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1. What is the difference between distance and e-Learning?

Distance and e-Learning mean the same thing, e-Learning is more up to date terminology. E-Learning is simply shortened for electronic learning, it is a form of education that is facilitated and supported through the use of technology - audio, web, satellite etc.

2. By what methods are e-Learning courses delivered?

E-Learning courses are delivered through:

  • Audio Conference - an e-Learning course via audio conference (by phone or other audio connection) as the dominant delivery method, often with other supporting e-Learning components.
  • Web Conference/Meeting - an e-Learning course that require attendance in online meetings during scheduled times.
  • Satellite (UATV) - an e-Learning course that is broadcasted via satellite as the dominant delivery method, often in conjunction with other e-Learning methods.
  • Online/Web - an e-Learning course via website or Internet as the primary delivery method.
  • Multimedia - an e-Learning course that uses a combination of the methods listed above.

3. What classes and programs are available through e-Learning?

UAS offers many of its courses through e-Learning. Often there will be an on-campus section as well as an e-Learning section for the same course in a given semester.

The easiest way to find out if a course is offered via e-Learning, is to check the Course Schedule. When looking through the course schedule, under the Building/Room section, if it is an e-Learning course it will have one of the following for the Building/Room. 

  • DIST
  • DIST AUDIO
  • DIST ELIVE
  • DIST SATLTE
  • DIST WEB

The course section number will also be one of the following:

  • JD#
  • KD#
  • TD# or UD#

Students who live in Juneau, Ketchikan or Sitka who are in e-Learning programs can choose to take their degree requirements on-campus if the courses are offered.

Students who live in Juneau, Ketchikan or Sitka who are in on-campus programs can choose to take e-Learning courses for some of their degree requirements as well.

View what programs are offered via e-Learning.

4. Do e-Learning courses cost more than classes held on campus?

While tuition, technology fees and book/material fees are the same for e-Learning and on-campus courses, students taking e-Learning classes are required to pay an additional fee. On-campus students pay certain campus-related fees (for example the student activity fee) that e-Learning students do not pay.

5. Is financial aid available for e-Learning classes?

Yes, in most instances if the student is admitted to a degree program. Financial aid does not fund yearlong correspondence courses. Most forms of financial aid require that the student be enrolled in at least 6 credits (half time status) to quality. Students may take classes from more than one UA campus and still be eligible for financial aid.

6. How do e-Learning courses differ from campus courses?

Although the course content remains unchanged, some students find e-Learning courses more difficult than traditional college courses. The following skills are essential for success in distance education:

  • Work and learn independently,
  • manage your time,
  • gather information from a variety of sources,
  • strong academic skills,
  • goal-oriented, and
  • the ability to commit time.
Determine if you possess these skills before attempting a distance course.

7. Can I take e-Learning courses from home?

Yes, you can take e-Learning classes from the comforts of your home as long as you have a computer with the ap

Computer Requirements

Before you begin, you must be sure you are working on a computer that has the following minimum requirements:

Windows

Mac

Windows XP or newer

Mac OS 10 or newer

Pentium III 500 MHz processor

G3 500 MHz or faster

ALL Computers

512 MB RAM

20 MB free disk space

Soundcard with speakers and microphone or headset with boom microphone

Broadband connect preferred, 56 Kbps Internet connection (minimum)

Recent version of Java installed

Connection Speed

To use Elluminate Live, broadband is preferred, or a minimum of a 56 Kbps (.056 Mbps) connection speed. To check your connection speed, use the following bandwidth meter.

8. Do I have a set meeting time that I have to log in to?

It depends on the course you are taking. Some e-Learning courses do have designated meeting times, while others do not.

Generally it will be specified in the course schedule under the meeting times, or the instructor will make note of it in the course syllabus.

9. Does e-Learning homework have due date deadlines?

E-Learning courses have homework assignment deadlines that are set by the instructor. These deadlines can vary by class, on what day of the week the homework is due. Some are always due by midnight, some are Tuesdays before class, others are due on Fridays by 5:00pm. Check the course syllabus for homework submission guidelines and deadlines.

10. How do I access Elluminate/Blackboard/Webmeeting?

Some e-Learning classes have schedule face time through an online platform. UAS currently uses Blackboard Collaborate to facilitate real-time online courses, it may also be called Elluminate or Webmeeting. This is the system you will use if your class has web meetings. You access class web meetings through UASOnline in your course homesite.
  • Log into UASOnline, click on your course, click on Web Meeting.

If you have questions about using the webmeeting tool:

  • Visit the UAS Helpdesk. There you will find many resources to help ensure you are all set for your e-Learning coursework.
  • You can always call the Helpdesk for assistance at 907-796-6400.

11. What happens if I can't log in?

It could be due to technical issues at the main campus. Power outages can affect the main server which can temporarily bring down UASOnline, preventing students from logging in to their classes, or from satellite and Elluminate classes.

For UAS updates and notices relating webmail and UASOnline, you can subscribe to the Helpdesk daily status reports which will send an update anytime there is a reported issue. You can also call the Helpdesk at 907-796-6400 for more information or any questions you may have.

12. How do I set up a proctor?

Regardless of your location, you must make arrangements with the campus that is offering your distance course to make your local testing center your proctor.  In general, you should use your local UA campus’ testing center as your proctor.  If you live in a community that does not have a UA campus, you will need to find a proctor.  A proctor can be a teacher from a local school, a librarian, a village or town official, or a clergy member.  Proctors cannot be a friend or family member and tests must be proctored at an official site (e.g., school, library, town hall). 

Once you have identified your local UA testing site or found a suitable proctor, you will need to provide the necessary information to the campus sponsoring the distance test using the appropriate link below.


For additional testing services information, refer to one of the following UAS testing sites:

UAS Juneau

UAS Sitka

UAS Ketchikan

13. Do I need a microphone or headset?

For classes that use Elluminate, you may be required to have a headset with microphone. This allows you to interact with the other students in the class as well as the instructor.

If you plan on taking numerous e-Learning courses, purchasing a quality headset would be a useful investment.

14. How much study time is required for e-Learning courses?

E-Learning courses match the on-campus versions very closely both in duration and in content. On-campus students spend 3 hours in class and 6-12 hours on the reading, studying and assignments per week for one 3 credit class.

Although some e-Learning students complete the course in fewer hours, many find they work more slowly studying on their own. Plan to spend 9 - 15 hours reading, studying and doing homework per week per 3 credit course.

15. Tips and suggestions for taking e-Learning classes?

Before the first week of class:
  • Login to the class website
  • Read the syllabus;
  • Introduce yourself on the Discussion Board;
  • Begin to review the course material
During the semester:
  • Read the assigned reading (chapter, article etc) during the week it is assigned (or ahead of time);
  • Complete practice problems/questions;
  • Do the homework/quiz;
  • Engage the faculty - ask questions through email, phone call, Discussion Board or Forum;
  • Continue to review material.
 
 

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