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eLEARNING at Sac State

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What is eLearning?

eLearning refers to courses in which the student and the instructor are separated by distance and interact through the assistance of computer and communication/electronic technologies. eLearning courses at Sac State are categorized by how much of the instruction is conducted using technology.

In web-assisted courses (WA), less than 20 percent of the instruction is accomplished using technology. There is often little difference between a face-to-face course and a web-assisted course. However, in web-assisted courses the syllabus and some course work may be done on SacCT, the University’s learning management system. There is no special registration and designation for web-assisted courses.

Hybrid (HY) courses substitute online or televised instruction for a number of class meetings. The number of face-to-face class meetings that are replaced by either online work or televised instruction can vary from one third to two thirds of the normally scheduled class meeting time.

Online (OL) courses use electronic forms of content and delivery for the majority of class instruction and assignments. Online courses usually meet face-to-face only for orientation and exams, however some online courses will have no face-to-face meetings at all.

For student convenience, televised courses are also separately identified (TV) as students may prefer televised rather than electronic-based instruction.  Some (TV) courses may also have electronic/Web components in addition to the televised instruction.

How can I determine if I will be a successful eLearner?

Students who enroll in online courses should be independent, self-disciplined, self-motivated learners with good study skills. Students who have good time management skills will generally do very well in this type of learning environment.

Because there is so much variation in how eLearning courses are conducted, the single most important characteristic associated with success in these courses is the ability to determine and observe the specific course requirements.

How do I know if a class is televised, hybrid, or online?

You can check http://www.csus.edu/atcs/distance/index.htm to find specific eLearning course technology profile. The eLearning courses listed on this Web site may have class notes of “4”  and/or “15”, and will have one of three designations (televised, hybrid, online).

eLearning courses with “4” class note next to them means they are available for credit over cable television. 

The “15” class note means that the course is an online course which requires internet access. Hybrid and Online courses can include significant Internet assignments. 

Another way to know if a class is an eLearning course is by logging onto the My Sac State searchable Class Schedule and selecting one of the three search options in the Online/Distance ED Courses category for the semester of interest.

How can I find out what the requirements will be for my eLearning course?

You can contact the department or the instructor to determine the exact requirements for each course. Many departments have copies of course syllabi, and instructors are available during the semester and often during breaks to provide information on courses. For all hybrid and online courses it is critical that you attend the first class or orientation session (if required), and follow all the instructor’s directions as soon as they become available.

What are the computer requirements for eLearning courses?

Not all televised courses require students to have computer skills or be able to access the Internet to complete course requirements. However, hybrid and online courses and many of the televised courses do have assignments that include Internet course content and activities, and you must have Internet access in order to enroll in these courses. If you do not subscribe to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), computer labs are available throughout the campus. These labs are open to all currently enrolled Sac State students.

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What computer skills do I need to have to take an eLearning course?

You should be familiar with the general computer environment and basic personal productivity software, and be able to use an Internet browser before you enroll in an eLearning course. If your course uses SacCT/WebCT, online tutorials and support information are available at http://www.csus.edu/webct/student/

How do I register for eLearning courses at Sac State?

You can register for elearning courses through the standard Sac State registration process. If you are not a formally admitted Sac State student, you may be able to enroll in courses through the College of Continuing Education (CCE). Call (916) 278-4433 or go to http://www.cce.csus.edu for information about CCE registration procedures.

How do I get books and materials for my eLearning courses?

Books and materials for eLearning courses are available in the Hornet Bookstore. Information regarding books for specific classes can be obtained by calling the Bookstore at (916) 278-6445. Mail order services are available when prepaying with Visa or MasterCard. Please contact the Textbook Department at the above number for details.

Do I need a SacLink account to enroll in eLearning courses?

Yes, if you don’t already have a SacLink account, you will need one in order to register for your courses. All Sac State students are eligible for personal SacLink accounts. Go to https://www.saclink.csus.edu/saclink/ for information on how to create your SacLink account. You can also call (916) 278-7337 or email helpdesk@csus.edu for further information.

How can I contact my eLearning instructor?

You can contact your instructor by phone, email, Fax, or in person. Office hours and other information required for communicating with your instructor will be presented during the first class session and will also be included on the instructor’s home page or within the SacCT course.

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What do I do on the first day of a hybrid or online course?

Follow the directions provided by your instructor and attend the first day of class if there is a room and time noted. If the course is listed TBA, go to http://www.csus.edu/atcs/distance/index.htm and check the listing of hybrid or online courses for the specific course you wish to take. You can also contact your instructor via email for more information about your specific course.

What channels are televised courses offered on?

Televised courses are offered in Sacramento County over Comcast Cable (Channel 15, 16, or 17) and SureWest Broadband (Channel 17 or 21), in West Sacramento Wave Broadband (Channel 19), in Roseville over Comcast Cable (Channel 15), in Auburn and Calaveras Counties over Volcano Vision (Channel 60). All courses may not be available on all channels, please check with your local cable service provider. Note that video streaming technology is another way for students to access televised courses even if they do not have cable access (see note below).

What happens on the first day of my televised course?

You should attend the first class session of a televised eLearning course to obtain information about the course and to meet your instructor. The classroom location is listed for the distance section with the class note of “4”. You should plan on arriving to your televised class at least 15 minutes early for the first class session in case you are sent to an overflow classroom. Instructions regarding overflow classroom policies will be given at that time.

Will my televised class be available through video streaming?

Generally, all televised courses are also video streamed. However, to view your video streaming class live on the Internet, you must have special permission from your instructor. Archived class lectures are available to any student enrolled in the class approximately two days after the live class. When viewing a live or archived lecture on the Internet you will need RealNetworks® software. Video streamed courses that use SacCT generally include details on how to obtain the software.

What happens if I miss a televised class or fail to record the class that I am accessing from cable?

While on campus, students wishing to view previously recorded classes can go to the Library Open Lab (LIB 2000) to watch archived video streamed lectures.

How do I take exams for my eLearning class?

Some courses may require that students come to campus for exams unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. Your instructor will present examination schedules and policies.

How can I get additional information about eLearning courses and programs?

You can call ATCS (Academic Technology and Creative Services) eLearning Office at (916) 278-7948 if you have questions.
Note: Because scheduling changes sometimes occur, it is best to refer to http://www.csus.edu/atcs/distance/index.htm  for the most up-to-date information.

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