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What is Online Learning?

Online Learning brings the college classroom directly to you. You and your classmates interact with each other and the professor through your computer or laptop. Most Online Learning classes are not synchronous, which means your interactions with others in the class are not necessarily at the same time, but they do occur within a common space, allowing you to share ideas, assignments, and complete activities with a group of peers.

What does online learning look like at Reynolds?

Reynolds uses the Canvas learning management system (LMS) to provide a "learning space" online. You simply log in to your MyREYNOLDS account, select Canvas, and find links there for each class in which you are enrolled. Canvas is used for both on-campus and online classes, and your instructor will provide a number of learning resources such as readings, assignments, media, blogs, wikis, and links to other information. Discussion boards, group work spaces, and tools within Canvas assess your learning.

If you would like to see if online learning is right for you, and to learn more about online courses before enrolling in an online course, we encourage you to take the Orientation to Learning Online.

What does it take to be successful?

Successful online learners often display these key characteristics:

  • self-directed and motivated
  • able to commit to 8+ hours per course each week
  • strong readers and writers
  • able to learn through varied resources such as reading assignments and self-assessments
  • able to follow instructions to complete complex tasks
  • comfortable with technology
  • able to work independently and establish priorities
  • able to stay focused without supervision
  • able to establish goals and deadlines, and meet them
  • comfortable with online communications
  • able to adhere to the expectations for professional communication and behavior in an online class

Successful online learners also have access to, and a good level of comfort with, technology:

  • They have access to a reliable, modern computer and to the internet.
  • They are comfortable with the essential technology tools of a computer.
  • They understand the essential functions of software designed to create documents or presentations.
  • They know how to save and upload files, how to download material, and how to communicate online.
  • They understand the processes of navigating online environments.

If you are not comfortable working on a computer now, first improve your skills through an on-campus class or other training opportunities. Reynolds libraries, as well as public libraries, provide computers on which you can develop your skills.