Alternative and distance learning courses include telecourses, Internet courses, and interactive television (ITV) courses. To access current course listings by delivery method, go to My MAC, select the Course Search tab and click the Course Search link. Then choose 'Telecourse' or 'Internet Class' from the Campus drop down menu.
Interactive TV (ITV) Courses
MAC currently offers several courses via ITV (Interactive Television). ITV is the delivery of instruction to students at outreach centers using teleconferencing equipment that permits two-way audio and visual interaction. The instructor is at a home site (usually the main campus) and students can see, hear, and communicate with the home site as well as the other distant sites. This is accomplished by modifying the classrooms to accommodate specially equipped cameras, microphones, and TV monitors. ITV makes it possible for students to participate in a number of courses that they might not have been able to take on the main campus because of travel restrictions, work schedules, or low enrollment.
Internet (On-line) Courses
This format allows you to “attend” classes by logging onto the course’s Web page. You get your assignments, and read supplemental lecture or discussion material. There is a discussion forum (bulletin board) for communicating with the instructor and other class members. You need good reading skills because the instructor is not there in person to explain things, or to lecture. Writing skills are important because you must post your questions and comments in a discussion forum. Some instructors require a written discussion forum entry weekly in which you describe your progress on current assignments. And, of course, you need to be comfortable using e-mail, and accessing Internet sites. You just need access to the Internet, and, if the course is related to computers, the appropriate software, such as Excel, Access, or Word XP, etc. If you have Internet access and appropriate software at home it is much more convenient. In some classes the online text costs about $15 extra. In some there are no additional costs. It varies from course to course. After enrollment, you e-mail the instructor. This establishes your ability to use e-mail and provides your e-mail address to the instructor, who replies with information about the course, the Web site address, etc. Most courses present tests on-line. In some courses you will have to go to campus or to a designated testing location such as a local high school for testing. You may have to go to campus for the final exam. MAC presently offers web courses in the fields of Agriculture, Child Development, Criminal Justice, Business Educaction, Computer Information Systems, English, Psychology, Sociology, German, Ethics, American History and Government. Additional courses are added each semester.
A telecourse is a full-credit course in which material traditionally covered in a classroom setting is delivered via video cassette lessons, which are also aired on television stations such as PBS. Perhaps more accurately termed video courses, Mineral Area College ’s telecourses are offered on the video format to allow students greater choice in viewing and study time. Most telecourses are filmed in documentary style, rather than a classroom lecture format. MAC’s telecourses are supervised by staff instructors, to whom students report for orientation and assistance. Students receive a course syllabus with a schedule of assignments and tests. Exams are taken in the MAC Learning Center. Certain instructors allow exams to be taken at MAC outreach centers. Textbooks, DVD's, and Telecourse Guides for the courses are purchased at the campus bookstore. For further information, contact the instructor teaching the specific course.