eCollege--Frequently Asked Questions


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Does Lawson State offer any full online programs?

Yes.  Lawson State offers two online degree programs:  Business and Business Education.  It also offers a host of other online course options for other majors.  Meaning, although you cannot take your full degree online, you can take a few courses (within that degree) that are offered online (i.e., Psychology 200, English 101, History 101, etc...).


How are eCollege courses set-up in terms of design? 

Take a look at this sneak peak video.  Here we should you a sample eCollege course and how it is set up.  Although their may be slight differences in eCollege courses, the design is virtually the same.  All eCollege courses fall under the same or similar template of design.  Take a look.




Are there additional fees for taking an online yes?

Yes...the college charges a $50 testing fee for all online courses.  This fee is non-negotiable and non-refundable.  In addition, although all online courses have a textbook fee, some online courses that use an etextbook, fold that fee into the fee structure when registering for the course.  In doing so, the etextbook is available to all registered students the first day of class.  When the fee is folded into the course, the etextbook for the course is paid for after the student pays the tuition and fees.  In such cases, of course, the student will not have to purchase the book outside of the course.  eTextbook fees range from $50-$150 per course, depending on the etextbook selected for the course.   See the tuition and fee schedule for this difference in cost. 


Does Lawson State offer tutoring resources for online course?

Lawson State offers an extensive collection of online tutoring resources for both its online and ground students.  Click here to see the collection of support. 


What equipment, skills and/or software do I need to take an online course?

You need following to take an online course:

1.  Personal desktop computer or laptop (not an iPad).  This is required.
2.  Internet access
3.  Webcam that is detachable/attachable or mountable on a computer.  Cannot be a built in camera.  Can be purchased in the bookstore.
4.  Audio/Microphone headset.  Can be purchased in the bookstore
5.  eTextbook
6.  Microsoft Word software downloaded on your computer
7. Adobe reader
8.  Free downloads required by the college
9.  Students enrolling in online courses MUST demonstrate command of basic computer skills.
Click  here for even more information . 


I have an iPad, can I use that for my eCollege (online) class, opposed to a regular computer?

No. iPad are limited and are not fully compatible with Blackboard tools, applications and eTextbooks animations and multimedia.  Hence, never attempt to take an eCollege class and use an iPad, you will not have a good experience. 

 


Do I need specialized computer skills to take an online course?

Yes and No.  You do not have to be an advanced computer user to take an online course, but you need to have basic computer skills to take an online course.  You should be at least competent on a computer and comfortable using a computer.  You should be able to at least be familiar with the following:

  • Basic Keyboard Operations

  • Creating Microsoft Word Documents

  • Creating PowerPoint Presentations

  • Sending and Receiving Email

  • Attaching Documents

  • Downloading Software 


What other competencies should an online student have before enrolling in an online course?

Besides having basic computer skills, an online student needs to:

  • a strong reader
  • self-directed
  • independent learner
  • enjoy learning via a computer
  • resourceful, particularly in using the Internet
  • organized
  • good at time management (submit assignments on time)

How to I access my class materials?

Your materials for your class are found on Blackboard (as the video showcased).  Access to your course materials begins the first day of classes, not before.  Be sure to login Blackboard on the first day of classes and begin working on your Unit 1 assignments.  The first Unit of all eCollege courses is always comprehensive, so don't delay.  If you are enrolled in an eCollege course, start Day 1.


What about my textbook, how do I secure it?

 

A lot of eCollege courses have the textbook already embedded in the classes.  Check the eTextbook tab to see if the text book is there.  If not, you will have to secure your etext from Lawson State's bookstore or through a secondary service.  Your syllabus will outline the book information. Information is likely to be housed under the eTextbook tab (in the class as well).  Contact your instructor for additional questions.  NOTE:  Some online classes (particularly in the Business Department) fold in the book fees at the time of registration.  In such cases, online students have access to their books the first day of class.

The first day of classes.  Simply login into Blackboard to access your course information.  To begin any eCollege course, hit the START HERE button (once you locate the course in Blackboard).


How do I locate my instructor?

Login in Blackboard and click on the Instructor Information button.  You can also email your instructor via your Blackboard course.  To do so, click on Course Tools and locate the Email button.  Be sure to check your Lawson State email for a response.  eCollege instructors do NOT recognize non-Lawson State email accounts.


How do I register for an online course?

You don't have to do anything differently in registering for online courses.  The registration process is the same.  The only thing you need to do is make sure you have selected a course (within the electronic schedule index) that indicates it is a WEB course.  If you do not see the class listed as WEB, then the class is a ground course, held on campus.
For more information on the complete registration process, click on either the Current Students tab or the Student Portal tab and click on the Registration button.


How do I locate online courses in the schedule?

Login Current Student
Click on the schedule icon
Look for WEB classes.

See this video below if you still need additional information.

How are tests given in an online course?

All tests and quizzes and assignments are given online.   Two tests (the mid-term and the final exam) in all eCollege courses are proctored, meaning the tests are monitored by a "live" person via a video webcam.  The proctoring is conducted by ProctorU, a company that specializes in online test proctoring and identification authentication.  When you take a test via ProctorU, you will have to show a photo ID and several authenticating questions will be posed to you to ensure that the person registered for the class is actually the person.taking the exam.


Will Lawson State "trouble shoot" my computer problems?

Sorry...Lawson State cannot fix your personal computer.  You must go to your service provider if you encounter computer problems.  Please do not begin an eCollege course unless you have a reliable computer with strong Internet access.


Is their a Help Desk available for Lawson State eCollege students?

Yes...we have a Help Desk set up to assist you with Blackboard, email and Student Suite issues you may encounter.  You can access the Help Desk  directions within any eCollege course.  It is actually one of the tabs in the course itself.  You can also access the Help Desk from the website under Current Students or the Student Portal.  Look for the Tech Support button at the bottom of either webpage.


What is the best Internet browser to use with Lawson's eCollege courses?

We recommend Google Chrome or Firefox, opposed to Internet Explorer.


What if I just have a general question about eCollege courses, who should I contact?

Click on the contact button below and ask your question online. Or, contact your instructor directly.  Or, you can contact your advisor.


Are eCollege courses easier or harder than ground courses?

No.  Actually, they can be a little more demanding because of the time you have to invest in reading information and producing weekly work per unit.  The content and rigor is the same, but the time investment may prove to be quite substantial.  Thus, we do not recommend online courses for students who are not academically sound or ready.  It takes quite a commitment to do well in an online course.


Is there an orientation available for eCollege students? 

Yes...orientation into your eCollege course is done under the START HERE button in every eCollege course.  You have to register for the course first, login Blackboard, enter your online course and click on the START HERE button to see the various orientation steps.


We hope these FAQ's helped you.  If you still have unresolved questions, please contact us.