed. Everyone is required to participate.
It seems to me that not speaking face to face with my instructor or fellow students would affect the learning process. Is this true?
Absolutely not. The primary problems associated with asynchronous communication come from the initial difficulty the student has in becoming accustomed to the new delivery method. Once acquainted with the process, most students report that an improved learning situation occurs.
Think about this for a minute. Everyone in your class has a different schedule, a different family situation, and a different play/relaxation schedule. It is very difficult and inconvenient to get everyone together into one classroom without rearranging each individual's life. The same is true for online. If we required everyone to log on to his or her class at the same time, we would defeat the purpose of this new learning situation.
When communication is asynchronous, any student can participate anytime it is convenient to do so, whether that is midnight or noon, in a hotel room while traveling on business or on an airplane at 30,000 feet.
Online students have an opportunity to spend time reviewing the class archives (comments, lectures, and discussions) and can compose their responses at their own schedule. The material and concepts are approached at an individual rate. Our students and faculty find that a greater level of depth and breadth can be achieved in asynchronous communication than in "real-time" communications.
What is a typical online class like?
All online courses are broken down into equal parts called seminars. Typically, online courses are six weeks in length. On the first day of each seminar (week), the online instructor sends any introductory information on the week's topic, restates the assignments from the course outline or module and sends an introductory lecture to begin the study process for the week. To stimulate discussions, the instructor would also typically include discussion questions related to the topic at the end of his/her lecture.
As the week progresses, you work on your readings and assignments, and you participate in classroom discussion just as you would in a traditional classroom setting. However, you use the computer to participate in the class discussions, to carry on private discussions with classmates or your teacher, to ask questions and to receive any feedback. When your assignments are due (you have specific deadlines for your required work during the week), you send them to the instructor or to the classroom online. Instructors grade your papers, provide feedback and comments, and keep you informed of your status weekly.
Is an online course easier than an on-ground course?
The level of difficulty should be about the same. The focus of the work is different, however. For example, all of your focus in an online course is on reading and writing. This is not the case in an on-ground classroom setting where part of your participation is listening. Aural learners may have difficulty in accepting this more visual learning process.
Is it possible to talk to my instructor and fellow classmates in private?
It certainly is. Essentially the Blackboard system is a conferencing (or e-mail) system designed specifically to deliver online courses. Students can use either their personal e-mail account or their virtual classroom for private communication. Remember, only students enrolled in that classroom will be able to join in the discussion or view course material.
In a regular classroom I can sit in the back of the room and listen. Suppose I don't want to participate in the online classroom?
If this is the case with you, then you do not want to enroll in an online class. In an online class all students have an equal opportunity to participate in the discussions. This is a large part of how you learn in this environment. Online courses require that everyone participate to succeed. For this reason, online classes are much smaller than on-ground classes. A typical online class may have 12-15 students.
What kind of computer equipment do I need?
Students must have the following hardware and software (additional equipment and software may be required for some courses):
- Are entitled to use any of the nine campus libraries, and you can access most of them online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Can browse the library collection of not only the Baker libraries, but also many other libraries all over North America.
- Have access to journal articles, which can be downloaded from the online databases.
Our online library provides a variety of services to help you with your research, all of which will be explained to you by your Development Coordinator.
Is Baker College Online accredited?
Baker Online is a division of Baker College, a fully accredited, private, not-for-profit career college system established in 1911.
Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504 (800.621.7440).
In addition to the Higher Learning Commission, the Baker Center for Graduate Studies also carries professional accreditation by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
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- Asynchronous: In computer programming, asynchronous (from Greek meaning “not at the same time”) describes processes that proceed independently of each other.
- Browser: A browser is an application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the Internet. The word “browser” seems to have originated prior to the Internet as a generic term for user interfaces that let you browse text files online.
- Chat: On the Internet, chat or chatting is talking to other people who are using the Internet at the same time you are. Asynchronous communication is not considered chat.
- Discussion Board: A discussion board is a general term for any online “bulletin board” that allows you to read or leave messages and receive responses. Bulletin board services also allow users to upload or download files. The discussion board is where the online course discussion takes place.
- ISP: ISP is an acronym for Internet Service Provider. An ISP is a company that provides access to the Internet and other related services.
Microsoft Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer is Microsoft’s Internet browser, which has been included with the Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, and XP operating systems.
- Netscape Navigator: Netscape Navigator is an Internet browser that was developed by Netscape Communications.
- Safari: Safari is an Internet browser that was developed by Apple Inc.
- Thread: A thread is a sequence of responses to an initial message posting. This enables you to join an individual discussion from among the many that may be there. A thread is usually shown graphically as an initial message followed by successive messages.