What is eLearning and how is it different?
eLearning refers to teaching and learning with technology. At JIBC, eLearning includes:
- Technology-enhanced classrooms
- Blended learning environments where learning takes place both face-to-face and online
- Online distance courses
- Mobile learning
Blended and online courses have the same credit value as traditional classroom courses and have the same fees. The only difference is the way you learn and the freedom you'll have!
Centre for Teaching, Learning & Innovation
CTLI collaborates with our faculty, administrators, and staff to promote the highest quality learning experiences for JIBC students. We are built upon an understanding of a relationship between the student, the instructor, the institution and its connection to the workplace and the community.
Learning doesn't occur passively. It requires the learner to work and interact with the learning materials and participate in activities. Scanning pages of text, reading the discussions and then waiting for the exam is like ordering soup and eating only the crackers. To get the full benefits, you need to become actively involved in the learning experience.
Interaction and participation means a variety of things.
- When reading, underline or highlight key passages. Some software allows you to do this online – if necessary print online text for the same purpose.
- Commit to doing all the work regardless whether it is submitted for grading or not. Doing the work will improve your grades.
- Get involved in the discussions – no need to be shy. Feel free to write out comments first before posting them.
- Don't hesitate to contact your instructor, tutor or whomever else has been designated as your contact – they're there to assist you!
- Try to log on fairly frequently – this keeps you up to date with the latest messages and other information.
- If you encounter difficulty, email or phone your advisor or instructor.
All adult learners have a wealth of experience and knowledge from which they can draw. You will find that contributions based on your own experience will be welcome.
At the same time, be prepared to have your experiences discussed and interpreted in different ways – that's the power of learning collaboratively. It forces us to stretch our minds in new ways.
A comfortable and efficient study space is important in online learning. Your computer and the area immediately surrounding it is your physical classroom, along with the virtual classroom in cyberspace.
If you're studying at home, it's important to have a good chair and desk to work at, along with a properly functioning screen and good lighting. It's hard to concentrate when you're squinting at a poorly adjusted screen with sunlight glaring off it, while teetering in an unstable chair and reading course materials off the floor beside your desk...you get the idea.
If you're studying at work you similarly need to have a proper workstation setup, along with a place to store your course materials between study sessions. Plan for this with your supervisor before the course and you'll be ready when you sign on.
If you're using other workspaces such as a learning centre, library or another community resource, sort out your bookings in advance to ensure you have access when you need it.
Take advantage of available comforts! If you're working on your course at home and enjoy listening to music while wearing sweats and your favorite slippers, go for it. No one will know except you. One nice thing about online learning is that no one is judging you by your appearance.
However, other participants may look closely at your writing, typing and general communication style! You are free to express your personality and ideas as an equal participant in the course. And you're free to control your environment to your best advantage.
Time management is essential to completing a course successfully. Some things to aim for:
- Plan for the course and consider when you will have free time for study;
- Place those study times in your personal or work calendar;
- Let those around you (family, friends, co-workers) know that you need those times for study; and
- Avoid areas that have distractions (TV, phone, busy areas at work).
It will pay to work on your writing skills. These are particularly important in online learning, as in most cases the only impressions of you people will receive is by your writing. If you have difficulty with writing clear English, you may wish to see what resources are available in your community, possibly through a community college or other continuing education program.
Another thing you can do is have someone read your materials before submission. One idea could be a "buddy system" – find someone else in your home, workgroup or study group who might be willing to look over your written work and suggest improvements in the language.
Try to maintain a positive and constructive tone in your online communications. Direct and vigorous discussions are generally welcome in any online course, and in fact, contribute to the learning experience. However, vindictive, sarcastic or other types of negative communication come across poorly in online communications and may lead to an equally hostile reaction from other participants – remember that the JIBC policy on Student Harassment also applies in the online environment.
Fortunately, an apology or clarification is usually enough to clear the air and restore a positive climate if a harsh word was inadvertently spoken.
Words viewed online can have unintended meaning. WRITING IN ALL CAPS is the online equivalent of shouting and is considered rude. One way to make your meaning clear is to use emoticons, or simple sideways faces. :)
Online manners are referred to as "netiquette". Learn more about netiquette in the JIBC Library's Learning Commons.
Last updated April 5, 2017