Distance Learning Overview
Student Handbook - Please review if you have a question about a policy that governs all students.
Frank Phillips College offers students the opportunity to engage in learning via distance education. This allows you the flexibility to schedule classes around your particular needs so that you may earn college credit whenever and from whatever location best suits your circumstances. Learning at a distance requires a serious commitment, and you will get out of your experience what you are willing to put into it. Your contact is the instructor, but please feel free to contact any FPC staff member for assistance with questions and problems not specifically related to the course content.
Mission of Distance Learning
The mission of distance learning at Frank Phillips College is to provide students with opportunities to take courses from various locations while ensuring the integrity in the courses and in the services to students.
History of Distance Learning
In 1986, Frank Phillips College began a distance learning endeavor through the use of a microwave system that was one of only three being used in the nation, and FPC’s system was the largest in the world at the time of installation. Canadian, Dalhart, and Perryton High School were equipped with televisions and microphones so that the teacher at FPC could communicate directly with students in a distance classroom. In the late 1990’s, FPC began to offer online classes, and in 2002, began capturing courses for review by students. Today, students may take courses in a variety of means that best fit their needs.
Is Distance Learning Right for You?
Before enrolling in distance learning courses, you need to consider the demands of learning outside of a face-to-face classroom. As convenient as distance learning courses may be, the demands are great for all students.
The following checklist and The Student Self Assessment Tool may help you determine whether distance learning in any mode is a good alternative for your educational needs.
The main contact for students is always the instructor. Upon enrollment in the course, you will be provided the contact information for your instructor. Please contact the instructor through e-mail or by telephone during the first week of classes. At this time, you will be given the information for accessing the student portal or any other necessary technology. Distance learning students should also complete the tour of the Library/ Learning Resource Center, which is available on line or on campus.
Delivery Methods of Distance Learning
Frank Phillips College provides a variety of means through which a student may learn. The most common learning environment is, of course, the face-to-face classroom in which students interact live with an instructor who is in the same room. However, as the needs of students change and the diversity among students increases, the need for alternative methods of delivery also increases. Currently, Frank Phillips College meets the diverse needs of its student body through the following distance learning modes:
ITV: Instructional Television uses the local cable channel (currently Channel 63 on Cable One network) that broadcasts into Borger, Fritch, and Stinnett communities. Students may watch the class live during its scheduled time or may video tape the class for later viewing. This method may be ideal for students who have family commitments that prevent them from coming to campus on a regular basis; however, it is the student’s responsibility to capture the class. Video tapes are available in the library but must be viewed on campus. Students considering this option should also note that the class is not interactive from their local television station, so it is imperative to communicate with the instructor via e-mail or telephone.
DVD: Typically classes are recorded and captured on DVD for students enrolled in dual-credit courses in the college’s service area high schools. These DVD's are sent through a courier system weekly then viewed at the high-school campus. The courses are taught by a qualified Frank Phillips College faculty member and are usually facilitated by a high-school teacher. However, the FPC faculty member teaches the course and grades all work associated with the college grade that appears on the student’s transcript. On occasion, a DVD course will be offered to students individually when no other method of delivery is suitable to his or her needs.
Interactive Live Classes are classes taught in Borger or Perryton that are connected to a site other than the site in which the class originates. Students taking a class in Borger, for example, often interact live with students in Perryton or one of the high-school campuses in which students are enrolled for dual-credit courses. Being part of an interactive classroom is often invigorating for students and faculty. This system does require, however, that students be prepared for the technology associated with interactive classes included the cameras and microphones necessary to project from one location to another. Students must also be willing to communicate with other students from a remote location.
On-Line Courses are taught exclusively though internet access. Students must have accessibility to computers that function properly and can easily connect to the FPC web site. Students will use the student portal in CAMs as the learning platform for on-line courses. An orientation is required of all students. Whenever possible, students are encouraged to attend the orientation in Borger or Perryton, but an on-line orientation is available as needed. Information about the orientation for online courses can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.fpctx.edu/Students/DL_Portal.htm.
Virtual College of Texas (VCT) is a program in which community colleges in the State of Texas share resources. Typically students enroll in VCT courses to be taken through internet functions. Frank Phillips College transcripts the credit regardless of where the instructor is based. VCT courses must be approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs or the Dean of Workforce and Extended Education.
Success in the Distance Learning classroom
Your success as a distance learning student depends a great deal on your communication with the instructor and requires a serious commitment on your part. Therefore, it is critical that you attend to the following steps to ensure your success:
In addition to completing these tasks during the first week, distance learning students must organize themselves to succeed. This organization is similar to that required of all college students, but some of the steps may be specific to distance learners. The following checklist will help ensure a positive learning experience for the students:
Contact your instructor as soon as the class begins. Find out when his or her office hours are and how you may best communicate with one another. Many instructors have office hours dedicated to distance learning students, and all instructors will make arrangements to be available to your outside of their office hours when it is necessary for you to contact them at other times. Communicate frequently with your instructor, and remember that it is your responsibility to make your teachers aware of any special needs that you may have.
In classes delivered in means other than on-line, form study groups and partnerships with other students early in the semester. At the very least, make two good contacts with other students so that you can get notes and other information from a good source if you are absent. Remember that the instructor does not re-teach the material if you are absent, so you need a reliable student in cases of emergency.
Student Support Services
Students enrolled in courses through distance education are most often enrolled simultaneously in face-to-face courses. All student services are available to all students regardless of the mode of delivery, but if you are attending classes at the Borger or Perryton locations, you may find it most useful and efficient to secure services from the appropriate personnel in a face-to-face situation. However, if you are not attending classes at Borger or Perryton, you should take advantage of the opportunities provided to you through the college website.
Office of Student Records
The office responsible for admissions and records is located in the Classroom Learning Center. You may contact this office any time through e-mail or by telephone. All assessment records are located here as are your schedules and any other documentation.
Assessment in distance education courses is often similar to the assessment of face-to-face courses. Therefore, it is common for a student to take timed tests in on-line and other distance learning classes. It is the student’s responsibility to find a suitable proctor and get the proctor approved by the instructor. Generally, local school districts and libraries will assist students needing proctoring. Some tests will be given on-line and do not require a proctor. Speak to your instructor about what arrangements you will need to make for your particular course.
Learning Resource Center
On the website, you will find the library tour, which will prove invaluable as your prepare research for your classes. In this tour, you will learn how to navigate all of the resources available on-line, including the Harrington Library Consortium, TexShare, and inter-library loan.
Advising and Counseling
These services are also available on-line, and you will have the same care given to you as you would find in a face-to-face meeting. When it is in your best interest to communicate in ways other than those on-line, the FPC employee will contact you at the telephone number you have provided so that there is no cost to you. Counseling is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Advising is available through e-mail and a help-desk live chat. However, you will want to make regular contact with your assigned advisor so that you may file a degree plan and make progress towards your goals. Your assigned advisor will be a faculty member or a counselor who has expertise in the area you are pursing.
On-line tutoring is available to all FPC students. Please click on the following link to learn about On-line tutoring: http://www.fpctx.edu/Students/DL_Tutoring.htm.
Distance Learning provides an opportunity for students with special needs to attend well-organized and thoughtful classes in a convenient format. However, students who choose to enroll in classes through a distance learning delivery system must commit to frequent communication with the instructor and other agents of the college. Frank Phillips College is proud to offer its students the chance to earn college credit in a situation conducive to learning. Welcome to FPC. Start here . . . Go Anywhere.