~ Am I ready for online courses?
~ How much time will I spend each week?
~ How often do I need to login?
~ Which is the best way to access my courses?
~ Can I use online classes to make-up missed on-site classes?
~ When can I access my course?
~ When can I access my orientation?
~ Is there a separate text, CD, or other supplies required?
~ Do any online classes require me to come into SWIHA?
~ What if I lose my Internet connection?
~ How do I handle make-up work?
~ How do I access my grades?
~ Online Resources
Am I ready for online courses?
Taking online courses is very different from taking traditional on ground courses. You may be very confident in your technical skills and self-discipline, or like many of us, you may not be confident in either. Thankfully, there are many resources on the web to help you determine your level of readiness.
To help get you started, here is an online assessment you can take to determine if you are ready to take an online course: ONLINE Assessment Take it for a spin and let us know how you did. We are here to help you through any questions you may have!
How much time will I spend each week?
You should expect to spend between 6 and 12 hours per week working on course and personal work habits. This includes time participating in discussion boards, reading course material, and completing independent projects.
How often do I need to login?
In an online course, your attendance is based on your participation levels. You should login to your courses at least every other day to participate in discussions, read course material, connect with your instructor, and support your classmates.
Which is the best way to access my courses?
You can connect to your course material in multiple ways – the FirstClass client, your Web Browser, or your Web-enabled mobile phone.
FirstClass Client Application
The FirstClass client should be installed by all students. Text instructions are found here on how to install FirstClass. This stand-alone application is very secure, fast, and reliable. It also has a more flexible layout and allows you to have multiple windows open at one time. Additionally, all of your quizzes and assements will be delivered through the FirstClass interface.
The Web client provides you access to all of your course material, discussion boards, and messages from any internet connection when you do not have access to the FirstClass client application. It can be accessed by most browsers from wherever you have an internet connection. It is not as flexible as the client, and can only have one window open at a time. However, it requires no additional installations and is a good choice for anyone who is traveling. To access the Web client please go to http://online.swiha.edu and login with your FirstClass username and password. Please remember that you will not be able to access any quizzes or assesments from here.
Web-Enabled Mobile Phone
You also have access to all of your course material, messages, and discussion boards through your web-enabled mobile phone. This is a great way to catch up on material or messages five or ten minutes at a time. You could be in-between massage clients, on the train heading home, or waiting for lunch at the local bistro and your courses are as close as your pocket! To access the web-enabled content just point your phone to http://m.swiha.edu. Please remember that you will not be able to access any quizzes or assessments from here.
When can I access my course?
You will be able to access your courses on the Sunday before the course begins, at the latest. To reach your course, first login to FirstClass and go to the "Southwest Institute of Healing Arts" icon. Once there, enter the "SWIHA Classrooms" conference. Your course will be listed there. Double-click to enter your course and get started!
When Can I access my Orientation?
As soon as you have your username and login you can access the Orientation.
Can I use the online version of a class session to make-up work that I have missed when I’m enrolled in the on-site version?
Because of potential differences in lecture timing, as well as the collaborative nature of an online course, it is not possible to use online courses as make-up work for our on-site courses. Make-up work for our on-site courses will still need to be arranged between you, your instructor, and student services.
Is there a separate text, CD, or other supplies required?
Some courses will require a textbook and other online resources. In most cases, you will be responsible for getting the text through a local or online book seller. We will provide you with resource information in the welcome packet for each course so you have time to order required resources. In some cases, you will receive resource items unique to specific assignments or course objectives. You will be charged for these resources when you register, and they will be shipped to you in time for you to use them in your class.
Do any online classes require a session on-site as well, or can they all be completed remotely?
At this time, none of our online courses require residency hours. However, as we expand our course offerings this will become a requirement for some continuing education and program-based courses. For these courses, you will be informed of the number of required residency hours at the time of enrollment.
What if I lose my Internet connection?
A reliable Internet connection is critical to your success as an online student. It is a good idea to determine several back-up sources of connectivity, in-case you have an outage. Before you start your coursework, take some time to find local libraries, coffee houses, and Internet cafes near you. This way you are ready if the unthinkable occurs.
That being said, we understand that outages occur and are most interested in your success and understanding of the material. The key to success in this, and most of your endeavors, is timely and accurate communication. If your connection does drop out, have a friend email your instructor for you. Or, call Brad Boute and leave a message with your name, what course you are in, and how long you expect to be down, and we will communicate with your instructor for you.
How do I handle make-up work?
Make-up work for online classes can be done for both missed assignments or lack of participation/attendance in any given week. Making up assignments is at the discretion of the instructor. Make-up for attendance can be done by discussing it with your Student Services Advisor, participating in the missed week, and submitting the Online Course Make-up Form to have your attendance record adjusted. Make-up can de done up to a maximum of 30 days after the course end date.
How do I access my grades?
Your grades will be hosted on Engrade.com. This is a secure web application that allows us to confidentially report and track your grades. You can access it anytime from anywhere you have an internet connection. At the beginning of each course you will receive an Engrade Access Code. To register for your free account, go to http://www.engrade.com/student-signup and sign-up using that code. Once your account has been activated you can login here: https://www.engrade.com/login.php.
Software for Course Access
FirstClass: This is a stand-alone desktop application for access to course materials, discussion boards, and faculty conferences. For text instructions please click here. For FirstClass technical specifications, please visit their website and select your operating system from the list.
Skype: Skype will be used for live chats, support, and community building. It also supports audio and video conferences. http://www.skype.com
Web Access to Course Materials
If you prefer to access your course materials through a web browser or your web-enabled mobile phone, you may go to one of the following. Please Note: Quizzes and tests are only available through the FirstClass Client at this time.
Open Source Productivity Software
Open Office: Open Office is an OpenSource suite of applications that reads and writes in Microsoft formats. It includes a document editor, spreadsheet developer, database builder, presentation software, and drawing software. http://www.openoffice.org/
Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat is a standard electronic document format. Please download from http://get.adobe.com/reader/
GIMP: GIMP is an open source image manipulation program equivalent to Adobe Photoshop. It can be downloaded from http://www.gimp.org/
Audacity: Audacity is an open source audio manipulation and recording software. It can be downloaded from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/