Distance education is a convenient and flexible way to take courses for college credit and non-credit, equivalent to traditional in-person courses. Students can take classes toward earning a degree, certificate or to explore personal interests. We offer distance education classes in online and hybrid formats which are described below. Distance education students must be matriculated, or if new, admitted to the College before taking any of these classes. Registration follows the same procedures and deadlines as traditional in-person courses.
Distance Education students are expected to be active learners, proficient in reading, writing, time management and internet navigation/computer technology skills. Competence in Microsoft Word is assumed as well. All relevant course information is contained in the Instructor’s Syllabus, including in some cases, that proctored tests/assignments will be required.
All distance learning is facilitated by a Learning Management System, which is a centralized training environment used to support the College’s remote course offerings by acting as the hub for the College’s online educational environment. “Moodle” is the “Learning Management System” currently used by Essex.
Online instruction is a form of flexible learning, using the internet & computer technology resources, whereby students can take classes from the convenience of their home, office, or any off-campus location. An online course can be offered either according to a fixed schedule (synchronous) or with no time restrictions (asynchronous). Online learning does not replace traditional education, but instead, supports experienced technology learners who want access to courses that are specifically designed for students interested in this form of education or who may have difficulties attending traditional in-person learning.
Online learning is an excellent way to obtain credits towards an associate’s degree as well as earning transfer credits towards a bachelor’s degree. At Essex County College, online education provides our students with the most flexible educational alternatives for progress toward degree and certificate completion or to take classes for personal development. Current fully online associate degree offerings include Business Administration, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
The creation of student initiated learning communities or peer study groups online is possible using existing technology resources. In this optional configuration that provides mutual support, students will be able to develop collaborative relationships and foster a student-centered approach that can enhance the quality of online learning.
The hybrid instructional format offers courses that combine traditional face-to-face instruction with virtual learning. Such courses can be offered in many possible combinations, with specific scheduling and other requirements described in the course syllabus. This type of instruction has been remarkably successful because its blended nature appeals to many non-traditional students.