Succeeding in Online and Blended Learning

Welcome to Succeeding in Online and Blended Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The resources found here will help students new to online learning to understand what is needed to succeed in an online or blended course.

Preparing to Learn

Participating

Working in Blackboard

Using the Library

Researching

 

Preparing to Learn

Entering the world of online and blended learning is an exciting experience. However, it can be a potentially confusing one. But it doesn't have to be. Many times, participants assume that the main difference between online and face-to-face learning is the technology. While it's correct to state that technology is the most apparent difference, there are several other differences as well.  

The online learning process involves three inter-related dimensions of participation. These are typically characterized as "learner-learner," "learner-instructor" and "learner-course." The successful participant engages in all three facets of learning, interacting with the instructor and peers through guided discussion threads, and interacting with materials provided through hyperlinks on the course Web site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is a list of questions that new online and blended learners often ask.

Q: How do blended and online courses differ from traditional courses?

A: Learning online is a lot like learning in a classroom. You will share ideas with experienced faculty and fellow students, write papers and work in teams. Unlike the traditional classroom, the blended course enables you to do much of your course work and collaboration from home.  

UIC blended courses integrate online learning with traditional face-to-face classroom activities in a pedagogically planned manner. A portion of the instruction (25 - 74%) is provided via the Internet.

UIC online courses enable students to complete almost all of their coursework remotely. The instruction and the interaction are done virtually.

Whether you come to campus or to your online course site, the learning goals, experienced faculty and diverse student body are the same.

Q: Am I the type of learner who will succeed in an online or blended course?Do I have the computer skills necessary to succeed? 

A:Successful online and blended learners are:

  • Willing to share their educational experiences, as well as their work and life experiences as part of the learning process
  • Comfortable communicating in writing and verbally
  • Self-motivated and self-disciplined
  • Able to balance school work with life
  • Are self-starters who enjoy the independence that the virtual class experience offers
  • Comfortable working with computers
  • Able and willing to dedicate 10 to 15 hours per week for each class’s coursework

Q: Do I have the computer skills necessary to succeed? 

A: If you have a willingness to learn and the ability to work with a computer, you are ready. Keep in mind that online and blended courses are carefully designed to teach the topic of the course, not computer basics such as saving and sending files. Your learning experience will become richer as your technical skills increase.

Q: Is my computer set up correctly? What are the technical requirements?

A: Please refer to the Technical Requirements section of the site for detailed information for your PC or Mac. Keep in mind that if your home computer does not have everything you need, you may still enjoy the flexibility of taking an online or blended course by using one of the UIC computer labs or your local library.

Q: What if I need help with my computer or set-up?

A: Technical support is available! Please refer to the Technical Support section of the site for detailed information.