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How Online Learning Works

One of the most exciting things about online learning is that it can be learner driven. This means that students have the opportunity to direct the learning through discussion forums, sharing of knowledge, and collaboration among the learning community. For this to happen, students must be dedicated, proactive, and responsible for their learning. Students must commit 10-15 hours per week to each online course.

Online courses have many advantages such as access to courses that may otherwise not be available, flexibility of time (create your own schedule), flexibility of space (learn at home or away), 24/7 access, and lifelong skills such as self-discipline, good work ethics, reliability, dependability, and the ability to learn new technologies. These are all traits sought out by employers.

All of the Ag Science online courses are offered through World Campus, which is an online Penn State campus. Any courses taken through World Campus have the same amount of credit and content as a classroom course and will display on your Penn State transcript as a "regular" classroom course.

An Ag Science online course is taught during the regular semester times by a Penn State professor, and have deadlines throughout the semester just like a classroom course. Students communicate with the professor and other students primarily by using email and discussion forums. Additional methods of communication are chat rooms, collaborative software like Google Docs and VoiceThread, and through live discussions using Adobe Connect.

All courses are accessible on ANGEL, Penn State's course management system. This is an online site where you can access, view, and manage your courses. When you receive your User ID and password, log in to ANGEL. You will be able to view your courses in ANGEL on the first day of class at 8am, EST.

To become more familiar with an Ag Science online course and the eLearning environment, do the following:

  • View our course samples
  • Read about the technology used for our online courses:

In addition to course work, online learning requires discipline, effective time management, and a slightly different way of thinking and communicating. Read the following articles for tips: