Palo Alto College offers distance education courses which help meet the needs of students whose busy lifestyles make scheduling traditional college courses difficult. Palo Alto College utilizes a variety of instructional delivery modes.
• Interactive Videoconference Courses – A videoconferencing system utilizes real time audio and video between instructor and students. These courses are offered either to or from a distant site or sites. Students may attend classes on campus or at a pre-arranged distant site.
• Internet Courses – Students can use varying arrangements of their own computer or the Palo Alto College open computer labs to access course information.
• Blended Courses – Blended (previously known as Hybrid) courses combine traditional lecture, discussion or lab sections with online or other computer-based learning. Blended courses move a significant part of the course work to the computer or Internet and, as a result, reduce the amount of time you will spend in a classroom setting. Each class meets one day a week with the teacher for instruction and answering questions. The remaining amount of the course work is done out of classes – either in the open lab or at home.
• Telecourses – Prerecorded video programs are broadcast on Time Warner Cable (Channel 98) and Grande Cable (Channel 21).
Course content, college credit, and transferability of a distance education course is equivalent to the same course offered on campus. Students have the same rights, privileges and obligations as an on-campus student. However, distance education courses may not be appropriate for everyone. Maturity and self-discipline are necessary because students must maintain steady progress throughout the semester. For more specific information about distance education courses, refer to the following web site: http://www.alamo.edu/pac/distance-learning/
Are You Ready for a Distance Education Course?
We have created a short self-assessment that will help you determine if you will be successful in a Distance Education course. Distance Education courses require self-discipline, motivation, and the ability to work independently. Most students report that Distance Learning courses are as difficult and time-consuming as conventional courses – or more so. To view the checklist, visit our Distance Education website.
Required Orientation for Telecourses and Internet Courses
An on-campus or online orientation is required for all Telecourses and Internet courses. Dates and times for orientation, whether face-to-face or online, are listed by course and section number in the Course Listings of this schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to attend one of the sessions for each enrolled Telecourse or Internet course. Students who have not attended an orientation session or contacted their instructor will be dropped from the course by their instructor.
If you are enrolling in an Internet course, you must also email your instructor to receive important materials for your online course. The purpose of the orientation is to give you vital information about the course such as the syllabus, schedule of lessons, etc. Email addresses are listed by course and section number within the online course schedule.
Requirements for Enrolling in an Internet Course
Students must have the following tools and skills to be successful in an Internet course:
1. Alamo Colleges email account (http://aces.alamo.edu)
2. Internet Service Provider (ISP)
3. Minimum computer hardware and software
4. Basic computer skills, i.e., word processing and email
5. Required reading, writing and math skills, self-discipline, motivation, and independent work skills
Every student automatically has a free email account 48 hours after registering through ACES, Palo Alto College’s Intranet and the only method of accessing the course. To access your e-mail, go to the Palo Alto home page at www.alamo.edu/pac and click on ACES at the top. Then click on the section, “Click Here to obtain your login User Name.” This will provide you the ID and password you need to access ACES. You will then have the option of changing your password. If you have problems logging in, please call the Alamo Colleges Help Desk at (210) 485-0555 and speak to a Support Technician.
Finally, course orientation activities are at the discretion of each instructor. Be sure to email your instructor before the scheduled orientation session and take the various assessment tests to determine your preparation and readiness to take an Internet course.