On Feb. 4, PCC announced that twenty new eight-week, short term, fully online courses were being offered, beginning March 11, but all were filled in 36 hours.
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On Feb. 4, PCC announced that twenty new eight-week, short term, fully online courses were being offered, beginning March 11, but all were filled within 36 hours.

No on-campus meetings are required. The classes include English 1A, English 900, Sociology 1, Political Science 1, Health Education 44, and Nutrition 11.

Leslie Tirapelle, interim director of distance education, said that PCC’s online presence and providing greater access to students is paramount to the school’s development. The demand for these classes was so substantial that the marketing campaign has been pulled and the Distance Education Committee is planning to lobby for the funding of similar online classes.

“We didn’t know that the funding for these classes was available until Proposition 30 passed,” Tirapelle said. “There was not enough time to get these ready for the beginning of spring semester, so we are starting them now.”

The eight-week courses will mimic summer or winter intersession courses, where the weekly hours are doubled – allowing them to be completed in half the time, according to Tirapelle.

Kathleen Green, who volunteered to teach a version of English 1A during the eight-week course, has never taught fully online courses before.

“I’ve taught web-enhanced courses before and use Canvas in my classes now, but this is the first time I have taught online only,” Green said. “The teachers haven’t seen the new online shell yet and we have a teacher’s training session planned for Feb. 23.”

Dina Chase, interim associate dean of admission and records, says that these courses will count for the same number of credit hours as an in-person class and will be placed normally on a student’s transcript.

“The Santa Rosa system currently used does not differentiate if a class was taken online,” Chase said.

While the courses will count the same as in-person courses and not appear differently on college transcripts, Green is wary of some students’ treatment of these courses.

“Online courses aren’t for everyone,” Green said. “They can work well for some, but can be a detriment for others. Students have to be totally self-motivated.”

Tirapelle says this is the start of a grand online platform expansion.

“This new online system is a newer, more progressive and more innovative program,” Tirapelle said. “We are working towards offering fully online degrees in the near future.”

Comments

  1. As for teaching English 1A online, how do you teach critical reading and critical thinking skills in an online format?

    Ya don’t.

    Doing the online work for students will be a highly profitable venture for some.

  2. How will the instructor know that the student getting credit for the course is the student doing the work? Couldn’t a student just HIRE someone to do the work?

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