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 Student Planning so that students will know this expectation before choosing to register for the class.  Students should read the additional notes for each section.  To see the additional notes students need to click on the title of the section.

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 when you are registering for a hybrid class that the meeting time listed is only a fraction of the credit hour or contact time listed and you will be expected to do a substantial amount of the learning in an online setting.  Please read the description and location of the course in Student Planning, noting the time on campus and the contact hours.  One contact hour is 55 minutes per week for a 15 week term. For example,  a 2 credit/2contact hour course on campus normally meets twice a week for 55 minutes, but a hybrid would only meet 55 minutes and the students complete the other 55 minutes online.

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 page.

What Courses and Programs are available?

Read about finding online courses and programs here. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking an Online Class

  • 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.
  • Avoid traveling in inclement weather.
  • 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 to ensure they meet class deadlines.
  • 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.