Online Learning at Cal State L.A.

What is an online course?  Girl at a computer

Just like a traditional face-to-face class, an online class is taught by an accredited instructor. In online classes you will have regular lessons each week — the only difference is that they are delivered electronically using the Internet and other software tools. When you take an online class, you log in to a learning management system called Moodle via the Internet to access and complete all — or part of – your class lectures, assignments, interactive activities and tests to fulfill the course learning objectives.

These days, online learning can be just as or even more engaging than a traditional course, since your instructors will use the latest technological tools and teaching methods. More instructors are using multimedia and tools that increase social interactions in class. This makes learning more fun, as people get to know one another and support each other in their online course. Think of it as your new class community.

What is the difference between an online & hybrid course?

In short, online courses meet completely online (via the Internet using Moodle) whereas hybrid courses have one or more class meetings on campus (such as a lab, orientation or proctored test).

Are online courses easier than traditional face-to-face courses?

Surprisingly, online courses require as much – if not more — work and time as traditional classes. At Cal State L.A. online courses have various types of assignments. Some assignments will often require a lot of interaction and deep inquiry. But even though online classes can be demanding, you still have the flexibility to work from home.

Of course, in order to do well in an online class, you should determine if you have the time and skills needed to be successful. Some people actually prefer to learn online versus on-campus because they enjoy using technology, are comfortable with more reading and writing, are self-motivated and can manage their time very well.

Are online courses counted the same as a regular class? Are they transferrable?

Yes. All online courses at Cal State L.A. fulfill the same educational requirements as traditional on-campus classes.

How can I find out if I am ready for an online course?

You should feel confident that you have the skills, technologies, and time to be successful in an online course. These checklists can help you make sure you’re prepared to succeed.

Assess your online readiness skills by taking this Online Readiness Self-Assessment:

(Adapted: Pasadena City College, 2015)