2015-2016 Catalog

Distance Learning

  • Distance learning at Western Piedmont Community College expands educational opportunities through non-traditional delivery methods of courses. Quality courses are offered through distance learning for students who may find it difficult to attend classes on campus. In many instances, students can enroll in College curriculum and Workforce and Professional Development courses and earn credits without having to attend regularly scheduled on-campus classes.
  • Distance learning courses may require a minimum number of scheduled meetings with the instructor, and students may be required to participate in course orientation and testing sessions. Students enrolled in distance learning courses use a variety of techniques to stay in touch with their instructors and other students taking the course.
  • Distance learning courses may be more difficult than traditional courses since students have to work more independently than in traditional courses. Although these courses offer a high degree of flexibility, they require self-motivated and self-disciplined students.
  • Distance learning courses offer convenience and flexibility while providing quality instruction. Student support services are available to distance learners to assist with academic and support needs. These services include online access to the Library’s electronic databases, “Ask a Librarian” remote reference, and access to information about Student Services.
  • Distance learning courses carry full curriculum or Workforce and Professional Development credit and have the same prerequisites as their on-campus equivalents. Each course is equivalent to the on-campus section of the same course in terms of objectivity, content, rigor, and in the case of curriculum courses, transferability. Students pay the same tuition and fees and have access to all student services, library and other support services. Distance learning courses are offered in a variety of formats. These include:

Hybrid Courses

The College offers Hybrid distance learning courses. These courses are primarily conducted as online courses. In addition to the online portion of the course, these courses have scheduled mandatory on-campus meeting dates.

North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH) Classes

The College may offer courses delivered over the North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH). Faculty can use NCIH technology to provide instruction not only to students in the on-campus NCIH classroom but also students at distance sites, or students in Western Piedmont Community College’s NCIH classroom can receive instruction from a distance site using NCIH technology. In the NCIH classroom, the instructor and students may interact with each other via television, cameras, and a sound system that allows them to see and hear each other as though they were in the same classroom.

Courses using NCIH technology are more like traditional courses except that the instructor may be teaching from a remote location or Western Piedmont Community College may be sending instruction to one or more institutions at remote sites. Students at the local NCIH site may have classmates at other NCIH classroom sites across the state. Like other on-campus classes, the NCIH instructor and students primarily interact in a classroom situation at a scheduled time and location.

Students register for North Carolina Information Highway courses just as they would for traditional courses.

Online/Internet Courses

The College offers a variety of courses that are computer-based and use the Internet as the main method of course delivery and student/faculty communication. Students enrolled in Internet courses communicate with their instructor or instructors and other students using electronic mail, discussion boards, and “virtual classrooms.” A variety of resources including textbooks, study guides, World Wide Web resource materials and resources developed by the course instructor are used by Internet course students. Students are also provided remote access to library online database resources.

Web Supported/Assisted Courses

On-campus, seated courses may be web supported/assisted.  These courses meet at regularly scheduled times; however, a portion of the course will require the student to access Moodle or other Internet based teaching platforms for specific reasons.  In these classes, Moodle, or another platform, is used as a supplemental course tool, providing students access to course syllabus, assignments, e-mail, discussion boards and/or their grades.