Getting Started with Online Learning

4Cs online courses allow students to complete all course requirements from their home or office. Students trying to balance work, family and education can fit online college courses into their schedules allowing them to pursue their education.

Regular interaction with instructors is possible through online chat or video chats, e-mail, phone and online discussion areas dedicated to class questions and conversation.

There are two types of classes available:

  • Fully online classes: offer 100% instruction online, although many of our online students love coming to campus anyway to study or work in our library or take advantage of our student services.

    Proctored exams may be required for some online courses. We provide support for proctoring on-, or off-campus and through remote proctoring service providers. Refer to the course catalog description for proctoring requirements.
  • Hybrid classes: may require occasional meeting on the 4Cs campus, but generally 50%–99% of coursework can be completed online. If you are considering an online course, but not sure if it’s a good fit for your learning style, a hybrid course might be a great place to start.

What will I need to be successful?

To foster success in online learning, it is important to have realistic expectations and an understanding of what online learning is like along with what skills are required.

Computer and Internet Access
You must have daily access to a working computer with a reliable Internet connection (DSL or higher).

Motivation and Time Management
Some skills will be developed during online courses, but students need to feel confident about the ability to manage their time and workload.

Communication Style
Being able to communicate with instructors and fellow students about course materials and policies can be important for success in the course.

Interaction Style
Students are often expected to interact with other students in online classes. Interaction between students will depend on the type of class and the instructor's preferences. If face-to-face contact is a must for students to thrive, then online classes might not be the best choice.

See also: Tips for Effective Online Learning

Am I ready to become an online student?

Online learning is not for everyone. Some students have the misconception that online classes are easier or less work than traditional classes. In some ways, online college courses may be more challenging than traditional classes. Although you might not have to attend classes, you will still have to:

  • Read your textbooks
  • Write papers
  • Engage in class discussions with classmates/professors
  • Complete tests or other assessments
  • Participate in group projects

Online Course Readiness Quiz

The University of Arkansas has developed an interactive Online Course Readiness Quiz to gauge readiness for online learning. At the end of the quiz, you will receive an Overall Rating graphical assessment of your readiness, and solutions for improving your score in these four areas:

    Meter showing online readiness
  • Computer Skills
  • Learning Style
  • Online Learning
  • Academic Skills

Take as many times as needed.

Our college provides a Help Desk, Library access online, and faculty support for students using the Learning Management utility, Moodle, and other web-based (publisher) sites to access course materials. Contact the Help Desk for technical support.

Additional Assessment Tools

Have additional questions?

Office of Online & Blended Learning
Location Wilkens Library, room LCG-13
Hours Monday–Friday, 9:00am–5:00pm
Phone 508.375.4040