Is Online Learning for me?
OL for me
How are online classes different from face-to-face, Study Unlimited, hybrid and Distance Learning classes listed in the class schedule?
These various types of distance learning are all available at Black Hawk College. Depending on your learning style preferences, your availability for campus visits, and what you want to learn, you can find each of these modalities listed in the Black Hawk College Class Schedule.
- “Distance Learning” is the term BHC uses to refer to courses that are taught live over interactive television. Many courses are taught via ITV between the Quad Cities and East campuses, as well as to area high schools where upper-division high school students take courses for college credit.
- “Study Unlimited” courses are similar to independent study…work at your own pace; take exams on campus; use video or audiotapes; and receive help from the instructor on campus or via phone.
- “Online” courses are typically more interactive between the students and the instructor, with a learning community developing between participants. They are also more often structured so that the class progresses through the content together,
- allowing more opportunities for discussion, project work, sharing of ideas, etc.
- “Hybrid” courses split time between face-to-face classes and online learning. For example, you may spend 1-2 classes per week on campus and the rest online.
It is NOT necessary to have a high level of computer proficiency, but you should have some computer experience navigating the Internet, using e-mail, and using a word-processing program. Reasonable typing speed will also be helpful, as in addition to typing assignments, you will be typing emails, postings to online discussions, etc. Need to learn to type or speed up? However, many online students say that online learning speeds up their typing considerably! If your computer skills are quite limited, you might like to brush up on the basics here or here.
Some online classes require proctored exams. Your syllabus will say so if this is the case. To take these tests, you will go to the Independent Learning Center (ILC) on the Quad Cities campus or the Learning Resource Center at the East campus. If you do not live close to either of these or cannot go to them when they are open, contact the ILC on the Quad Cities campus to explore other locations where you can meet the proctored exam requirement for your class. Many online classes do not require any campus visits. While online courses require no fixed-schedule visits to the BHC campuses or other pre-determined locations, visits to particular sites for tests, internships, interviews, labs, etc. may be required. Location and scheduling of these activities may be flexible, but the student is responsible for arranging the location suitable to course requirements. Consult the instructor or the syllabus for any of these expectations.
Taking an online class sounds easy. However, the work load is as much or more as a face-to-face class. To evaluate whether you have time in your present life to take an online class, try this time audit. Are there some things you need to give up, move around, postpone, or get help with in order to make room in your life for a college class? Tips and hints for time management and other study tips for online learning are also included in our Orientation to Online Learning.
If you do not own a computer or have Internet access at home or at work, you can still take an online course using computers in the labs at either the East or Quad Cities campuses during their open hours; however, you will be on the computer many hours each week and the labs are not open 24-hours, 7 days a week. If you are planning to take the classes from home, a high-speed Internet connection, such as a cable modem or DSL, is recommended. To check to see if your computer system is adequate for BHC online classes, see the tech specifications at OnlineTechSupport or go to http://www.bhc.edu/browsercheckup for an automated checkup.
If you want to pursue a degree, you must take college credit classes, listed in the online schedule and described in the catalog. Black Hawk College, through its Outreach Center, makes available 6-week non-college credit courses, certificate programs, and job skill training, all online. For further information, visit the Business and Community Education Center current listings of online non-credit classes.
Online courses are attractive because they enable you to determine your own learning schedule and place, since the courses are taught via the Internet rather than in a classroom. However, they are no less challenging or academically rigorous. Most students find they must spend at least as much time on their studies as they would in a face-to-face class to be successful. Typically, that means 8-12 hours per week for an undergraduate, 3-credit course. Consider taking a self-assessment to determine if you are ready for online learning.
Online courses are highly structured and involve frequent interactions with the instructor and with other students enrolled in the course. They are rarely self-paced. Communicating with the instructor and other students, accessing course materials, conducting research, and submitting assignments can all be handled from your home or office via the Internet. In fact, all of these activities are required in most online courses.
Taking Classes Online
1. Login myBlackHawk
2. Click the ‘Academics’ tab
3. Click ‘Students click here to:’
4. Click ‘Student & Financial Aid’
5. Click ‘Student Records’
6. Click ‘Final Grades’ or ‘Midterm Grades’
7. Select Term
8. Click ‘Submit’to view your grades.
E-mail your instructor! You can locate his or her e-mail address in the printed schedule book next to your course listing or from the online directory in myBlackHawk. If you don’t know who your instructor is, go to the online class schedule, search for your class, and note the listed instructor’s name there. It is important to make sure that Black Hawk College has your up-to-date contact information so that your instructors can reach you with getting-started information each term. He/she will need your BHC student e-mail address, your mailing address, and your phone number. If you provided current information recently on your college application, you should be fine. If you suspect that your information may be out-of-date, contact Enrollment Services in person or call them at 309-796-5300 or 1-800-334-1311, ext 5300 to request a change form be sent to you, as they require a signature. You may mail or fax the form back.
Prior to the start of the semester, instructors send an e-mail to your BHC e-mail address about how to get started. Most courses do not “go live” until the first day of the semester. However, some instructors request that you login a few days ahead or complete some orientation activities online. Consult the BHC e-mail you receive for specific directions that apply to your course.
To order the textbook or course packet required for your courses, you may
place your order online and have the books shipped to you. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Questions? Contact the bookstore at the Quad Cities campus at 309-796-5500 or 800-334-1311, ext. 5500. If you will be purchasing your books with Financial Aid dollars, you will be instructed by the Financial Aid office about how and when to purchase your books.
Most online classes do not require proctored exams; hence, course assignments and quizzes/tests are handled online. Some online classes may require you to take tests in the Independent Learning Center (ILC) at the QC Campus, the Testing Center at the East Campus in Kewanee, or other approved site where a proctor is near by. See the Proctor Approval Form for instructions on how to arrange for a proctored test at a site other than BHC. Your course syllabus will indicate whether proctored testing is required for one or more tests in your class.
Two course management systems (CMS) are common at BHC. Each online course uses one of them. You can access courses using Canvas through myBlackHawk in your MyCourses channel once you have registered. Most online courses at BHC use this CMS. A few classes at BHC use Course Compass or Moodle as their CMS. If your class is one of these, you may purchase an access code with your textbook or receive instructions about how to access the course directly from your instructor via email prior to the start of class.
A course management system is a software program that houses an online course. All elements of the course are included there, including the syllabus, discussion board, course materials, assignment guidelines, etc. Most classes at BHC use Canvas for its course management system.
All four-year schools have their own transfer requirements for various majors. Our advisors at BHC have researched these options. We recommend that you review your course plan with an advisor who knows your transfer plans prior to starting your degree. If you are unsure about where you plan to transfer to or what major you wish to pursue, an advisor can recommend course selections that have the greatest chance of transferring anywhere. A variety of transfer resources are available online, but are best employed in consultation with an advisor to avoid problems.
- It’s important to determine if the online degree you are considering is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. See the list of accredited colleges linked from http://www.higherlearningcommission.org
- Online student support services vary greatly from school to school. For example, does the school you’re considering provide online tutoring, advising, Library assistance, and other online support services for students?
- It’s important the online degree you’re considering focus on the same learning outcomes that it claims for its traditional, face-to-face degree. Although the learning method might differ, you want to make sure that you are going to acquire an equivalent body of knowledge during your online experience.
Can I apply credit hours that I have already earned to this online degree, if they were not online classes?
If your courses were earned at a regionally accredited institution and meet the requirements of the online degree you select at BHC, you can apply them to the degree, even if the credits were not earned online. To determine if they meet the requirements, contact the college where you took the classes to have your transcript sent to :
BHC Enrollment Services
6600 34th Ave
Moline, IL 61265
Then, request that BHC staff evaluate your transcript by completing this online form: Transcript Evaluation Request. There are also various options for securing non-traditional credit toward your online degree.
The AA and AS degrees require 64 credit hours. The length of time it takes to complete the degree depends upon how many credit hours you plan to take each semester, whether you plan to take classes in the summer, how much prior course work you transfer in, etc. To plan the most efficient schedule that meets your needs, contact a BHC advisor. If you plan to attend full time, you might find this Sample 2 Year Course plan useful.
All AA and AS degree requirements can be completed online. BHC currently offers close to 100 courses online, with more being added regularly. Online courses not yet available in some academic programs can be taken on campus or online through BHC’s partner community colleges. Contact an advisor for information about locating these classes online.
You can earn the Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree entirely online, except for Speech 101. In order for Speech 101 to transfer to a four-year college in Illinois, students are required to deliver at least three speeches in a live performance before their instructor and class (Illinois Articulation Initiative). General education requirements for the AA and AS degree are the same. Course work is usually chosen based on what four-year college or university you plan to transfer to and which major you want to pursue. For example, if you are interested in science-oriented curricula or pre-professional programs, the AS degree may be appropriate for you. Selection of the AA or AS degree should be made in consultation with a BHC advisor.
While in myBlackHawk, why doesn’t the course link in the “Course studio activity channel” take me to Canvas?
The Course Studio area is a different area. Please use the log-in link in the Canvas channel.
When I’m in myBlackHawk, the Academics tab, My Courses channel, why doesn’t Canvas open when I click on my course?
Your instructor has the ability to switch between an called Luminis Platform to Canvas. Please contact your instructor.
A lot of students confuse the mybh e-mail with the actual canvas Inbox system, they work separately however you will get notified of all e-mail communication in your mybh e-mail account.
It might be that your instructor has not published the course or the class has not started. Another reason might be that you were withdrawn from the course. Please contact your instructor.
Recommended browsers are Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Do NOT use Internet Explorer with Canvas. It does not always function correctly with Canvas and may interfere with your ability to complete course activities/assignments.
We have also seen browser add-ons and extensions used with recommended browsers interfere as well. If you have problems using one of the recommended browsers, you may want to try a different recommended browser or disable any add-ons or extensions that might be installed in your browser.
If you searched for myblackhawk.bhc.edu, a result may have directed you to learn.bhc.edu which is the login URL for Canvas not myBlackHawk. Be sure the URL is myblackhawk.bhc.edu.