About Distance Education

What is an “Online Class”?

At Muskegon Community College, an online class is defined as “a class where there is no scheduled seat time and where both teaching and learning take place over the Internet.”   Although it is defined as 100% virtual, some instructors do require proctored on-campus testing. If proctored testing is required it will be noted in Web Advisor so that students will know this expectation before choosing to register for the class.

What is a “Hybrid Class”?

At Muskegon Community College, a hybrid class is defined as “a class where part of the class is conducted on campus and part of the class is conducted online.”   In most cases, the ratio is 50/50.   It is important to know if you are registering for a hybrid class format.  Please read the description and location of the course in Web Advisor.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is Muskegon Community College’s learning management system.   It is an online system where instructors maintain online and hybrid courses.  Students use Blackboard on a regular basis to access their online and hybrid courses.  Many instructors of traditional (also referred to as “face-to-face”) courses also utilize Blackboard for posting of syllabi, posting of grades, and for other class information.  All students have access to their Blackboard courses through their MyMCC portal page.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking an Online Class

Advantages:
  • They are convenient; within established due dates for a course, work at your own pace and on your schedule.
  • Flexibility–You can devote time to your family.
  • Online classes can be fun!
  • Acquire computer skills that can enhance any portfolio or resume.
  • Save on fuel.
Disadvantages:
  • There is no regular face-to-face interaction with the instructor or other students.
  • Online learning takes real self discipline. Students must set their own schedule.
  • Learning and communication is often asynchronous. There are no guaranteed immediate answers to questions.
  • Students need to have good computer skills and troubleshoot technical problems.
  • On-campus testing may be required.

Distance Education Course Evaluation Rubric

Muskegon Community College Distance Education Advisory Committee evaluates all new online and hybrid courses, as well as existing courses for which a new instructor is assigned. This rubric was adapted from the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric.