We have all been inundated recently with new terms, phrases and rules of interaction as we quarantine and slowly reintegrate activities we previously may have taken for granted. As we acclimate to the current situation and try to form new habits (remembering your mask), we also must look at our new ways of doing things with ever-changing rules often have a learning curve. Until then, we continue to figure it out as we go along. One big change has been higher education and how classes are now being delivered.
At QCC, we made the difficult decision to offer the Fall 2020 semester 100% (with a few slight exceptions) in a remote or online setting. (A decision that was made for the best interest and safety of the entire community.) Remote and online may sound the same, but they are delivered differently. In the case of remote, there are actually two versions. We understand the confusion, so let's get to the bottom of it :)
Official definitions may seem a bit dry, but we will break it down for you later. Here's the official definitions of the 3 ways you can learn "online" at QCC.
- Online: An online course is a course that is provided entirely through the institution's Learning Management System. No on-site class meetings are required.
- Remote synchronous (RS): Classes that will require specific "live" meeting times through technology tools, such as video conferencing, to facilitate student-faculty interaction. Assignments and assessments are completed according to the course syllabus. These scheduled classes may be recorded and uploaded to the learning management system for later review by students.
- Remote asynchronous (RA): Classes that will not require specific meeting times. Assignments and assessments are completed according to the course syllabus. Content delivery may include prepared videos, pre-recorded lectures, or other types of online presentation.
Did you get all of that? Here it is in very unofficial terms...
An online class is basically 'on-demand'. It's like watching a Netflix series with due dates. Go online, get your assignments and have a specified amount of time to complete and submit them. You communicate with your professor and classmates via email and online message board discussions. It's on your time, within reason. This type of class has the least amount of "human interaction" and for some people this is exactly what they want. The less zoom calls, the better. Log in, do the reading and crank out the assignments from your couch at 2 am next to your sleeping dog. Like to fly by the seat of your pants and do what you want when you want? If that's you, then online is the class type for you.
Remote Synchronous is what your kids (or kids you know) may have done when they were sent to learn from home. There are set class times in an online meeting space. We use Blackboard, which was built for education, but has "Zoom-like" meeting spaces. You can see your professor and classmates on the screen in real time. You can all talk to each other and interact, learn from a live lecture and Q&A. Often they are recorded and uploaded, so you can go back and watch them again later if you missed something when your Amazon delivery arrived. There is a syllabus, due dates, the whole 9 yards, but it's all done virtually. If you are the type of person who needs to be held accountable and stick to a schedule, this is the one for you.
Remote Asynchronous is a hybrid of the previous two. This will vary depending on the class and the professor. This type involved less reading and more prepared videos and presentations by your professor. There are assignments and due dates, but no set "meeting" times. Caught somewhere in the middle of needing structure but not wanting to fully commit? If that describes you, then remote asynchronous is your learning style.
We understand options and ways of life have changed and we wanted to make sure we have something for everyone. There is no 'one-size fits all' for your education, your life, your lifestyle, your job, your family or even your commute... or lack of. Hopefully we have covered all the bases to make QCC convenient for anyone who wants to better their life, advance their career and attend college.