Distance Learning (DL) provides educational technology services for the transport of instruction into digital formats. Faculty instructors provide a series of lectures, powerpoint slides and supporting materials to be digitized and provided online via the Internet, CD-ROM, DVD or other formats for student use.
Located on the second floor of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, Distance Learning consists of a multi-camera digital studio, a digitization studio and supporting offices. Lectures are filmed and digitized on-site, and reproduced to multiple formats and/or the web. Streaming of video is provided by Academic Computing in Tampa, though the NetCast portal.
The format has been named "Media Enhanced Lecture", and has been tested by Instructional Media and Library Systems for online viewing by registered students.
Are you ready to take an online course?
Success with USF St. Petersburg's online courses requires a different set of skills than those used in a face-to-face teaching. You must be self-paced, self-controlled and diligent about your coursework. You also must have access to a computer that is robust enough to be able to access the course materials, and you must have Internet access.
If you answer "no" to any of the following questions, you will probably need to make adjustments in order to succeed in online courses.
• Are you self-paced?
• Do you usually finish assignments on time?
• Does the computer that you will use to access the course meet or exceed the following specifications?
300 MHz processor
128 MB Ram
300 Megabyte free space on the hard drive
Connection to an Internet Service Provider at broadband speeds 1MB or better (dial-up service will not work).
Able to run (and has loaded) MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)
• Do you either already know how to use BlackBoard or can you learn to use applications on the computer easily?
If you answered yes to all of the above concerns, you are likely to do just fine. Actually, online learning is not more difficult, or less effective, it's simply different. Once you get used to 'attending class' from your home, computer lab or library, you may find the overall experience to be even more rewarding than face-to-face classes.
Students enrolling in USF St. Petersburg web courses should have a working knowledge of computers and the Internet. Proficiency in the following computing skills is helpful when taking an online course:
How to create/save files on your computer. (Saving copies of homework and assignments is essential.)
How to send and receive email attachments.
How to copy/paste text from one program to another.
How to download and install software or add-in programs.
How to use virus detection software.
All online courses use the Blackboard course management system and the World Wide Web. Both require the following minimum specifications: Try the course sample (at bottom of the page) to determine if your computer meets these requirements.
• Pentium III or higher or MAC G3 or higher, 300 MHz or higher processor speed.
• Minimum of 128 MB RAM
• 800 x 600 pixel 256 color display (Best at 1024X768)
• 56K modem or higher speed internet connection (DSL, broadband, cable, etc. is recommended)
Note: If a specific course has additional hardware/software requirements, this will be noted in the course syllabus.
Preview the Sample Course
To see a sample web-based course, go here. This course provides a feel for the look and layout of a typical course.