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What Is an Online Classroom?

Published: August 1, 2016 | Updated: November 15, 2019

You already know what it’s like to sit in a classroom, listen to an instructor and learn in a traditional school environment. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to learn online? New things can seem scary, but the online classroom is actually easy to navigate and it could be your pathway to a new career. Here’s what you could expect:

What Can I Expect from an Online Classroom

  • Basic technology: You’ll need a reliable computer and consistent access to the internet. If you’re not a tech wizard, don’t worry. Today’s online courses come with IT support. That means before you enroll, you can make certain that you have what you need to ensure compatibility with the online classroom software. And once you’re part of the online classroom, tech help is still available to keep things running smoothly.
  • Security: You’ll undergo student identity verification and be given your own unique id and password to access your course and all the materials you’ll need to find success. Once enrolled, you’ll need to sign into the course during the first week of classes to be officially “in.” Then, you can choose a new password and customize your page and preferences.
  • Attendance: Just like on-campus programs, if you expect to pass, you need to attend class. Your attendance in online programs will be based on your participation and graded activities.
  • Online instruction: Lectures, discussions, assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests all take place online. You will be required to post to a discussion board or upload your assignment through the classroom portal. And although you might have access to a lecture at any time, you’ll still have due dates for assignments so make sure you sync your personal calendar with the course syllabus.
  • Resources: You’ll have access to a variety of online resources like a virtual library with electronic books and research databases. There are often virtual events you can attend like online computer skills training or guest lectures, and information about on-campus events you may want to attend. There are also resources for student success and career opportunities once you graduate.
  • Real people: The most important thing to remember about your online program is that there are REAL people behind them. That means you can connect with your instructor when you have questions or concerns. It means you can also get to know your fellow classmates in—and out—of your virtual classroom.

Charter College offers a wide variety of online and blended learning programs in business, health care, information technology, veterinary assistant and the trades.