eLearning Defined

Scope of eLearning

eLearning at South Piedmont Community College champions learning technologies to support engagement, inclusiveness, and universally accessible courses. eLearning offers different delivery methods and modalities, such as online, blended, HyFlex, interactive television, and traditional on-campus courses.

Online (Internet) courses offer students time and location flexibility in accessing learning materials, assessments and other various class activities. All online courses at South Piedmont follow schedules and deadlines to ensure each student’s academic success. Online courses are offered as part of the SPCC regular class schedule, with published start and end dates. Section numbers for courses conducted fully online begin with “O.”

Blended courses combine online learning with required, scheduled, face-to-face instructional time on campus. The required face-to-face and online hours may vary from course to course. The online portion replaces in classroom instructional time with learning activities and assessments to be completed in Canvas. Students must attend all scheduled classes just as any other traditional college course. Section numbers for blended courses have an “A” or “S” in the second field.

Traditional courses are regular, face-to-face classroom courses on campus that use an online course site to supplement instruction. Instructors will post the course syllabus there along with other course materials. The online grade book may be used to help keep students up-to-date on their grades. Or, they may require submission of assignments electronically in the course’s online site. Some others may do all course testing on the course site. All of SPCC’s seated courses on campus are now web-enhanced. Students will be required to submit at least one assignment by going to the course’s online site. Section numbers for traditional classes have a “C” in the second field.

HyFlex or Hybrid-Flexible is a course model that presents the components of hybrid learning in a flexible course structure. It offers students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, participating online or doing both. Students can change their mode of attendance weekly or by topic, according to need or preference. A HyFlex model offers multiple paths through course content, which supports students with various levels of expertise, background, or learning styles in achieving the course competencies. Section numbers for HyFlex classes have an “F” in the second field.

Interactive Television (ITV) courses have two-way interactive video technology that connects teaching locations among SPCC campuses and throughout the state. ITV enables the course instructor and students in the classroom at one location to see, hear, and talk to students in comparably-equipped classrooms at other locations. There are ITV classrooms on the L. L. Polk campus in Polkton, the Old Charlotte Highway campus in Monroe, and the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro. These courses are taught by SPCC instructors and section numbers end with a “V.”

To log into Canvas, students should go to www.spcc.edu and select “Student Panel” on the upper right side of the screen, select “Canvas,” and login using their SPCC username and password. New students will go to SPCC Go! to activate their accounts.

Registration for eLearning courses is handled in the same way as traditional course registration. Credit hours earned for taking these courses are the same as those earned for taking the same courses in a traditional classroom setting. The cost for distance learning is the same as for traditionally scheduled courses.

Students participating in distance learning courses must:

  • Complete the admissions process, including placement testing if needed
  • Meet required prerequisites and/or corequisites listed for the course in the College catalog
  • Possess the necessary skills and technical requirements needed to participate in distance learning courses
  • Complete all assigned coursework, discussions/chats, and assessments within the time constraints defined by the instructor
  • Access online and blended courses using the Internet, and complete requirements on or before the last published access date

Fully online courses. Although, eLearning courses are inclusive and accommodate a great variety of learning styles, fully online courses require great responsibility, commitment, self-motivation, and discipline. Students will need to commit an average of 12 to 15 hours every week to course work, which includes readings, videos, interactive and collaborative assignments, among others. eLearning students need to have access to the necessary equipment for the course and know how to use it. When taking online and blended courses, access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection is needed. Although computers on campus are connected to the Internet, students must not rely on campus computers as the sole means of accessing their courses.

The college offers the opportunity of using computers with an Internet connection while on campus. Students may check out a laptop (maximum 4 hour periods) from any of the laptop kiosk stations on campus. Additionally, laptops can be checked out for longer periods of time (including the entire semester) from South Piedmont’s libraries. These resources ensure equitable access to computers for online learners. If students are challenged by technology resources, please consult with a Librarian.

Some courses will require specific versions of software packages. If your class is one of those, it will be listed on the course syllabus. The instructor will be able to answer questions about the software. South Piedmont offers students, faculty, and staff free access to Microsoft Office 365, which contains MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. Student computers must have access to the required software as well as the capability to save documents in a format that the instructor requires.

At a minimum, students using Canvas must be able to:

  • Access and use their SPCC Office 365 email account
  • Open and close a word processing program
  • Enter and edit text
  • Open existing documents
  • Use passwords
  • Protect against computer viruses
  • Open and close a browser
  • Navigate to different websites
  • Create/find/use a bookmark or favorite
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