Is Online Learning for me?
An online course may be GREAT for you if:
- You like planning your own learning time.
- You already use computers skillfully and not for just social networking.
- You believe that hard work will improve your skills and knowledge.
An online course may be TOUGH for you if:
- You tend to complete your schoolwork at the last minute.
- You are shy about asking others for help.
Be sure you understand these ideas:
- Online courses take AT LEAST as much time as face-to-face courses and usually more time.
- Network problems or electrical problems can happen. Plan your work time with this in mind. You must turn in all your assignments on time.
- Anyone who has enough motivation and self-direction can achieve success in an "any time, any place" virtual environment.
What is it like to be in an online course?
- How will I know what to do in my online course?
- Will I have a textbook in the online course?
- How is the teacher important in my online course?
- How is the course delivered on a computer?
- How do I know if my computer is powerful enough for me to take an online course?
- Is it possible to take an online course using a Smartphone or an iPad or other tablet device?
- In addition to the computer hardware and internet access that need to be provided at home, are there any other required materials?
- Will I be expected to take a SOL test this summer?
- Will I be expected to complete the WISE exam if I sign up for Online Economics/Personal Finance?
- How can the teacher tell if the student is doing the coursework?
- Is there a set schedule of face-to-face meetings for HPE courses?
- How many times will the student meet with the teacher/class?
How will I know what to do in my online course?
You will receive an email at the beginning of your course with information to teach you how to "navigate" the system. All your assignments are listed in a checklist, and there is a course calendar that tells you when each assignment is due. You will also be able to email and call your teacher when you need assistance. The big difference in an online course is that the student must take responsibility for planning worktime, keeping up-to-date with assignments, and reaching out to the teacher before any small need becomes a difficult problem.
Will I have a textbook in the online course?
How is the teacher important in my online course?
A teacher is essential in an online course! Our course delivery software allows teachers and students to communicate with each other using email, instant messaging, and video conferences, all within the safety of the closed course platform. Our teachers are necessary to the design and delivery of online learning, and any student who takes an online course in Virginia Beach Digital Campus operates under the guidance of an experienced professional instructor. In fact, students have commented that their online teachers are able to get to know them well and care deeply about their success.
How is the course delivered on a computer?
VBDC courses are delivered using a Learning Management System called Brightspace. To see it in action, see the course demonstration below. To be successful in an online class, you need a computer in your home and a high-speed internet connection. You follow links to course content that take you to written material, videos, interactivities like timelines and presentations, and assessments. You "turn in" assignments on time using a Dropbox that’s built into the system, and share ideas with other students in discussions that are part of the course requirements.
By following the link below, you will be able to view sample content from several of the Virginia Beach Digital Campus courses. Just follow these steps:
- Click on the link https://vbschools.desire2learn.com
- When you arrive at the Virginia Beach Digital Campus portal, enter the username: 128-demo. Don't forget the 128-!
- Enter the password: password
- Click the login button
- When you arrive at the "My Home" page, read the "News" item in the center of the page. It will tell you how to access the demonstration course content.
How do I know if my computer is powerful enough for me to take an online course?
Take a close look at these Minimum Computer Requirements. If your computer matches these requirements and you have a good high-speed internet connection at home, you should be fine.
|Browser||Supported Browser Version(s)||Maintenance Browser Version(s)|
|Microsoft® Internet Explorer®||n/a||11|
|Mozilla® Firefox®||Latest, ESR||n/a|
Tablet and Mobile Support
|Device||Operating System||Browser||Supported Browser Version(s)|
|Apple||iOS®||Safari||The current major version of iOS (the latest minor or point release of that major version) and the previous major version of iOS (the latest minor or point release of that major version).|
A webcam and microphone are highly recommended, so students may take advantage of the web conferencing tutorial opportunities.
- All users will need a Word Processing application capable of opening documents in Rich Text Format. If your computer does not have such an application, we recommend Google Docs or a free open source office tools suite called Open Office:
- PC users - http://www.openoffice.org/download/
- Mac users - http://www.openoffice.org/porting/mac/
- Media Player – we recommend VLC which can be downloaded free at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Is it possible to take an online course using a Smartphone or an iPad or other tablet device?
In addition to the computer hardware and internet access that need to be provided at home, are there any other required materials?
If your course has materials that the teacher needs to give you, there will be a face-to-face meeting that you will have to attend. If your course requires such a meeting, your teacher will contact you using the email address you provided when you registered. Some science courses have experiments you need to do at home, using only materials that most people have in their homes.
Will I be expected to take a SOL test this summer?
If you register for English 11, Geometry, Algebra 1, Algebra 2/Trig, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, VA/US History, World History I, World History II, or World Geography, you will be expected to attend the SOL Test scheduled during the summer school program. SOL tests are scheduled in a face-to-face setting at the Renaissance Academy. Information about dates, times, and locations for these tests will be provided by your online instructor.
Will I be expected to complete the WISE exam if I sign up for Online Economics/Personal Finance?
How can the teacher tell if the student is doing the coursework?
In Virginia Beach Digital Campus courses, there is a high level of interaction between teacher and student. Through telephone conversations, emails, oral assessments, and other communications, the teacher becomes familiar with each student's patterns of thinking and expression. The teacher can also tell when the student is logged in to the course and how much time is spent doing each task. Parents can also monitor student progress by logging into the course and examining student work.
Is there a set schedule of face-to-face meetings for HPE courses?
How many times will the student meet with the teacher/class?
Teachers will arrange for optional face-to-face tutorial meetings. In addition, teachers will offer tutorials using web conferencing software. A face-to-face meeting will be established for courses bearing an SOL End-of-Course test. Three mandatory meetings are required for Online HPE 9 and Online HPE 10.
Have a question about...
Repeat/Face to Face Summer School?