Orientation for Online Learning
Athens Technical College
Are you ready for online learning? Is online learning the right choice for you?
Step 1: Read about challenges to online learning, computer skills needed for online learning,ATC's technical support resources, and ANGEL, ATC's learning management system. Engage with interactive quizzes and learning activities to practice your knowledge!
Step 2: Complete the assessment for online learning found at the end of this orientation. Upon successful completion of the assessment, your score will automatically be submitted to your student account and posted to your academic history.
Online learning is not easier than face-to-face learning. Online learners need to be ready to take an active role in their learning to ensure a successful learning experience.
Online learning requires the learner to ask for help when needed. An instructor will not necessarily know if you do not understand an assignment or course material. Instructors do not see you face-to-face in a classroom. You will need to ask questions in a timely manner.
Online learning requires ten to fifteen hours per week per online course for learners to be successful.
Online learning requires a learner to be good at organizing and managing their time. It has been shown that learners who are well-organized, self-motivated, and able to manage their time effectively, are better able to succeed in online courses.
Online learning at ATC requires meeting course deadlines. Completing projects in a timely manner is important in the online environment. Online courses are not self-paced at ATC.
Online learning requires a lot of reading and writing. The online learner will be spending a lot of time reading, reflecting on, and analyzing course material. In addition, online learners will do a lot of writing including completing assignments for instructors and responding to threaded discussions with instructors and classmates.
Online learning requires active participation. Many instructors expect contributions to discussions from every student participating in the course.
Students who take online courses must possess good computer and Internet skills to be successful. Students should have daily access to a computer (preferably at home). Online courses also require a minimum time commitment of 10-15 hours each week of the semester. Skills specific to individual courses may also be required; for example, proficiency with a word processing software may be needed for an online English course.
INSTRUCTIONS: There are specific computer software, Internet browsers and hardware requirements associated with E-Learning @ ATC. Read about the requirements and click on the Self Check below to practice what you just learned.
Internet Explorer 7 or higher
Firefox 3x and higher
NOTICE: Some online/hybrid courses use books that require an "access key." Access keys may be purchased with new textbooks or directly from the publisher. It is your responsibility to check with the instructor of your online course to determine if an access key is required. Please do this before you purchase your books for your online/hybrid classes.
Athens Technical College is prepared to help you successfully complete your online course! We provide online resources and timely technical support to assist our online students.
INSTRUCTIONS: Review the three steps listed below to learn about what you should do if you need technical support with your ANGEL course. Click on the Self Check to practice what you just learned.
Make sure you are aware of ATC's software/hardware requirements for online learning.
If your computer meets all requirements, has pop-ups enabled, and has all media downloads; but you are still having trouble accessing areas of your ANGEL course, contact your instructor. Contacting your instructor is always the first step when you are having any kind of issue--do not delay.
If your computer meets all requirements and your instructor has not been able to solve your technical support issues, contact ANGEL student technical support at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a support request.
Some technical problems have to do with the student's particular Internet Service Provider (ISP) or with his/her own hardware or software. In some cases, students will have to contact their ISP for technical support. Athens Technical College cannot resolve problems with your own hardware, software, or Internet service.
If you experience major technical difficulties with your computer, you may come to campus and use the open computer lab in Building H or the computers located in the library to complete your coursework.
ANGEL is ATC's learning management system. Learn about how to view course content and communicate with your instructor and classmates plus lots more by viewing each of the remaining pages in this lesson. There are different activities on each page for you to do to practice what you just learned. Now, let's get started!
You can log onto ANGEL using the following URL: http://athenstech.angellearning.com/
You can also log onto ANGEL by hovering over the "E-Learning" tab and selecting "ANGEL Login" on the ATC homepage
Username is "22_" + nine digit student id number
Example: An ATC student whose student id number is 910XXXXXX
When a student logs into ANGEL for the first time, the student will be prompted to change their password by clicking on the link provided.
Students will have access to their courses through ANGEL on the first day of scheduled classes in the semester. If the first day has passed and you still can't see a course on ANGEL, please contact your instructor or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Math courses at ATC do not use ANGEL. Instead, math courses use "Thinkwell" and "MyMathLab" learning management systems.
Your instructor will send out information via your Athens Tech student e-mail regarding how to access MyMathLab and Thinkwell. Please contact your instructor if you are have techincal issues with accessing or navigating these systems.
The following figure shows a typical ANGEL Home page, with the following options:
1. Courses. All your courses in which you are enrolled will be listed here. You will not see your course(s) listed until your instructor or your institution has made it available for you to access. Click the course name to enter that course.
2. Community Groups. A community group can be a club or student organization that has an ANGEL presence. You will see any groups in which you are a member listed here. Click the group name to enter that group.
3. Course Mail. Allows you to compose or read email messages.
4. Today's Calendar. Displays all events for that day that have been added to any of the calendars within your courses and/or groups.
5. Toolbox. Allows you to add personal bookmarks, upload files, and add events to a personal calendar.
6. My Announcements. Current announcements from your courses and/or groups will be displayed. The course or group from which the announcement originated will be displayed underneath the announcement.
7. Public Announcement. Any current public announcement will display.
8. Public Information. Any current public events or other information will display.
9. Identity bubble. Your name appears here; clicking the arrow at the end of the label will display a drop-down link to all your open courses and groups. This label also appears inside all your courses and groups so that you can navigate to another course or group without returning to your ANGEL Home page.
10. Edit Page. Allows you to add or delete components to your ANGEL Home page, as well as move present components to different columns.
On the left side of the page is a row of vertical buttons called a Power Strip. These buttons will be available to you wherever you are in ANGEL.
1. Home. This is the Home button that will bring you back to your ANGEL Home page.
2. Help. The Help button opens an online Help manual as well as links to other manuals that can be downloaded and printed.
3. Log off. The Log off button will close your ANGEL session. Always click on the Log off button when you are done with your ANGEL session.
4. Personal Preferences. The Preferences button allows you to add any personal information that you want to make available to other ANGEL users, as well as define some system settings, change your password, and change your ANGEL theme.
5. Accessibility. The 508 link allows you to define profiles for accessibility purposes or upload an Accessibility for Learner Information Profile (ACCLIP) file. For example, you could optimize your ANGEL environment for use with a screen reader or define color avoidance preferences.
6. PDA. The Personal Digital Assistant link allows you to activate the PDA display settings.
The Courses section of your personal home page gives you access to all the courses for which you are enrolled, either as a student or instructor. To access a course, simply click on the course's name; information about the selected course appears on a new page. Please remember that you will not see your courses listed until the first day of classes.
When you access a course, a set of navigation tabs appears across the top of the ANGEL window. Click a tab to view a page containing one or more specific types of information about the course. Your instructor will explain how they use ANGEL and which features they expect you to use in their course. The Student Quickstart Guide is a helpful tool to review before classes begin. As you navigate through the tabs, the Bread Crumb frame updates to show your current location within the course-related information.
The following tabs are available (please note your course could be slightly different depending on what the instructor chooses to offer):
Your instructor may use the Course Mail feature in ANGEL. Here, you can send and receive mail messages from your instructor or other class members. To access Course Mail, click the Communicate tab.
Clicking the Communicate tab takes you to the Communicate screen. You may click View Inbox to view all incoming messages, and to compose messages. If you would like to simply send a message without viewing your inbox, you may click Quick Message. Unread Messages displays a count of unread messages in your inbox.
To compose a new message, simply click the Compose button.
After clicking the Compose button, you will notice that your e-mail box looks very much like a standard e-mail program. To retrieve your instructor or class member e-mail addresses, simply click the To button.
Note: When replying to a course mail message, you must reply within ANGEL your course. If you do not go into ANGEL to reply, your message will go to elearning, not the intended recipient.
Uploading electronic files to a drop box is a convenient way to submit assignments to your instructor. The Drop Box accepts virtually any type of electronic file, including word processing documents, images, Web pages, and others.When uploading electronic files from a Macintosh computer, it is important to add the proper file extension to the file name (e.g. .doc, .jpg, .htm, etc.) before uploading the file.
To submit an assignment to a drop box:
1. Log into your ANGEL course and click the Lessons tab.
2. Navigate to your dropbox (your instructor will provide instructions on drop box assignments) and click its title or icon. The drop box link will have the icon you see in the below example.
After clicking the link, the dropbox page appears.
After clicking submit, your work is sent to your instructor for grading. WARNING: if you do not click submit, your file will only be added to your drop box but NOT submitted to your instructor!
There are two possible ways to view your grades. A Grades module may appear on your course homepage if your instructor has enabled that feature of ANGEL. You can click the Report tab or the grading block after you log in, both will take you to the Reports page. Change your report settings as instructed below to view your grades.
Under Category choose Grades
Under Report choose Student Grades
Scroll down. You will see all your grades.
Note: If you have questions about your grade (s), contact your instructor immediately.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you view your grades on your course homepage, remember to click on the refresh icon to update grade postings. It is the small circular arrow in the upper right corner of the Grades module. Instructors may or may not have a grades module on your course homepage. But the Reports tab, as described above, is usually available.
Place in the correct order
Discussion forums are created in online courses to provide a way for instructors and students to have discussions.Threaded discussion forums allow you to post, reply to, and search messages from the instructor and other students.
To post a message to a discussion forum:
1. Log into your ANGEL course and click the Lessons tab. NOTE: The Forums section can sometimes be found in the Lessons or Communicate tabs, or on the Home page.
2. Navigate to the discussion forum you want to post to and click its icon or title.
The discussion forum appears on the screen.
3. Click the New Topic button.
The Post a New Message window appears.
4. Click in the Subject field and enter a topic for your message.
5. Click in the Message field and type your message.
To attach a file to your post, click the add a file link, which appears under the Message field.
6. When your message is finished, click the Save button.
An assessment might also be called a quiz, test, or exam. The assessment may contain questions that can be graded automatically by ANGEL (multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, matching, ordering) and/or questions that will need to be graded by the instructor (essay, short answer). Your instructor may set up the assessment so that you see your grade as soon as you complete the assessment, when all questions have been graded, or so you do not see it until a later time. The type of review available at the end of the assessment is also determined by your instructor. Your instructor will provide you with test grade and review availability in your course.
If your instructor has set a time limit for your assessment, the following instructions must be followed to ensure you successfully submit your test.
1. You must not have any other windows open other than the testing window. This means, do not open a Word document, email, additional browser windows, etc. This may result in a disruption in your test and could result in a zero.
2. You may not begin an assessment and finish it at a later time (unless your instructor has given a long time to complete the test). Once the timer has started on an ANGEL test, it continues to countdown even if the student navigates away from the test. Most assessments may only be accessed once!
3. If you experience any technical difficulties at all, email your instructor at once with a DETAILED description of what occurred.
Failure to follow the above guidelines and/or additional guidelines set by your instructor may result in an assessment that cannot be graded.
1. Begin by clicking the assessment.
2. The assessment will open.
a. Instructions and information about the assessment will be listed, including the number of questions, the number of attempts allowed, the time limit for the test, and the type of review. It will also advise you that the assessment will open in a new window.
Caution: You must have pop-up blockers disabled to take an assessment.
b. Click the Begin Now button to start. If the button is not accessible, the assessment is not available for you to take it.
c. Once the assessment has been submitted, the results (as set up by the instructor) will display within this box.
3. Take the assessment.
a. If the assessment has a time limit, you will first see a screen advising you that there is a time limit. Click Continue to proceed. Otherwise, the assessment screen will appear.
b. If the assessment has a time limit, a count-down timer will display in the upper-right corner.
c. Answer all questions. This assessment has been set so that all questions appear at once.
4. Your instructor may include other settings for the assessment.
5. The assessment may also be set so that it automatically submits when the time limit has been reached. Be aware that the clock starts ticking as soon as you begin the assessment. If you close the test or leave for any reason, the clock will continue to count down, and the test will be submitted when the time is up.
6. When you are finished, submit the assessment.
a. Click the Submit button when you are ready to submit the assessment. If the assessment is being
delivered one question at a time, this button will appear on the screen with the last question. Remember
that "Submit" means submit the assessment.
b. After you click the Submit button, a window will appear advising you that the assessment will be
submitted and requiring you to click the OK button to proceed.
7. You will return to the original assessment page and your results will be displayed according to the settings input by your instructor. If you have questions about the assessment, contact your instructor.
If you are taking an untimed assessments, your instructor will provide instructions for taking the assessment.
Are you ready to take the assessment for online learning? Click on the assessment link found below. Once you have submitted your assessment, your results will automatically appear on your academic history. If you do not successfully complete the assessment, you will be prompted to review the material and to retake the assessment.
Assessment for Online Learning