The Online Learning Orientation @ Leeward CC

 The Online Learning Orientation @ Leeward CC 

By the end of this online orientation you will be prepared to learn online at Leeward CC- PLUS you can earn a Finisher badge.


1. Watch the Introduction to Online Learning video.
2. Complete the tasks in 1-4 below.
3. Complete the Online Learning Orientation Finisher form to receive your badge.


iLearn- Introduction to online learning

  • First, please watch the short video above.
  • Next, complete the tasks in each of the following 4 steps.

 I. Are you ready to learn online?

Distance Learning is not for everyone. Distance learning in many cases provides students greater flexibility. As a result, students have more control over their own learning. Successful completion will depend on the individual student’s self-discipline and commitment to the course.

  1. Click on the Start Here button below and take the survey.
  2. Review the feedback that is sent to your email address.


II. Do you know how to use Laulima?

Laulima is the University of Hawaii’s online collaborative learning environment. Laulima provides students with accessibility to course content and communication tools for interaction with the instructor and other students in the course.

A course offered through Laulima can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the Internet (except daily from 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM for server backup and maintenance).  Some courses will use Laulima as a supplement to their traditional face-to-face (f2f) or hybrid course.  Other courses, including online courses may deliver all of the course material, testing, and communication using Laulima.

  1. Watch the Laulima orientation video below. 
  2. Click on the Laulima Orientation Activity button and complete the activities AND questions.
  3. Review the feedback that is sent to your email address. Save the email for proof to get a badge.

Resource: Laulima Student Guide



III. Do you know how to be a successful online learner?

1. Review the list below. Determine two areas you need to work on to improve your learning online. Record your answers. You will need them to apply for a badge. 

  1. Personal Support
  2. Instructional Support
  3. Get Tech Ready
  4. Organize for Online Success
  5. Online Study Skills and Managing Time
  6. Communication Skills for Online Learning
  7. Online Reading Strategies

IV. Do you have the characteristics of a successful online learner?

1. Review the list below. Determine two characteristics you need to work on to improve your learning online. Record your answers. You will need them to apply for a badge. 

Be a self-directed learner

  • As you explore the many avenues of learning available and begin to define your individual path, you will still need to work with your instructors to make sure you are meeting the requirements of the individual courses. Proving you understand the subject matter and can apply what is taught is still important.
  • Online learning requires students to be self-directed, that is, to take initiative in the learning process. Online students should be able to analyze their learning needs, identify available resources, and select and implement strategies to meet these needs.

Develop self-discipline

  • This characteristic is usually seen in the learner’s ability to stay current with class assignments, participate on a regular basis in online discussions, and develop and adhere to a schedule for class activities.
  • In residential classes, you have an instructor and peers with whom you interact on a regular basis. You also typically meet at a certain time and place each week. This interaction and schedule help to keep you on task in your coursework. In an online learning environment, especially if you do not meet at specific times, it’s much easier to put off assignments, discussion, and responsibilities.
  • In this context, self-discipline means motivating yourself to pay regular and consistent attention to the work that needs to be done, and doing it without delay or procrastination. Even more than in a residential course, falling behind in an online class can jeopardize your likelihood of completing the course and earning the credit.
  • One thing you can do to promote self-discipline is to dedicate a place for studying. Your own space where you can shut the door, leave papers everywhere, and work in peace is necessary. If you try to share study space with the dining room or bedroom, food or sleep will take priority over studying.

Balance  your responsibilities and set priorities

  • Vital to a successful online learning experience is the ability to balance your responsibilities, both within and beyond your course. Knowing how to set priorities is key to getting the greatest benefit from your online education experience. Find out before or as the course begins exactly what work is required of you, and do your best to plan ahead.
  • Inevitably you will have more tasks to accomplish than you have time in which to complete them. At times like these, do your best to determine which course activities are most vital, and concentrate on those. Do not hesitate to ask for advice or help from your instructor.

Manage  your stress

  • Just because a course is delivered in an online format does not necessarily increase or reduce the stress you may experience taking it. Consider your own sources of education-related stress when choosing to take courses online. If you feel high stress from giving in-class presentations, then an online course would probably save you from that kind of stress.
  • On the other hand, if using computers and related technology makes you experience excessive stress, you might reconsider taking a course online, since most online courses rely exclusively on computer technology.
    Strategies for managing course-related stress include:

    • Know your deadlines. These include course deadlines as well as important events occurring elsewhere in your life while you are enrolled in the course.
    • Plan ahead. If you know that your time will be consumed by a non-course-related activity during a particular week, do your course-related activities ahead of time.
    • Ask for help resources, especially technological resources, and have them at hand when you are working on your coursework.
    • Keep in touch with your instructor.  If you do fall behind, let your instructor know immediately, and ask him/her for assistance in planning how you will catch up.

Understand the requirements & expectations

  • In order to meet and exceed course requirements and instructor expectations, you’ll need a clear understanding of exactly what those requirements and expectations are.
  • The course syllabus acts as a contract between you as the learner and the instructor. It outlines what will be taught, what you will need to do to show your understanding of the content, and how you will be assessed. Read through the syllabus early and carefully.
  • Do your best to develop a sense of the “big picture” of the course -what will be due, and when. Then concentrate on the individual pieces, such as assignments and assessments.

Be proactive

  • If something about the course or the material is not clear, don’t wait for your instructor to make it clear. Especially in an online environment, instructors have fewer cues to alert them to your confusion. They cannot see your puzzled expression or hear you ask, “What?” When you are unclear about an aspect of the course, ask your instructor.
  • Use very specific questions, seeking exactly what something means, what you will be expected to produce, etc. If an instructor does not hear from students, he/she may well conclude that students are grasping the material and do not need further assistance. If something is unclear to you, it may very well be unclear to the rest of the students in the class.
  • Your questions may help others in the learning process as well. So ask, early and as often as necessary.

Set goals

  • Goals keep you on target. If you don’t set goals for learning, then you may not know if you’ve achieved something worthwhile.
  • Make sure you have personal goals in mind, both longer-term goals for your program of study and desired degrees or skills, as well as short-term goals for individual courses and assignments.
  • If you have these goals in mind, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you need to do to meet these goals, and thus have deeper motivation to improve your work.

Ask for what you need

  • Beyond asking questions of the instructor to clarify course material and expectations, advocate for yourself with the institution offering the program. Additional services, like academic support services technological assistance, may be available to you as an online learner.
  • If you think of a service that would be helpful to you as a student, and your school does not offer that service, ask whether that service can be created or if special assistance can be provided. If your instructor cannot provide this service or assistance directly, ask him/her to recommend another contact or resource.

Respond, don’t react.

  • Often you will be required to join in a class discussion and respond to other postings. These discussions may become complex, intense, and even provocative. Before you send off a hastily written, emotionally based reaction to another’s contribution, turn to a word-processing program and develop your ideas into a less emotional and more reasonable response. Then wait a few minutes and reread what you have written before you make your posting public.
  • Learning how to turn a reaction into a response will make your course contributions more meaningful – and likely earn you a higher mark for participation–if participation counts toward your grade. Pausing and rereading also gives you the opportunity to review your writing for organization, clarity, and correctness.Communication in online courses is of two different types: synchronous or asynchronous.
    • Synchronous communication takes place in “real-time,” or at the same time. To be online at the same time as peers and interact with them is to communicate synchronously. Chat, instant messaging, and Web conferencing are examples of synchronous communication tools. Chat sessions and instant messaging can have a lively, immediate feel, and may feel casual or conversational in tone.
    • Asynchronous communication, on the other hand, takes place over time, not requiring group members to be online simultaneously. Email, discussion forums, blogs, and wikis are examples of asynchronous communication often used in online courses. With asynchronous communication tools, you browse, read, and respond at your own pace to what others have already sent or posted.  Your online course may use one or many of these tools. If possible, practice with the tool before the assignment takes place. Ask your instructor for help if you are unsure how a tool works before you need to use it.


  • Online learning does not mean you are learning alone. You will belong to a class consisting of instructors, fellow students, and perhaps others with whom you will interact. Your instructor will attempt to build a class environment through discussion questions, chats, group projects, and other activities.
  • You can help build this classroom environment through your participation. Seeing and speaking to others is not a necessary component in getting to know someone. Through your chats and messages, both real-time (synchronous) and delayed (asynchronous), you have the opportunity to develop personal and professional relationships.
  • The classmates you get to know online may come from very diverse situations and can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. If you are willing to share your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge with your classmates, they may also return the favor.

Share and support

  • As noted above, your fellow classmates and instructors provide a resource for information and support. An online learning environment can provide several other resources as well. Within your online classroom environment, however, you have the opportunity to access and help build resources which can benefit your whole class.  Look for areas where you may post reviews for books you have read on pertinent topics, links to online resources, and observations for specific topics.
  • Within your virtual classroom, you and your fellow classmates can build a collective knowledge base which may become invaluable even after your coursework is completed.

Use online resources

  • As an online learner, you may not have immediate access to some of the resources and assistance available on a physical campus. However, there is a plethora of information and help available online and through special service arrangements.
  • To make use of these, you will need to make yourself aware of what services are available. You will also need to pay careful attention to the validity of these services and to some legal and ethical issues concerning research and use of information found for academic purposes.

Critically assess information

  • Once you find information or research, you must also look critically at what you’ve found to assess its authenticity and truthfulness. How do you know if information you’ve found is reliable and based on sound, honest research? This may apply to books and articles found through library catalogs and online bibliographic databases, and even more so for information found on the web. The web has been described as the greatest vanity press in history, allowing almost anyone to publish almost anything. You as the reader should be looking critically at any information you find.
  • Here are some critical questions to ask of any information you uncover:
    • Who is the author of this information
    • Does anyone else, such as a publisher or association, take responsibility for making this information available?
    • Has this work been referred or reviewed by subject matter experts?
    • Is other important information included with this work such as a date, author’s credentials and contact information, or citations for other works referred to in this work?
    • Have any other reputable publications cited or referenced this work?
    • All the topics addressed in this section relate to the idea of information literacy, or the ability to locate information, evaluate that information, and use it in appropriate ways. Being an online student will likely increase your level of information literacy. Becoming aware of the concept of information literacy and its implications on learning can help you as you take courses online.
    • Develop Good Study Habits & Skills
    • Know Yourself and Your Learning Style
    • Recognize Others’ Learning Styles

Recognize, when it comes to learning, everyone is different.

  • Everyone has their own preferred approaches to new material and their own preferred style of learning. The same studying and learning techniques that work for your friends and peers may not be the best styles and techniques for you.
  • To understand what style of learning best suits you, you should first try to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and how you approach new learning situations. Assessing your skills and preferences will help you select the type of learning strategies – and perhaps the online courses – that are most likely to keep you interested and motivated and help you reach your learning goals.
  • In addition to evaluating how you learn best, as you work with others in groups, realize that your peers also have their own preferred methods and styles for learning and completing tasks. These differences can cause conflict if you don’t recognize why others are not seeing things the same way that you do.
  • Through open sharing about learning styles and preferences, and mutual respect for different approaches and ways of thinking, your team may be able to capitalize on differences by integrating them in unique ways. This may lead to unique insights into your course material and to producing distinctive course work projects.
  • Identifying Study Skills. Having identified how you and your classmates’ best learn, you can begin to look at specific study strategies and evaluate how well they may work for you in your online course. These techniques may address strategies for reading informational content, taking notes, memorizing information, exploring new concepts, and taking tests to name a few.
  • When it comes to learning, everyone is different, having their own preferred approaches to new material and their own preferred style of learning.  Assessing your skills and preferences will help you select the type of learning strategies that are most likely to keep you interested and help you reach your learning goals.

Develop good study habits and abilities

  • One way to be a successful distance learner is to develop good habits and abilities early. These habits and abilities are: check your email at least once a day send copies of all project-related email to the whole group (when working on a group project)
  • Depend on yourself as much as possible
    • Use resources available to you, including online help, tutorials, manuals, course syllabi, assignment directions, and the Internet.
    • Monitor your own progress by noting where you are in the course, which assignments you have completed and which lie ahead.
    • Communicate with your instructor and peers.
    • Reach out when you need someone to talk to, feel frustrated or need help. Remember you are not alone.
    • Contribute advice or ideas about the real-world as it applies to the subject matter you are studying.
  • Learners who have good learning self-awareness usually have good strategies for better understanding new information and may be more successful in a distance learning environment.
    • Learning self-awareness (metacognition) is your ability to be aware of how well you are learning; in other words, to know when you understand or don’t understand new information when you read it or it is presented.

Manage your time wisely

  • Set aside a significant amount of time each week for class work. Distance education classes require as much time and effort as instructor-led classes, if not more. Develop a schedule and stick to it. Without the structure of weekly class meetings, you may be tempted to put off class work until the last minute. Instead, you should give yourself extra time to do your work, because technological difficulties and asynchronous communication can slow down the process.
  • To be prepared, read the syllabus and other course materials carefully to understand:
    • Class requirement
    • Assignment due dates
  • The proper form assignments should take the time it will take to get assignments in the proper form, and contact information for your instructor and classmates in case you need help. Once you have the big picture, mark important dates on your calendar.
  • Technology is not all that we might expect and problems occur that are beyond our control. Servers go down, computers crash, programs freeze and work may be lost. There are, however, things that are very much in your control. Plan ahead; allow time for downloading and installing software (such as plug-ins) that you need for class. Your instructor will often list these in your course syllabus. Download and install this software early, then practice using it. Software programs take time to learn, and the night before an assignment is due is not the time.
  • If you’ll be accessing the Internet from work, find out if your company has a firewall. A firewall may prevent you from accessing particular web sites or using browser plug-ins to view video and audio, and interfere with file transfers.
  • Expect and plan for glitches and delays by starting assignments early, backing up your work regularly and making contingency plans for chats or online exams. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Make a time commitment for your online course

  • Along with time management goes time commitment and perhaps creating your own study space away from outside distractions as mentioned above.
  • Completing course assignments and other learning activities can take from five to fifteen hours or more per week. And you may find that you need to be online almost every day. So before enrolling, be sure you can set aside enough time to keep up with your daily or weekly assignments.

Want a Completion Badge?

  1. Click on the button below.
  2. Complete and submit your request for a badge.

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