Many courses and several complete degree programs are offered in online format and the number of online course sections increases with each semester. The student enrolled in an online course has access to the virtual classroom, which is available via the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In an online course all lectures and instructions needed for the course are available within the virtual classroom, including links and references to learning materials. Most courses incorporate interactive tools within the course that mirrors the experiences that the student would have in a traditional face-to-face classroom. Such tools include, but are not limited to, live chat rooms, streaming video, pre-recorded video, discussion forums, and live online classroom/classroom hours. Many online instructors are not located on the traditional campus but they are still accessible through non-traditional formats including email, live chat, or online office hours.
Online delivery is an alternative option that offers flexibility for students who cannot or choose not to attend a traditional face-to-face class on campus. Online courses require the student to be self-disciplined and self-motivated and possess basic computer literacy skills, such as typing assignments and navigating the Internet and various software programs. As with any registration related process the student should seek the advice of a program advisor or the course instructor when considering online courses.
Interactive Video courses provide unique opportunities to deliver or receive courses to or from other colleges. Students will receive instruction via the traditional classroom with the instructor or other groups of students located at distance sites. Interactive Video courses are conducted in the Interactive Video rooms located in the Snyder and Eddins Buildings on the Albemarle Campus and at the Crutchfield Education Center in Locust.
Hybrid classes provide a unique blend of the traditional seated classroom and non-traditional course delivery formats. Hybrid courses take advantage of ever-increasing technology, multi-media options, and class scheduling flexibilities. Options may include a mix of face-to-face class meetings with some distance education and/or online formats, or the courses may meet for longer periods on fewer days, including weekends. When considering a hybrid course the student should seek the advice of a program advisor or the course instructor to determine if the learning style of the student is conducive to the hybrid course format.