Distance Learning uses a digital learning environment which includes modern media and technology to create a courseroom that can replace the traditional commute to campus and face-to-face setting. Distance Learning students experience the same academic rigor to learn content and be assessed as on-campus students but with enhanced flexibility to structure their class schedules within their personal and professional lives.
Distance Learning courses include online (synchronous and asynchronous), Iowa Communications Network (ICN) courses and hybrid formats. Students enrolled in Distance Learning courses should expect a variety of instructional methods including, but not limited to, discussion boards, bookmarks, chat rooms, web resources and video. In addition to a variety of instructional and communication methods, students should expect more reading and required discussions as well as consistent use of technology. Northeast Iowa Community College uses Campus Cruiser’s online learning management system (LMS) called Xpress. Assistance for the functions and tools in Xpress can be found in video tutorials within your Xpress account and in the free TRN-100 tutorial course.
To succeed in an online course, a student should:
- Be a good reader. Online courses are reading intensive. It is important for students to be able to read at the college level. If it is determined after meeting with an advisor that reading skills are not developed enough for online learning, then the Communication through Reading and Writing course (ENG-045) at NICC can strengthen reading skills.
- Check course prerequisites. Before a student may take some courses, a specific skill level, the completion of a prior course or the approval of the dean may be required. Students must complete any required prerequisites before registering for online courses. This includes successful completion of the TRN training module prior to registration.
- Possess adequate computer literacy. Students will need to know how to perform basic email functions; search the Internet; download, upload, attach and save files; possess basic knowledge of data entry and perform word processing tasks.
- Be familiar with basic computer operations. Essential tasks include use of a keyboard and mouse for navigation, movement between windows, use of various tool bars and awareness of how to click on links and hyperlinks.