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Getting Started with Online Learning

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Getting Started with Online Learning

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What is Distance Learning?

Distance Learning (DL) is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction in a course occurs in an asynchronous mode, meaning students and instructors are not in the same place. In a Distance Learning environment, interaction between the instructor and the student is regular and substantive, and can be initiated by the instructor or the student. Distance Learning formats include online and hybrid courses.

Online course

Online courses are taught 100% online using a combination of asynchronous and synchronous activities, providing greater flexibility of schedule and convenience of access to students. Online courses will have the same learning outcomes and level of rigor achieved in traditional courses. The delivery of online exams will follow HGTC established policy, to include identity verification. Online courses may require the use of online proctoring tools or live proctors at approved testing centers.

Hybrid course
Hybrid courses have a blend of traditional classroom instruction and online education. At HGTC, students will be required to meet face-to-face on average less than 60% of the required time for a face-to-face course, with the remainder of their coursework completed online. A blended course is not simply an online course which requires in-class exams; blended courses allow faculty and students the opportunity to build strong personal relationships through face-to-face interaction and the opportunity to explore new types of learning activities not possible in traditional courses. Dates, times and locations for face-to-face meetings will be published in the official class schedule.

How do I get started?
To take distance learning courses you must first be admitted to the College. To apply you must submit your HGTC application, submit high school transcripts, GED, and college transcripts, if available, and take the HGTC Placement Test, unless you meet other Placement requirements.  For more information on the application process, please visit our Admissions page.

As a student of HGTC you may wish to enroll in Online or Hybrid classes at HGTC, in order to register for online/hybrid courses the College requires students to complete and distance learning orientation course.  To access the orientation complete the following steps:

  1. Log into myHGTC.
  2. Find the "Registration Tools" card.
  3. Click on the Distance Learning Course Orientation.

If this is your first online course, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I learn without being part of a group?
  • Am I a person who often gets things done ahead of time?
  • Do I enjoy researching and solving a problem?
  • Do I figure out instructions without help from instructors?
  • Do I schedule my time to meet deadlines?
  • Do I have time to study and read to be prepared for tests?
  • Am I comfortable with computer technology?
  • Am I a good reader who can usually understand what I read?
  • Do I have the time and transportation to visit campus for tests?
  • Can I budget my time for class requirements?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you're a good candidate for online courses.  If not, you should discuss your selection with your advisor and consider traditionally offered classes.

Next, be sure that you have access to the equipment needed for an online class.  If you do not own a computer, you may use College equipment (during the operating hours of the College) or make arrangements to use computers at your work, your local public library, or that of a friend. 

Student Responsibilities

  • Understand the attendance policy for each class.
  • Understand the rationale for communication with the professor and the necessity of meeting deadlines for contacts, tests, and submission of assignments.
  • Communicate with the professor promptly when problems affecting attendance, meeting deadlines, or change in enrollment status occur.
  • Be committed to completing assignments and fulfilling obligations to the professor and other students, as required by the class.
  • Follow appropriate netiquette; show respect for the professor and other students in all communications, whether in person, on-line, or by phone.
  • Consult the College Catalog for information regarding policies and procedures regarding financial aid, attendance, refunds, and other related matters.
  • Students should read the "Acceptable Use Policy for Network Services and the Internet"
  • If a student changes their physical address (moves to another home, apartment or out of state) they must update their contact information. This can be completed in myHGTC under Student Info and Forms on the "Student Resources" card.

D2L (Desire to Learn)

D2L is the HGTC student portal for online and hybrid courses. Access to D2L is through myHGTC, which requires your HGTC User Name and Password. If you have any problems with access to myHGTC or D2L, seek assistance immediately by notifying TECH Central.

Verifying Your Course Attendance

You MUST establish contact with your professor during the drop/add period of the semester – failure to do so may cause you to be dropped from the course. Log into your course in D2L to access the course instructional package and directions for starting the course. If there are no directions or you are unsure what to do, send an e-mail to the professor for more information on the class, make sure you identify the course in which you are enrolled.   If you are unsuccessful in reaching your professor, contact TECH Central at (843) 349-8324. Do NOT wait for the professor to contact you!

To Progress in the Course

 You should log into your course no less than once every week. Important dates should be listed in your course instructional package and found on the course calendar in D2L. You should submit work and take tests by the deadlines established. If you fail to meet deadlines or miss making contact with your professor for a week, the professor may drop you for “absences.” It is your responsibility to keep your professor informed about your participation in the class. If you must miss a deadline notify the professor in advance.

If You Cannot Complete the Course

If you find you’re unable to complete a course, notify the professor immediately by e-mail or by phone. Also, you should go to Registration Tool - Schedule Builder under the "Registration Tools" card in your myHGTC account to withdraw from the class. Please pay attention to the withdrawal and refund deadlines printed in the academic calendar. Depending on the time of the semester, dropping a class may affect your financial aid eligibility. You should check with the Financial Aid Office before you drop a class!!

REMEMBER: An online class is a class! You attend online class by logging on, completing assignments, and submitting information.

If you do not attend, you will be dropped for excessive absences and you may be liable for financial aid overpayments. To prevent overpayments, follow the procedures stated above.