Skip to Content
Online Expectations

Every student enters an online classroom with certain expectations. The information below explains some of the common expectations that students and instructors have about the online learning experience.

Expectation vs Reality

It addresses some of the common questions that students have about learning online.

If you want more information about taking a class online check out our FAQS page!

Online College Office Hours

Mon - Thu: 8:30 - 6:00
Fri: 9:00 - 1:00
Sat/Sun: Closed
       (Pacific Standard Time)

Online College Contact Info

Phone: 310.287.4305
Fax: 310.287.4418

Online Learning Team

DeAnna Gossett - Distance Learning Coordinator

Ana Figueroa - Distance Learning Coordinator

Cyrus Helf - Multimedia Specialist

Hadi Dabbagh - Online Technical Support


Taking a class online


Online College - Taking a Class Online

Are you ready to get started on your future?

If you’re new to learning online, you might have certain questions such as how do I access my course? How do I contact my instructor? The tutorial below answers many of these questions and can be broken into the following categories:

The online classroom

When you walk into a classroom, sitting in one of the desks facing the board is obvious. You wait until the instructor arrives, sometimes chatting to other students. Occasionally, you may participate in group or class discussions by raising your hand; however, the constraints of space and time in addition to the instructor's presence at the front of the course neatly define the learning space.

Classrooms laptopNow, imagine that you can enter the classroom at any time day or night; however, there may be nobody else present the room and the only communication that occurs happens by writing on the board. When you enter the room, you can read messages that others have left on the board and leave your own messages. The course material exists in a pile for you to pick up and read.

This second scenario represents the online environment and it can be very confusing for learners who have only experienced the face-to-face classroom.

The following topics explore features of the online course environment and introduces you to some of the skills needed to succeed in that environment.

The successful online learner Success Online

Now that you have learned some of what you can expect during an online course, you might be wondering how you can succeed in the online course environment.

Much has been written about the characteristics that make some learners successful. The list below represents a compilation of the most common features of successful online learners and some of the best practices that can lead to success (Illinois Online Network, 2002).

Quest for success

Your online course is accompanied by a FREE online Quest for Success Program.  This program is designed to increase your success in online courses. After logging into Canvas you will see Quest for Online Success on your Dashboard. It allows you to save your work and return to it later.

At the conclusion of the program you will receive an individualized report that gives you feedback and resources to help you become even more successful in your online classes.

This FREE program is available now so I encourage you to take advantage of this great resource.

The successful online learner should:

  • Possess self-motivation and self-discipline: Since the online environment lacks much of the structure present in the face-to-face classroom, you must exercise real commitment when adhering to deadlines.
  • Be proficient with time management: Frequently, learners decide to take online courses because they do not have the time to attend class in person. To be successful online, you must carve out time from family and work commitments to spend on their studies.
  • Meet technical requirements: Most programs list technical requirements for taking a course; these usually include modem and hardware requirements. Adhering to these requirements will prevent computer difficulties later in the course.
  • Be able to communicate through writing: Moving from the face-to-face classroom to the online environment involves a corresponding transition from the spoken to the written word. Online learners should be fairly comfortable expressing themselves in writing. Many online courses also require a great deal of reading in the course site.