by Lisa Perez-Nichols

Several Fall Semesters ago, I had a brand new student at ACC register for my Distance Learning course only to reveal to me at the start that she had no idea that the class was online and/or at a distance. It then occurred to me that ACC does offer a handful of different class formats that sometimes students are unaware of. For example, I have taught the traditional in class courses, hybrid courses and distance learning courses. Yet, when I have informally polled my classes about how they are different I often get the response of wrinkled foreheads and follow up questions asking me to explain how they are different.

Thus, I thought to provide those explanations in short videos on my web page I had a good time with my little brother as he served as the director for these videos. We filmed them on a simple digital camera and then embedded them into my web page. Yet, one could also use their laptop camera along with using hosting services like YouTube and the like. Students are pretty intuitive about chasing embedded links.

The purpose of the videos are to explain the differences between my in class, hybrid and distance learning courses – especially for first time in college (FTIC) students who may not know the difference. As a former FTIC student myself, I always wished that I had more people around me to ask questions when I was in college. So, in some ways I am speaking to them and to myself when I was 18 years old.

To that end, it has also been useful for Counselors and Advisors who are attempting to explain to students about the courses and their formats. While we are mandated to include a written syllabus online due to the “Three Clicks Law” it seems that providing additional information for students online in a preliminary manner is also useful. I believe there is value in having students show up the first day of the semester amply prepared versus wondering how they got there and what they are doing there.

Here’s to watching my videos, considering your own, and to informing as many students as we can in order for them to be successful from the start.