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Saying Goodbye to Blackboard – Part III: Missing Essentials

The hardest part about doing away with the standard LMS is replacing the essentials like gradebook, quizzing, and assignment dropbox. The assignment dropbox feature is used to collect assignments from students. I’ve tried using email for this in the past, but I’m not organized enough or consistently organized enough to make that work. Besides I’m a stickler about submitting assignments on time, and if your email inbox is your dropbox, you can’t simply turn that off or lock it down when the due date has passed. So I had to come up with a solution for this, as well as a gradebook and quizzing function.

Increasingly book publishers are replacing standard LMS services with new companion sites that come packaged with textbooks. Last year we adopted both the McGraw-Hill Guide with Connect Composition Plus and Cengage’s A College Writer with Enhanced InSite. Both offer online textbooks and companion sites that provide lots of resources for both faculty and students. I chose to use the McGraw-Hill text with Connect Composition Plus.

Connect Composition Plus provides comprehensive, reliable writing and research content that is searchable, assignable, and inviting. It includes a fully integrated eBook with exercises, peer review tools and editing skills diagnostic tests.

With this new tool, it’s easy for me to assign custom assignments for students that provide detailed instructions and then gives the students a place to submit the assignment. Connect Composition, as well as Enhanced Insite, have built in grading features. I can quickly annotate student assignments and post grades for students to see.There are also features in both that allow for students to peer review essays.

This is a great setup as it gives me one place for all submitted work, and one place to go to grade submitted work. I can create as many assignments as I want and set due dates. The down side is that their is no internal gradebook attached. There is a gradebook, but you can’t add outside assignments or exclude ebook assignments or grammar exercises you might assign students for extra practice. Basically you don’t have any control over the gradebook – weighting grades and assigning point value. Everything is just graded on a 100% scale. Ultimately I would like to see a gradebook built into this system, but in the mean time, I’ve decided to use Engrade for my gradebook.

Engrade is a free set of web-based tools for educators allowing them to manage their classes online while providing students with 24/7 real-time online access. It’s private, secure, truly free, and unbelievably easy to use.

It was very easy to set up all of my classes in Engrade. I just created rosters with the FirstName LastName IDNumber (MEIDs for Maricopa) and Engrade creates an access code for each student. I just emailed this access code with instructions to all students along with instructions on how to access their grades.

Engrade just recently added a feature that allows you to create quizzes, although it is a bit limiting at the moment. You can only create multiple choice quizzes. That doesn’t work for me, so I’m using for my quizzing needs.

The ClassMarker online testing website is a professional, easy to use, online quiz maker that marks your tests and quizzes for you.

ClassMarker has educational pricing at $24 for the year and I’m able to create quizzes with different types of questions, including fill in the blank and essay – my favorites. It keeps track of all the scores and I can provide feedback on the quizzes. Initially I wanted to use ClassMarker because they have an external quiz feature that allows you to embed quizzes into your site. I couldn’t figure out how to make that work, but that is ultimately what I want to see on my WordPress site, quizzes embedded directly into the site.

So those are the three essentials that I had to replace when I made the move from Blackboard to WordPress. I’ll discuss more about the social aspect of WordPress over Blackboard in my next post.

Saying Goodbye to Blackboard Part II – Student Blogs & Privacy

In my first post I explained how I am using WordPress as a course management system, and in this post I will explain how I was able to easily add students to the class and set up their blogs. Keep in mind that my new course network is completely private, so only registered users can see who users are and participate in activities. To achieve this privacy, I installed a plug-in called Private WordPress. “Private WP will make sure people can only read your blog after they log in. Already logged in users will see no difference. Users who are logged out will get the login page, and only that.” I like to keep my options open, so although we are completely private, I still set up the students so they can have an option to use an alias.

First I added every student as a user to the main “hub” blog using their MEID and their Maricopa email address. This information is easily accessible in both Blackboard and SIS so I can do this before the semester begins. After I add them to the network, students are sent an email with log in instructions and a password to access the site. When they log-in they are instructed to edit their profiles to add their real name and a photo. At this point they can choose to display their first name only, first and last name or just their MEID. They can also use a chosen alias instead of their real names if they want. Students cannot change the initial username given (MEID), so no matter what they provide for their names, I can always identify them on the back end by the MEID. So far, all of my students have chosen to use their real names or stick with the MEID as the display name.

Next I create a blog or site for each user. You are given the choice between sub-domains or sub-directories in Step 4: Installing a Network. This means each additional site in your network will be created as a new virtual subdomain or subdirectory.

  • Sub-domains — like and
  • Sub-directories — like and

I wanted to try them both, so ENG101 uses sub-domains and ENG102 and ENH295 both use sub-directories. I think I like sub-directories better so. To add a site I need a site name, site title and an admin email. For the site name I used MEIDs again because they will be easily identifiable by me, and if students neglect to make their site private, they are not automatically identifiable to the world. For site title I use the student’s first name temporarily, and then I add their Maricopa email for the admin email. Once I add the site, students are sent another email with log in instructions. They are then instructed to either leave their blogs public or make them private by using the same plug-in I used on the main site. If they choose to go private, I instruct them to choose the option to “Allow all feed access – Guests may continue read your blog via feed readers. “ This is essentially the same option we would have in Blackboard if our district had the balls to turn it on. The blogs are not accessible by search engines, and you have to have the feed url in order to see the posts. So it’s still private, but I can still access it via a feed reader. This makes me very happy. 🙂

Students are also instructed that they can change the title of their blog to whatever they want, thus removing their names. So they can change Mary’s blog (default) to MJ’s Hangout if they want. I don’t really need to have their name in the title because when I set up the blogs initially I created a blogroll for each class using their real name and subscribed to each blog using the real name. This blogroll list is only viewable by logged in users from the main site, and my Google Reader list is private as well. When I want to grade Mary’s blog, I either click on her real name or visit my GReader. And if I ever get confused I can just look at the URL: (fake) and the MEID on the end will identify the student. My initial impression is that either students don’t care about privacy or they’re too confused to care. Not one student has changed the name of their blog, and I haven’t check to see if any have gone private. I’ll do that soon.

Blogroll at the bottom of the main course site.

Students have most of the same controls over their blogs that I have over mine. When I add and install plug-ins to the main blog, I have the option to activate site wide meaning students will now have access to the plug-in on their site. I can even control what themes are available to students, so if I want for their blogs to all look the same, I could just provide the one option. Or in the future I like to create a custom theme built just for writing portfolios for my ENG101 class. I could have all the pages prebuilt to make it easier for students. It can be a little confusing at first for students because they have two sites, the main class site (hub) and their own blog. When they click from the main site to go the dashboard, they end up first in the main site’s dashboard and there is not much there. They have to then click on the My Sites to see their blog and to be able to get to that dashboard.

Students cannot add themes or plug-ins to their site on their own. They can only activate themes or plug-ins that you have activated sitewide. The only problem that I can see so far is with the spam filter Akismet. I activated it sitewide so that all the student blogs could be protected, but it prompts all students to add their API key that you get by signing up for I didn’t want to have students go through all of that, so at the moment all their blogs are exposed to spam. I like how the Private WordPress plug-in reminds students to activate privacy on their blog in case they missed my instructions to do so.

Overall, I’m pleased with how it’s all working out. I created lots of screencasts to help students, and I haven’t had too many questions about how to do things. I haven’t had too many complaints yet either. Only time will tell. In my next post I’ll talk more about how I’m collecting assignments and doling out quizzes and grades.



Alisa returned full-time as an English professor at Glendale Community College in fall 2019, where she teaches hybrid and online freshman composition, journalism and literature courses. She previously served a 4 year term as the Faculty Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Engagement from Fall of 2014 to Spring 2018 where she collaborated, coordinated, and strategized with the Instructional Designer, CTLE staff, eCourses faculty lead, Faculty Developers and served as the liaison with academic departments and other divisions/areas across the college.

Alisa spent 2018-2019 on a year-long sabbatical to learn more about “Supporting Data-Driven Decision Making With Educational Data Analytics Technologies.” A vital aspect of data driven decision making is Data Literacy for Teachers, which was the primary goal of her sabbatical, to empower herself to use data in the decision-making process, so that she could help support data driven decision-making at GCC using education data analytics technologies.

Previously Alisa served on a district committee where she helped guide leadership in open educational resources. Alisa served as co-chair for the Maricopa Millions Steering team, an OER district project where the goal was to save Maricopa Community College students $5 Million over 5 Years by radically decreasing student costs by offering low cost or no cost options for course materials. She served as an assistant chair/eCourses coordinator for the English Department, and still works with faculty to create and/or improve their online/hybrid courses. She also served as eCourses Faculty Lead for the college and headed the campus eCourses committee. She completed a research project on discussion tools in online/hybrid courses as a MIL Fellow (2012-13). And she briefly served as interim instructional technologist for the Title V grant at PC working with faculty to develop hybrid and online course modules. She also served as the chair of the CTLE Advisory committee.

In addition, Alisa previously worked as an advisor for the ELI 7 Things publication and still conducts webinars and in-person workshops on Online and Blended Course Design, Engaging Students in the Online Environment, and Anti-Racist Pedagogy for national organizations. She is a Quality Matters certified master reviewer and conducts QM reviews on hybrid and online courses in the district. She worked on a district learning grant that helped online and hybrid instructors infuse Challenged Based Learning modules into the freshman composition curriculum. In addition, Alisa worked previously with the National Center for Teacher Education (NCTE) as a technology trainer on two grants: The Achieving Technological Literacy in Arizona for Students and Teachers (ATLAST) and Student and Teacher Technology Transformation Teams (ST4).

This is Alisa’s 33rd year teaching. She taught 2 years at Deer Valley HS in Phoenix, 2 years at Westwood HS in Mesa, AZ, and 4 years at Central Arizona College before moving up to the Maricopa District. Alisa started at South Mountain CC in 1998, where she taught for 11 years, and she transferred to Glendale CC in 2009. Before starting her teaching career, she studied mass communications at Phoenix College. Later she changed her major and location and earned a B.A. degree in English Literature from California State University, Bakersfield in 1989, and a M.Ed. degree in English Secondary Education from Northern Arizona University in 1993.

In 2004-2005 Alisa took her first sabbatical to finish up her doctoral dissertation on the effects of hybrid courses on retention and student satisfaction. She finished her doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Education at Nova Southeastern University in 2006. She now enjoys teaching using a plethora of new technology tools, as well as training faculty how to use audio, video and other technology tools in the classroom.

Work Experience

English Professor, Glendale Community College

August 2009 – Present

At GCC, Alisa teaches online and hybrid freshman composition, journalism, and literature courses. She currently teaches Freshman Composition I & II online in the 8-week and 12-week format, JRN203: Writing for Online Media online, and ENH114: African American literature online. This year Alisa is serving on the Strategic Plan Design Team, Learning Communities Committee, and Writing Center for service and committee assignments. Alisa continues to help faculty convert traditional courses to blended and online environments.

Faculty Director, Center for Teaching, Learning & Engagement, Glendale Community College

2014 – 2018 (4 years)

As Director of the CTLE at GCC, Alisa helps to plan and coordinate with her staff all the professional development for faculty and staff. She also works closely with CTL directors and MCLI in the district to provide uniform FPG for all. Her specialty is in teaching with technology, development of online and hybrid courses, and she loves to help faculty integrate new learning technologies into their courses.

Interim Instructional Technologist for Title V Grant, Phoenix College

October 2009-June 2010

Alisa served as interim instructional technologist for the Title V grant at PC where she designed a semester-long training program: The Title V Mini-Grant Faculty Learning Cohort (Beta Bootcamp). The cohort consisted of a group of faculty from math, biology, chemistry, English, reading, and library science. The goal of the cohort was to learn theory and practice behind implementing technology into the classroom using a variety of different technologies.

English Professor, South Mountain Community Colleges

August 1998 – August 2009 (11 years)

As an English professor at South Mountain Community College, Alisa designed and taught all of the college’s hybrid and online freshman composition courses. Alisa served on a district committee, Ocotillo, a faculty-driven catalyst for addressing technology and learning at the Maricopa Community Colleges. She was one of 5 faculty assigned to conduct research on hybrid/blended courses and then later podcasting. Alisa served as podcasting specialist for the district providing a series of podcasting and vodcasting workshops throughout the year for the Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI). Alisa’s interest in technology drove her to complete her doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2005. She also served as co-chair for the Instructional Technology Leadership Council (iTLC) at the district and co-chair of the College Technology Committee on her own campus.

English Professor, Central Arizona College

August 1994 – May 1998 (4 years)

Taught freshman composition and literature courses and coached cross country and track. Designed and taught the college’s first online ENG101 freshman composition course, and was involved in teaching one of the first learning communities at the college.

English Teacher, Westwood HS, Mesa Public Schools

August 1992 – May 1994 (2 years)

Taught high school English, Mythology and coached cross country, track, and JV girls’ basketball.

English Teacher, Deer Valley HS, Deer Valley Unified School District

August 1990 – May 1992 (2 years)

Taught high school English, regular and honors freshmen, and coached cross country and track. Was Jr class sponsor (Prom) and Multi-cultural club sponsor.


Nova Southeastern University

Ed.D. Instructional Technology & Distance Ed, 2001 – 2006

Northern Arizona University

M.Ed., English Education, 1991 – 1993

California State University Bakersfield

B.A., English Literature, 1986 – 1988


Cooper, A., Chew, S., & Houston, A. (2020). Anti-Racist Discussion Pedagogy. Presented by Packback. Retrieved Steptember 3, 2020, from

Cooper, A. (Fall 2012). What Role Will Traditional eReaders Play in the Future of Education? New Media Composition in Community Colleges. Computers and Composition Online. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from

Podcasts & Videos

Bayne, G. (Producer) (2013, Aug. 8). ELI Podcast: Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). In ELI Podcast. Retrieved from

Cooper, A. (2013, Feb. 1) “What I Wish I Knew before I Started Teaching Online: How to be an Effective Online Teacher.” SCC Tech Talks 2013 Online video. YouTube. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.

Cooper, A. (December 15, 2009). Keynote: Student Engagement for the 21st Century Learner. Yavapai College Winter Institute. Prescott, AZ.


Cooper, A., Chew, S., & Houston, A. (Mar 1, 2021) Everyday Radical Acts: Cultivating an AntiRacist Approach to Pedagogy. Virtual Innovations Conference. League for Innovation.

Cooper, A. (Jan 22, 2021) Integrating Antiracist Pedagogy into Your Classroom. OFAR Monthly Webinar. CCOER Comunity College Consortium for OER.

Cooper, A. (Sept. 11, 2020) Anti-Racist Pedagogy in the Composition Classroom. Professional Development Webinars for English Instructors. McGraw-Hill Education.

Cooper, A. & Young, L. (2017, May 29) Saving Students Millions With Open Educational Resources (OER). NISOD 2017. Austin, TX.

Cooper, A. & Young, L. (2016, Nov. 2) The Village People: Creating Infrastructure for OER Degree. 13th Annual OpenEd Conference. Richmond, VA.

Cooper, A., Menon, R. & Nielson, C. (2016, Oct. 14). Developing Digital Learning Materials to Better Engage Students in the Online Composition Classroom. TYCA West Conference. Las Vegas, NV.

Cooper, A., Rodrigo R. & Slovak, A. (2016, July 16) Online Writing Programs, more responsibilities for WPAs. Council of Writing Program Administrators 2016 Conference. Raleigh, NC.

Cooper, A. (2015, October 22) Maricopa Millions Project: Past, Present & Future. AAAA/AOAC/ASAA Conference. Laughlin, NV.

Cooper, A., Hamilton Taylor, A. & Twyford, D. (2015, March 25-27). Building an Engaging Online and Blended Faculty Development Plan. Academic Impressions. New Orleans, LA.

Cooper, A., Eyres, B., Jacobus, H. & Romirowsky, K. (2015, March 18). Ethical Issues for Beginning Researchers. Conference on College Composition and Communication. Tampa, FL.

Cooper, A. & Goodman, S. (2013, October 11) Make Peer Review More Relevant and Engaging by Doing It Online and Adding Asynchronous Discussion. TYCAWest Conference. Las Vegas, NV.

Baldridge, S. & Cooper, A. (2013, May 21) “Creating Experiential Learning Using Social Media.” Academic Impressions. (Online Webcast)

Cooper, A. (2013, March 28) “Student Engagement in a Changing World.” DFC Keynote. Southeast Community College. Lincoln, NE.

Cooper, A. (2013, January 17). Institutional Readiness for Implementing Blended Learning. Academic Impressions. (Online Webcast)

Cooper, A. & McGee, P. (2012, October-November). Making the Shift from Classroom to Online Course Design (Four Part Series). Academic Impressions. (Online Webinars)

Cooper, A. (2012, October). The Not-So-Distant Education – Blended Comp Courses that Rock! TYCA-West Annual Conference. Salt Lake Community College. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Cooper, A. & McGee, P. (July30-August 1, 2012). Blended Learning: Effective Instruction and Engagement Conference. Academic Impressions. Atlanta, GA.

Cooper, A. & Diaz, V. (March-April 2012). Blended Learning Program for Fairleigh Dickinson College (Webinars/F2F). Teaneck, NJ.

Cooper, A. & Glascoe, S. (March 2012). Software Tools for Managing Your Teaching Life. FEA State Conference. Grand Canyon University. Phoenix, AZ.

Cooper, A. (February 2012). Using Cloud-Based Technology for Learning and Engagement. Academic Impressions. (Webcast)

Cooper, A. & Young, L. (May & November 2011). Using Social Media for Teaching and Learning.  Academic Impressions. (Webcast)

Cooper, A., Diaz, V. & McGee, P. (July 2011). Best Practices in Blended Course Design. Academic Impressions. San Diego, CA.

Cooper, A. (June 2011). The Great Escape from LMS Lockdown. NMC Summer Conference. Madison, WI.

Cooper, A., Freeman, J. & McGee, P. (August 2010). Online Course Design. Academic Impressions. Denver, CO.

Cooper, A. & Young, L. (July 2010). Never Say Never: Saying “Yes” to Mobile Devices in the Classroom. Sloan-C Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium. San Jose, CA.

Cooper, A. (April 2010). Best Practices to Engage Students Online: Three Valuable Tools. 2010 Adjunct Faculty Association Spring Conference. Tempe, AZ.

Cooper, A & Rodrigo, R. (June 17, 2009). Teaching in the Wild Wild Web: Web 2.0 Technologies and Student Centered Learning. Sloan C International Symposium Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning. San Francisco, CA.

Cooper, A., Diaz, V., Freeman, J. & McGee, P. (December 2008). Online Course Design. Academic Impressions. Denver, CO.

Barrow, T., Cooper, A., & Rodrigo, R. (November 2008). Web 2.0 in Education. PodcampAZ, Tempe, AZ.

Cooper, A. (October 2008). Multimedia infused freshman comp. TYCA-West Annual Conference: Reaching Across Communities: Service in and out of the Classroom, Clarkdale, AZ.

Cooper, A. (May 2008). Using Web2.0 to harness collective intelligence and build community among students. 2008 Teaching & Learning with Technology Conference, Mesa Community College, AZ.

Cooper, A. & Diaz, V. (May 2008). Building community in online/hybrid courses through Web 2.0 tools. Sloan-C International Symposium: Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning, Carefree, AZ.

Cooper, A., Diaz, V., Hebert, C. & MacPherson, A. (January 2008). Your 2.0 Life: Models and methods to meet learners’ needs in a technological age. Educause Learning Imitative (ELI) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Cooper, A. & MacPherson, A. (March 2007). Using Web2.0 to harness collective intelligence and build community among students. 12th Annual TechEd, Ontario, CA.

Educause 2008 was Depressing

No, don’t get me wrong. Educause is a great conference and definitely worth while to fly across the country to sit in on some amazing conference sessions. But when I start thinking about going back to my campus and never having the possibility to experience any of the great tech tools I learned about, I get depressed. We don’t even have any IT leaders from our campus that even come to Educause, so I ended up hanging out with all the other IT, VP’s, faculty and instructional designers from our sister colleges. What a treat that was as well. I get so jazzed hearing about all the cool things they are doing on their campuses.

I saw an amazing presentation this morning from some guys at Drexel University talking about a lecture capture solution they implemented on their campus:

Increasingly, colleges and universities are adopting lecture capture solutions to increase student satisfaction and learning. Join Drexel University’s innovative team and other universities for an in-depth panel discussion focusing on how these institutions have implemented TechSmith’s Camtasia Relay to integrate lecture capture into their existing infrastructures simply, quickly, and affordably.

It was amazing to see what they were able to do with Camtasia Relay in such a short period of time and even before the product was released out of beta. It was that easy. What was most amazing to me is that it was the IT guys and the instructional designer who came up with this solution and made it happen for the college. Sigh. Why can’t we do things like that?

Our IT department and instructional designer are all caught up in doing other stuff to be able to come up with technology solutions for teaching & learning issues on our campus. I’ve been there 10 years and I don’t think I’ve ever been asked what I need to help me teach my students better. Why is that? Is it not important because too few of our faculty will utilize it? or is it because only a small number of students will be impacted by the technology initially? Who knows, but it doesn’t sound much like forward thinking to me.

Another session I sat in on this morning was Thinking Outside the Virtual Classroom presented by Shannon Ritter, Social Networks Adviser, Penn State World Campus, The Pennsylvania State University.

Educating our students is certainly our priority, but how can we connect learners to each other in a way that provides more opportunities for personal growth, networking, and connections? By taking advantage of virtual spaces like Facebook, Twitter, and Second Life, we give our students space to learn outside the classroom.

This was a great presentation. Ritter talked about how students in online distance programs are missing out on the college experience and have no real connection to the college because those students don’t get the same interactions with their peers like the on campus students do. Many aren’t learning together, and they don’t have a sense of belonging. So the Penn State World Campus created orientation videos to help give students a sense of belonging. They also use Second Life, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter to help building a sense of community.

This is the same idea behind my decision to use a social network to teach my freshman composition courses in. The network has some of the same features Ritter talks about embedded in the site, like videos, photos, walls, and updates. And the whole idea is to help students feel more connected to their peers, the instructor and the class.

Those were just two of the many ideas I experienced this week at Educause. Surprisingly some of the most valuable information was obtained just from hanging out with peers from the Maricopa district and my Twitter friends from across the country. That community we build is very valuable for sharing experiences and expertise in a wide variety of areas, and their willingness to help each other is refreshing. It would be really nice to have that kind of community on my own campus, a group of like minded faculty who like to come together and share ideas about education and technology. Some day, right?

Check out the live simulcasts from the conference:

Live Simulcasts

Those unable to attend the EDUCAUSE 2008 Annual Conference are invited to watch General, Featured, and Point/Counterpoint Sessions virtually in live simulcasts sponsored by Sonic Foundry, an EDUCAUSE Silver Partner. Watch and ask questions at the Featured and Point/Counterpoint sessions.

Get ready to watch the videos by reading the Mediasite System Requirements and Mediasite Player Tutorial.

Are Online Classes Right for You?

If you have registered for ENG101 or ENG102 Online, you have come to the correct place. These sections of ENG101 and ENG102 are taught completely online, and we will be using Blackboard as the course management system. To participate in this class, you will need to successfully log-in to Blackboard and learn to use the system.

If you already know your Blackboard Username (MEID) and Password, log in to Bb and complete the course orientation in the START HERE tab. If you don’t know your MEID, visit and choose the option: Forgot Your MEID? If it’s not your first visit, and you know your MEID but you’ve simply forgotten your password, you can look up your password if you have forgotten it, by choosing: Forgot Your Password?

Class begins January 19th for the Spring 2010 Semester. The Blackboad site will be available by the 11th. You must enter Blackboard and begin the class by Wednesday, January 20th or you will be dropped for no show.

When you enter Blackboard, read the current Announcements and complete all the orientation activities. (If you need help navigating around Blackboard, watch any of the first six orientation video clips:

If you have any questions, call or email Dr. Cooper at email or 602-325-3259.

Distance Learning Facts

1. Distance Learning students sometimes can end up neglecting their course work because of personal or professional circumstances, unless they have compelling reasons for taking the course.

2. Some students prefer the independence of Distance Learning; others find it uncomfortable.

3. Distance Learning gives students greater freedom of scheduling, but it can require more self-discipline than on-campus classes.

4. Some people learn best by interacting with other students and instructors, but Distance Learning may not provide much opportunity for this interaction.

5. Distance Learning requires you to work from written directions without face-to-face instructions.

6. It may take as long as two or three days to get comments back by e-mail from your instructor (such as over a weekend or holiday).

7. Distance Learning requires at least as much time as on-campus courses and in many instances up to three times as much.

8. Distance Learning uses computers and other technology for teaching and communication.

9. Printed and/or online materials are the primary source of directions and information in Distance Learning.

10. Distance Learning classes often require written assignments and projects.

11. Students who have dropped a college class often don’t have the self-discipline or motivation to work independently and complete an online course.

Based on IS ELI FOR ME? by Bob Loser, Joan Trabandit, Barbara Hatheway, and Teresa Donell.

©1989, 1998, Extended Learning Institute, Northern Virginia Community College.