The Online Learning Experience
Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) is one of North Carolina’s leaders in providing individual online courses, as well as fully-online degree programs available though VOLT. Our students are afforded the opportunity to complete course work in a way that meets today’s demanding schedules and fulfills the educational requirements of this challenging economy. For many students, our degrees are the first step to a four-year college or university degree.
While online courses offer convenience, they are fully as comprehensive as seated courses and create unique challenges for students and their families. Self-motivation, the ability to follow instructions, and basic computer skills are crucial for the successful distance learner.
At VGCC, we strive to provide the highest quality instruction for all students, traditional and online. Through responsive support services, we insure that our online learners have all the tools needed to meet their educational goals and build a brighter future.
Online Courses Options at VGCC
The path to a college degree may be different for each student. Some students may want to take all of their classes in the traditional classroom, some may want to be fully online, and others may want a combination of the two. Regardless of which path may be right for you, VGCC can meet your needs with course options to fit your goals and objectives.
An online component is incorporated into each of VGCC’s traditional classrooms offering you the opportunity to experience online learning while having the support of a face-to-face instructor. Participating in these classes provides you the chance to see how online courses may fit into your future college experience.
For students needing flexibility in their schedules a blend of traditional classes and online classes may work best. Taking some courses online may mean you can work from the comfort of your own home as needed, while still allowing you the opportunity to take some courses on campus. Flexibility, combined with the resources offered on campus could make this a good option for you.
To locate course offerings at VGCC visit WebAdvisor and meet with your advisor to schedule your classes.
What to Expect in the Online Classroom
As an online student, you will interact with faculty and students from diverse backgrounds and cultures just as you would in the face to face classroom. To promote student engagement in the online classroom technologies such as forums, webinars, chat rooms, messages, and emails are used to interact with faculty and peers.
VGCC courses are asynchronous — meaning you don't have to attend online classes at a specific time although some instructors may offer class webinars that are scheduled at a set meeting time. There are also required assignment deadlines. Each course is outlined in a syllabus located in the “Instructors Course Overview” on your course’s main page. This document provides instructor information along with course description, units and methods of instruction, grading strategy, attendance policy and the course learning outcomes. You'll complete weekly assignments, readings, discussions, and occasional group work, as well as exams and other activities designed to enhance the learning experience. Online learning offers you the flexibility to study at the times most convenient to your schedule. You should plan to spend 6 to 9 hours total study time per week per course to enhance educational success.
What does Online Learning Cost
There is no fee charged to students enrolled in distance education courses for the verification of identity.
Are You Ready For Online Learning
Online classes require a distinctive set of skills that differ from those used in a face-to-face classroom. Before signing up for an online class you need to know and understand the needed skills and commitment that are vital to your online success.
What makes a successful online student?
The responsibility to become a successful online student is greater than it is in a face-to-face class. To be successful in online classes you need to have the following characteristics:
- Self-Motivation: You will need to log-in daily to your online classes to find information about assignments and to ask for help when needed.
- Self-disciplined: Even though online classes are flexible and have no set meeting times, you will have weekly due dates. You need to be able to meet these due dates and not get behind.
- Time Management: Some falsely believe online classes do not take up as much study time as traditional face-to-face classes. The truth is, online classes take up just as much, if not more, time than face-to-face classes. You will need to dedicate at least 6-9 hours a week for each 3 credit hour class (e.g., if you are taking 12 credit hours, you will need to spend 72-108 hours per week of study time).
- Excellent Reading & Writing skills: With online classes your learning is done independently and much of what is learned is through assigned readings and writings. Online classes usually require more reading and writing than face-to-face classes.
- Good Computer Skills: You must be able to send and receive e-mails, know how to send an e-mail with an attachment, navigate web pages, and use computer software such as a word processing program.
- Reliable Computer: you must have access to a computer that meets all the technical requirements and has dependable Internet access
To help you decide if online learning is right for you evaluate your online readiness by completing the Readiness Assessment, which will help measure how prepared you are for online learning.
Based on the outcome of your assessment choose the online environment that best suits your abilities from the class options on the page Guide to Course Names & Numbers.
Steps to Enroll in an Online Class
New & Returning Students
- Before you can take an online course, you must follow VGCC’s admissions, testing, and registration process. To begin this process go to VGCC Office of Admissions/Records
- Once you have completed step one, you will go to WebAdvisor to set up your VanguardID (also known as your Webadvisor username and password.). Your VanguardID will also be your email and Moodle username and password. We have created an Introduction to myVGCC and WebAdvisor YouTube video to help demonstrate how to get your VanguardID.
- Log into Moodle and complete the VGCC Student Introduction – Moodle Orientation to help you prepare for online course work. Students are encouraged to complete this orientation prior to taking an online course. The orientation is designed to help familiarize you with VGCC’s Moodle course navigation and tools. This orientation is free and there is no “Pass or Fail.” We just want to make sure that you are prepared for your online courses and to ensure your success in meeting your academic goals.
- To access your online classes, log into Moodle on your course start date. Your class will not be available in Moodle until the start date of your course! To find the start date, log into WebAdvisor and click on the link for “My Class Schedule”, select the correct term. The course start date should be under the course description.
To help you prepare for online course work, we offer the VGCC Student Introduction – Moodle Orientation (UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Students are encouraged to complete this orientation prior to taking an online course. The orientation is designed to help familiarize you with VGCC’s Moodle course navigation and tools. This orientation is free and there is no “Pass or Fail.” We just want to make sure that you are prepared for your online courses and to ensure your success in meeting your academic goals.
How to Locate Online Courses
Vance-Granville Community College offers many online courses each semester. To locate a course that you want to take go to WebAdvisor, select Prospective Students, Curriculum Course Schedules, then you will choose the Term (example Fall Semester 20**), under Location, choose WEB (Online Courses), and Submit. You will see a list of the courses being offered for the semester you selected. If you have already applied and been accepted to Vance-Granville Community College then contact your advisor to register for the course.