Online Technologies
Demand for online courses has continued to rise since the late 1990’s. Although retention with these types of classes has improved, it is still less than in traditional classes. Some community colleges offer full degrees and certificates through this venue. Online courses are seen as the future for community colleges, especially in times of budget deficits. These types of courses allow the community college to provide access to large amounts of students.

Source: NCES, 2004.


On-Line Instruction Advantages:
 24/7 access
 Possible to address different learning styles through graphics, audio, and videos
On-Line Disadvantages:
 Highly demanding on students
 Possible confusing online elements
New instructors should receive training in online delivery and content.
Some tips include:

Set the tone for the web course with a Welcome Page
 Proper and timely posting of materials (syllabus, expectations, grading system, rules for on-line discussion, assignment instructions)
 Send a weekly email blast to students to keep them engaged and informed
 Schedule a weekly chat discussion; vary the hour and day
 Establish web chat rules and etiquette
 Create and maintain communication about grades and assignments
 Organize learning partners for collaborative assignments

Source: Zappala, J. (2005). A short take: Online teaching. Community College Enterprise, 11(1), 61-66.

Future of Online Technologies
As enrollments continue to rise due to the increased matriculation by the baby boomer's children, technology will play an ever-increasing important role. This expanding number of students is taking a toll on community colleges. The only way to increase access in times of budget constraints is by providing more online distance courses. The future will show an increased reliance on part-time staff to deliver online courses; with full-time faculty--designing the majority of online curriculum. Leadership must ensure proper training and faculty development to successfully implement these online options.