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Online and Distance Education at OISE

Online Learning Checklist

Do you have everything you need?


What to Expect and Do

Welcome Letter and Instructions:

Know which online environment you are using. Your instructor should be sending you a welcome letter to give you information on how to access the course as well as first steps, unless it is a blended course (not one that is totally at a distance).


Ensure you review the toolbox section of the site as it outlines the various technologies needed in your course, from the manual for your specific environment to typical downloads needed for plugins and other techbits. There are many checklists to help you with troubleshooting procedures (connecting online, downtime procedures, computer checklists and login checklists, i.e. WebKF2) . Familiarize yourself with the site and let us know what else you might need in the feedback form of this site.



Be Aware o Legalities:




A Mini-Survival Guide

1. You should be familiar with a word processing package, a communications package (which allows you to connect to the university or the Internet, and an Internet browser.

2. You need to find convenient access to a computer where you can regularly schedule a period of uninterrupted use. (More than once a week) .

3. Remember you are working with a group, even though you may not meet them, and you should respond to their ideas, not just those of the instructor.

4. Watch how you phrase things online--be clear and precise and when taking issue with another person's idea, be constructive in how you do that.

5. Make sure you keep copies of all entries and assignments, both in case needed for review, and also to guard against any technological crisis (hence the need for familiarity with a word processing package).

6. Make sure you are clear about the expectations for the online activities in this course (which are explained in the course outline), and ask questions where necessary.  Some issues to be clear about are the amount of time expected for online work, the number of contributions and the procedures for the group work.

7. Keep a written record of your password, user name etc.

8. Keep a pad nearby to jot down note numbers or identifiers of contributions to the discussion when you are reading through the discussions.

9. When responding to an issue, be careful to think about other possible directions than those already suggested by replies--it can be easy to get drawn in to the one interpretation of an idea which has been already proposed, leaving others unexplored.

Adapted from Harasim, L., Hiltz, R., Teles, L. & Turoff, M. (1995) Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and  Learning Online. MIT Press, Cambridge MA.



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