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CENTER for OUTREACH SERVICES
Online Learning
 
"It was my first online experience and one of my best educational experiences. I would rate it 4 stars." ~ Past participant
 
 
  
The Center for Outreach Services regularly offers online learning seminars for interpreters, parents, educators, service providers and others. Online learning can be a great way for individuals involved in Deaf education, who are generally isolated geographically, to connect with others who are experiencing similar issues and challenges across Ohio. The sustained nature of an on-going seminar allows participants to immediately apply what they are learning and then return for further discussion. The increased availablity of technology like web cameras makes it easier to communicate via sign language. Plus online learning is convenient for many people with busy lives.
 
See our Upcoming Events page for information about any online seminars which are currently open for registration. Participants must register for all seminars in advance.
 
 
 
Is Online Learning Right for You?
 
"I just want to say how much I have preferred this method of learning vs. a one day workshop. I learn so much more because of the participation requirement. Also I think the length of the class (many weeks vs. one day) helps the information stick with you. It is great also because it gives everyone a fair chance to participate and be heard." ~ Past participant
 
Online learning can be a convenient and interactive way to learn. But is it right for you? Being successful and enjoying online learning takes:
  • Basic skill and comfort with computers
  • Willingness to share your thoughts and ideas
  • Learning independently
  • Expressing yourself clearly in writing
  • Asking questions when you need clarification
  • Commiting the time to fully participate 
  • Self-discipline

Take a quiz from OnlineLearning.net or a quiz from the Center for Independent Learning to see if you are a good candidate for online learning. Please note that the time estimate in this quiz does not reflect typical seminars from the Center for Outreach Services. A weekly time estimate is included in the registration information for each seminar.
 
 
 
What is Online Learning Like?
"It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it. I feel I have gotten to know 20 other interpreters in a way that is not possible, even if you work with them or socialize with them." ~ Past participant
 
So if you feel you could learn well online, what is it like to participate in an online seminar from the Center for Outreach Services?

Sample Online Learning HomepageEach of our online seminars has a homepage for the seminar with links to instructions, discussion forums, resources and everything else participants need to know for the seminar. Participants log in to this site regularly to read announcements, participate in discussion forums and complete all the components of the seminar. Click on the thumbnail on the right to see a sample of a homepage from a past seminar.

Our online seminars are highly interactive -- participants discuss what they are learning and how to apply it in discussion forums. View a sample discussion forum regarding a mock situation.
 
 
Technology for Online Learning
 
"The technology was effortless after the first week and the discussions were valuable and insightful."  ~ Past participant
 
At the Center for Outreach Services, we use two main platforms for online learning, Moodle and Adobe Connect. Moodle, an online course management program similar to Blackboard. The samples linked in the section above are from a Moodle site. Adobe Connect is a tool for having a meeting over the internet where each user is at their personal computer. Participants simply click a web link to join a meeting. Moodle and Adobe Connect are both web-based programs so participants do not need to purchase special software for their computers.
 
Participants in our online learning seminars need:
  • An active email address
  • A computer (PC or Mac) to use on a regular basis with:
    • internet access (high speed access is not always required but it makes participating in seminars much less time consuming)
    • a program for viewing pdf files, such as Adobe Reader (this can be downloaded for free)
    • for some seminars, you will need a program for viewing videos, such as QuickTime (again, this can be downloaded for free)
    • for seminars which will use Adobe Connect, you can test your computer to see if it is ready for the required connection
For some seminars, a webcam is very helpful to communicate via sign language and participate more fully in Adobe Connect meetings. For quality sufficient for sign language, a webcam with 30 fps (frames per second) is preferable.
 
 
Tips for Online Learning
 
"I very much enjoyed the input from all of the other participants -- the unique perspectives taught me a lot."  ~ Past participant
 
Once you decide to learn online, you can maximize your experience by keeping in mind the suggestions from the following links:
 
Online Learning Tips for Success from the Justice Institute of British Columbia
Tips for Being a Successful Online Learner from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point
 
You also can prepare yourself for success online by learning netiquette (internet etiquette). Check out this guide to Forum Etiquette from the website for Emmet County, Michigan.
 
As you come across online learning jargon that you find confusing, check out the E-Learning Glossary from World Wide Learn.
 
 
Contact us for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
 
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