|Student Handbook for online classes at SRJC using the CATE system||CATE Handbook More Info for Students Distance Ed Home SRJC|
Student Handbook for online classes
and Web-based components of face-to-face classes
at Santa Rosa Junior College using the CATE system
Note: CATE (formerly the acronym for the "Center for Advanced Technology in Eduction") was the original name of what is now the Distance Education office at SRJC. CATE (now the acronym for "Computer-Assisted Teaching Environment") continues to be the name of one of the courseware management systems supported by the Distance Ed office at SRJC.
Santa Rosa Junior College is committed to the expansion of its program of online classes. In addition, more and more faculty at SRJC are creating Web-based resources for their face-to-face classes. That being the case, students at the JC can increasingly expect to encounter the Internet as an integral component of their learning environment.
In order to efficiently take advantage of Web-based learning resources and/or online classes, students need to be familiar with a series of concepts and skills ranging from simple hardware tasks ("How do I turn this thing on?") to more sophisticated browser-based software techniques ("How do I flag this message as already read?"). Some students come to SRJC with minimal computer skills for those tasks, while others have already advanced to a much higher level of proficiency.
Whatever your current level of computer knowledge and comfort, this Handbook is designed to address all the concepts and skills required at every step along the way, from the most basic to the most advanced. For a checklist of those concepts and skills, see Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.
The Handbook is also designed to allow students to skim over the parts they already understand and move quickly to the next level. Along the way, the Handbook presents information on a wide range of topics, offers more resources for additional study, and provides self-assessment quizzes so you can determine how well you grasp the material.
In the earliest chapters, this Handbook doesn't attempt to teach you all the requisite concepts and skills. Instead, those chapters simply point out exactly what you need to know before proceeding. If you aren't already fully comfortable with that knowledge, you need to follow the advice provided along the way and take one or more basic computer and/or Internet classes to bring yourself fully up to speed with hardware and basic software.
The later chapters provide fuller explanations of exactly how to perform specific kinds of Web-based activities in the CATE courseware environment which is used for many of SRJC's classes. While the Handbook strives to guide you through the skills needed to utilize class Message Lists, participate in class Chat Rooms, upload electronic documents via In Boxes, and so on, if you have any doubts about your ability to perform those tasks you should seriously consider taking the appropriate introductory course before committing yourself to a fully Web-based class.
Taking a college-level class inherently requires considerable effort and commitment under any circumstances. Undertaking a college class in an online environment you don't fully understand can make the learning process exceedingly difficult and might be a recipe for failure. Consequently, it's very much to your advantage to ensure you're fully prepared to take an online class before jumping in.
We hope you'll find this Handbook simplifies the process of evaluating your readiness and preparing yourself.
Many online classes at SRJC are conducted using the CATE online courseware package. This system allows faculty to build, customize, and maintain Web-based components for their classes, whether those classes are online, face-to-face, or a hybrid of the two.
Different instructors will choose different components for their classes and structure them in different ways, but the underlying foundations will remain the same. While not every class will use every part of the CATE system, students need to be familiar with all the pieces so they can efficiently utilize tools such as class search engines, Message Lists, Chat Rooms, In Boxes, etc.
Chapters 6 through 15 of this Handbook describe all the elements of the CATE system and explain how students can access and use them.
You can also peruse our checklist of CATE software concepts and skills for a compilation of all the critical aspects of taking an online class in our courseware environment.
Unless you're already completely comfortable with all these concepts and skills, you should take the appropriate introductory course before jumping into a fully Web-based class.
Note that all components of the CATE courseware system are entirely Web-based and accessible to your browser. The CATE system does not require you to download or configure any software at all; you simply need to use your browser to access webpages. However, some instructors will include files in their classes that require applications such as a PDF viewer (like Adobe Acrobat), a word processor (such as Microsoft Word), a video player (such as the QuickTime player or Real Player), and/or other similar desktop applications.
Concept, structure, and text: Bill Stone
Research, design, and text: Corrine Haverinen
Assistance, advice, encouragement, and sympathy: Lisa Beach, Jim Burke, George Lancina, Pattie Myers, Theresa Ryan, Peg Saragina, Ben Stone, Phyllis Usina
|Distance Education office
Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA USA
Last Modified: Friday, 25-Jan-2013 09:08:58 PST
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