What is Distance Learning?

Online/Distance Learning

Online/Distance Learning is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction in a course occurs is 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.

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" (See HGTC Procedure

D2L (Desire to Learn)
D2L is the HGTC student portal for online and hybrid courses. Access to D2L is through the myHGTC portal, which requires your HGTC username and password. If you have any problems with access myHGTC or D2L, seek assistance immediately by notifying Tech Central (843) 349-8324.

Verifying Your Course Attendance
Students must maintain attendance in their online and/or hybrid courses throughout the semester, as failure to do so may result in the student being withdrawn from the course. Students should log into their courses in D2L to access the course instructional package and directions for starting the course. All online classes have required weekly assignments tied to attendance. These assignments must be completed in D2L in order to be counted as present for the week. Although contacting your instructor via email or other means of communication is important if you have concern or need assistance, these means of communication outside the D2L environment do not count toward validating attendance. If you are having difficultly accessing your course, please contact your instructor first. You may also contact Tech Central at 843-349-8324 for further assistance with accessing your course.

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

If You Cannot Complete the Course
If a student is unable to complete a course, they should notify the professor immediately by e-mail or by phone. Also, they should go to the Registration Tools card in myHGTC to withdraw from the class. Students need to 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 a student’s financial aid eligibility. Students should check with the Financial Aid Office before dropping a class.

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

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