What to Expect as an OCC Online Student

Are online classes easier than face-to-face classes?

While there are many benefits to online learning, it’s not easier than traditional, in-person classes. In fact, you can expect to work as hard, or even harder, than in your face-to-face classes. With all OCC classes, your success will be dependent on the time and effort you invest in your coursework.

Do I have to log in and complete coursework during specific times of the day?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. OCC will be offering online courses that are asynchronous - ‘ONL-A’ - so these courses offer you the flexibility and convenience of completing assignments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without a set meeting time. OCC will also be offering online courses that are synchronous - ‘ONL-S’ - and these types of online courses do have set days and times to meet virtually.

Do online courses carry the same amount of credits or course competencies as in-person classes?

Yes. Online courses offer the same quality education, competencies and credits as OCC’s face-to-face classes and are even taught by the same instructors.

Can I finish online courses during the semester at my own pace?

No. Online courses are not self-paced. You’ll follow the same academic calendar and course dates as in-person classes.

How do I know if online learning is a good fit for me?

You are required to register for and pass the DIST-1000: Online Learning Readiness course before you will be able to enroll in online courses. To prepare you for online coursework, OCC offers this no-cost, self-paced course, which is a prerequisite for any online degree or certificate program. The course will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. This course is designed to get you familiar with navigating the OCC online learning environment, and it also addresses common questions and myths about online learning.

Ask Yourself

It is important for students to understand the skills and technology necessary to become successful online learners. Before you enroll or begin your online class, see if you can agree with these statements that will help you determine if taking online courses is a good option for you:

Self-Direction
  • I am motivated and easily able to set and accomplish goals for myself.
  • I am really good at multitasking.
  • I keep myself on track and on time by finishing the projects I start.
  • I do not give up when things become challenging.
Study Habits
  • I have a place where I can read, work, and study that is free of distractions.
  • I can tailor my schedule to allow me to spend 10-20 hours every week on an online course.
  • I am organized at keeping a record of assignments and specific due dates.
  • I tend to plan my work in advance to avoid procrastination and to turn in all assignments on time.
Computer Technology
  • I have access to a reliable computer with the supported browsers and technology.
  • I have a fast, secure Internet connection and can download the latest version of supported browser.
  • I have virus protection software running on my computer.
  • I have headphones, a webcam, and a microphone to use in case I need to participate in a virtual meeting or take a proctored assessment from home.
Learning Preferences
  • I absorb information quickly and learn fairly easily.
  • I have developed several ways to solve problems on my own.
  • I know where to go or who to contact if I need extra support or additional academic resources.
  • I enjoy learning in a group, but I can learn on my own as well.
Technology Skills
  • I am confident in my computer usage skills and Internet searches.
  • I am comfortable installing software or plugins, as well as modifying configuration settings.
  • If I experience any computer or technology problems, I have a back-up plan or someone who can help me.
  • I am comfortable using email, adding attachments, and uploading or downloading documents from a website.

We also offer IT support and training.

How is attendance recorded?

Refer to OCC's Grading Policy and your instructor's definition of attendance and participation.

Just like in a tradition, in-person course, students are not asked for their ID upon walking into the classroom, and the online space is no different. However, in some regards, the online environment has user authentication (such as OCC usernames, passwords, and student IDs) connected to the student’s course, and these are the current methods of validation used at OCC.

Rules on Attendance in OCC Online Courses
Attendance is not determined as the last day the student logged into the course. Students must complete work as defined by the instructor. Consult your course syllabus, messages, and announcements for your instructor's attendance policy, as well as OCC's Attendance Policy found under Grading Policy.

Attendance Activities
  • Adhering to due dates
  • Participating in online discussion forums
  • Completing quizzes and tests by the deadline
  • Assignment submission before or on due date
Non-Attendance Activities
  • Logging into the course
  • Emailing classmates
  • Planning to complete all assessments at the end of the term
  • Reading course materials

How do I interact with my classmates and instructor, complete coursework and take exams?

OCC Online instructors share course information and content to students through a learning management system (LMS). At OCC, the LMS environment students use is called Brightspace by D2L (D2L for short.)

Many instructors utilize group discussion board forums so students in class can interact and discuss course material. For specific information about interacting with classmates or your instructor, please refer to the individual course syllabus or contact your instructor.

Syllabi will also detail information regarding time commitment, flexibility of course calendar and attendance requirements. These will all differ depending on the course and the instructor.

What are the computer/Internet requirements for using D2L?

D2L is OCC’s Learning Management System. To successfully use D2L, ensure you have the required technology and a reliable Internet connection for the duration of the course. While mobile devices may be used to review course materials in D2L, for critical activities, such as taking a quiz, it is strongly recommended to use a desktop or laptop with a supported web browser and a reliable Internet connection. Some features of D2L may work differently or may work with reduced functionality when using a supported mobile device.

What type of technical support is available for students?

Technical help is available to D2L students experiencing problems with the D2L system. The D2L Helpdesk is available 24/7 including weekends and holidays by calling 855.772.1235 (toll free).

Training resources for Microsoft and other technologies is available on the Library web site.

Can I attend from anywhere?

Yes. As an OCC Online student, you can take courses from anywhere across Michigan, the United States or the world. However, please refer to the course notes for any specific test proctoring requirement.

What time zone do you use for online tests, appointments, etc.?

All courses, appointments, proctored testing times and assignment deadlines will follow United States Eastern Standard Time (EST) or Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) during the Daylight Savings Time period. You’ll need to meet deadlines according to this time zone, no matter which time zone you’re attending from.

Can I still use campus facilities?

Yes. As an OCC Online student, you will have access to the same facilities as in-person students. The only exception to online student participation might occur in student life. If you are interested in online student life opportunities, you should contact the faculty advisor of the student organization you are interested in to see if there are remote, or online, options available for participation.

How will I know if my online course requires any in-person, proctored examinations?

When registering for a course, in the course notes section there will be language about required proctored exams. These exams may require a student to come on campus for testing, or to visit an approved testing site of their choosing. This is most common in courses like mathematics, or courses with a hands-on component.

Is tutoring or ASC (Academic Support Center) support different for online students?

No. Online tutoring through ‘NetTutor’ and online ASC support services will continue to be available to students. These services are available to students enrolled in any class format: online, in-person or hybrid.

Will a 100% online student be able to get a Raider One Card?

Yes. A student can complete all steps necessary to obtain a Raider One Card completely online.