Online learning is the general term for learning opportunities other than the traditional classroom-based format. It is any educational process where the student and the instructor are separated by time or distance and connected by a communication technology. Increasingly, distance-learning courses are offered wholly or partly online.
Online learning courses cover the same competencies and have the same learning objectives as traditional classroom courses; the difference is in the delivery and, in some cases, time flexibility. Carroll students and instructors use Canvas, a Learning Management System (LMS), for online course delivery. Through Canvas, students access course materials, submit assignments, interact with one another, complete tests, check grades/scores, and actively participate in the course according to the instructor’s schedule. Distance learning courses are delivered as Online, Hybrid, or Remote Synchronous. Carroll identifies the learning format of courses in Student Planning in the section details.
Remote Synchronous (section number -95): This type of course meets with an instructor via a live virtual format. The classroom will say Teams (download the Teams software via the Lynx Portal and Office 365). You will log in at a scheduled time to participate in the class. All instruction is provided remotely.
Mixed Online (section number -55): This type of course meets with an instructor via a live virtual format (scheduled at a specific day and time/RSYNC) and the rest of the class is online (unscheduled/remote). All instruction is provided remotely.
Online (section number -75): Online classes meet in Canvas. This is an asynchronous format– you complete class assignments based on scheduled due dates and times. Tests may be required by appointment in the Testing Center.
Hybrid (section number -65): Hybrid classes meet in person, on-campus at scheduled class times at least once a week. Check course meeting details carefully: If the remaining part of the course is meeting Remote Synchronous (scheduled/remote) you will see an entry for Remote Sync with times and the room as Teams. If the remaining part is Online (unscheduled/remote) you will see only on-campus meeting times. Tests may be required by appointment in the Testing Center.
Lecture (section number -01, -02…): Lecture classes meet in person, on-campus at scheduled class times.
Laboratory: Some classes have a lab attached that may meet in a different format than the lecture portion of the class. Check course meeting details carefully: Labs meet as outlined in the schedule details (may be online, on-campus, or in Teams)
Restrictions on Distance Learning Courses
Students must have a 2.00 or higher GPA to register for distance learning courses (online or hybrid) and must be registered for class on the first day of the course.
To facilitate learning, all credit-courses use Canvas, Carroll’s Learning Management System (LMS). Canvas sites support easy access to course materials, interactions with the instructor and other students, course grades, and much more. Canvas is a different system from Student Planning, which holds official student records, allows enrolled students to register for subsequent courses, checks progress against graduation requirements, and records course final grades.
Students are automatically enrolled into Canvas course sites within 24 hours of registration. Course sites are visible to students about one week before classes begin during Preview Week. A link to the Carroll Canvas login site is located on the MyCarroll tab of the college’s website. For 24/7 Canvas assistance, please contact the Canvas Help Desk at 443-487-4439 or open a chat (sign into Canvas and click on Policies and Support on the left-side blue menu).
Successful Online Learners
Canvas course sites are open to students one week before the term officially begins to provide a course preview. Students are encouraged to preview course due dates, syllabus, and expectations to assure that the online learning format is appropriate for them.
Successful online learners:
- Are highly motivated, responsible, and self-directed.
- Have appropriate technology skills.
- Have reliable home access to the Internet and the required technology.
Prospective online learners need to consider where and when they will complete their course work and have a back-up plan in the event their technology fails.
Course activities must be completed by due-dates set by the instructor. In a typical 15-week term, students spend 7 - 15 hours per week working on a three-credit online course (11 - 18 hours for a four-credit course). More time is required when for accelerated online courses. Prospective distance learners should take the complete the interactive Online Self-Assessment at www.carrollcc.edu/Student-Services/Distance-Learning/Online-Self-Assessment/.
Technical Skill Requirements
At a minimum, online learners must be able to send and receive e-mail attachments; download and upload files; and create, save, and manage files on their computer. Instructors are prepared to help students learn the course content; however, they do not teach computer literacy skills. To enhance computer literacy skills students may take CIS 101 - Intro. to Computer Information Systems (3 credits).
Hybrid and Online learners must have access to the Internet with a computer that has the latest web-browsers and Microsoft Office products. The College provides a full Microsoft Office productivity suite, Microsoft Office 365, to students enrolled in one or more credit courses. For web-browsers compatible with Canvas visit Canvas Help pages (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Student/gh-p/student) and search “Browser”. Students should always use either the Chrome or Firefox browser for Canvas.
Note: a fully online or hybrid course cannot be successfully completed via a smartphone or the Canvas app.
For more information, see “Online Learning” (www.carrollcc.edu/Student-Services/Distance-Learning/) and “Microsoft Office 365 for Students” (www.carrollcc.edu/student-services/student-resources/microsoft-office-365-for-students/).
Maryland Online (MOL)
Carroll Community College is a member of MarylandOnline (MOL), a consortium of Maryland community and four-year institutions that offer fully online courses. The organization promotes and supports online learning through a course sharing system. Through this membership, Carroll’s students may search for, register, and pay for any course that has been adopted by the College. Grades from these courses are included in the student’s GPA and on their Carroll transcript as a Carroll course.
To learn more, speak with an academic advisor (who will contact Carroll online learning staff to see if seats are available). For a complete listing of Maryland Online courses visit www.marylandonline.org. Please note: Carroll Faculty Department Chairs must approve adoption of MOL courses if offered through participating schools.
Continuing Education through Distance Learning
Carroll’s Office of Continuing Education and Training offers a wide variety of public courses as well as customized training options for businesses that can be provided online. All that is needed is a computer with Internet access, speakers and an optional microphone. Additionally, the College can host national and regional interactive teleconferences for businesses and professionals. Many CET courses utilize Canvas for course enhancement.