Online Learning

Explore the online learning offerings at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

PA College online courses typically do not require students’ physical presence in a classroom. Online courses may involve an asynchronous structure, where you have assignments and deadlines but work at the time that best suits your life or synchronous class meetings, where course participants are expected to be online at the same time.

These synchronous activities will be specified within the course syllabus. The course activities occur in the online learning environment, hosted through the Blackboard (Bb) learning management system, and/or other programs specified by the course instructor. In some rare cases, students may be asked to be physically present for a final presentation or exam even for a fully online course (this will be outlined in the course syllabus or announced via Bb or email).

Students may choose to take their courses in the format and pace best suited to their learning style and comfort level, based upon course and section availability. All students are urged to discuss their options and individual situations with their admissions counselor and/or academic advisor.

Computer Requirements for Online Learning

  • PA College online courses require the use of a computer. Chromebooks are not recommended due to compatibility issues with software required to take some tests
  • Consistent and reliable access to a personal computing device (e.g. laptop) with high speed Internet (not dial-up), sound card, speakers, and a printer is essential.
  • Necessary software includes Microsoft Office (free download available of Microsoft Office 365 for all students) and Adobe Acrobat Reader (also available for free).
  • Other computer programs may be required by some instructors for certain courses as outlined on the course syllabus.
  • In some classes and in the online courses, a microphone and webcam are needed. Computer labs are available on the college campus located at 850 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, PA.

Though technical support is available through the Information Technology Services (ITS) department, students must be familiar with the use of computers and able to create, save, attach, retrieve, download, and print electronic files. Students should be able to navigate the Internet and use search engines such as Google, EBSCOhost, and others.

Being A Successful Online Learner

Are you interested in taking online courses? Students need a variety of skills to succeed in the online learning format. Effective time-management skills may be the most important factor to success in online learning. Successful online learners are internally motivated and able to work well independently. Online students should possess computer equipment, high-speed Internet, as well a willingness to learn new technologies. It also helps to have a dedicated study space, and you might benefit from creating a study schedule. Additionally, consider finding a buddy to connect with in an online course just like you would in a traditional classroom.

Whether it’s a desk in your room, a kitchen table, or a well-loved coffee house, try to establish a dedicated study space early on in your online college career to make the most of your time and lessen distractions.

Will you make a good online learner? The resources below will help prepare you for your first online course.

Take this self-assessment to gauge your online learning readiness. The results will help you determine steps you can take to be a successful online learner.

The following resource suggests many ways to become a successful online student: “Online Student’s Manual for Success.” Pay particular attention to the suggestions and tools for time management and organization.

Individuals new to online learning may also benefit from speaking to others who have succeeded online. While taking your first online course might feel intimidating, you can begin to prepare yourself by learning from the successes and mishaps of others and exploring the provided resources.