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Class Description

Satellite and internet (distance learning) classes offered by ACI are attended on a "remote basis" where classes are transmitted by either satellite or the internet from Beijing and received in distance locations/cities with "downlink capability". Classes are synchronous, so students may attend the courses at a fixed time. Students can be anywhere that has a downlink capability. This makes the classes more convenient for students. The instructor will be at the uplink site, each student at a downlink site can see the instructor, and listen to him/her and the class multimedia presentation (Powerpoint, etc.) by overhead projector or big screen. Communications with the instructor are similar to on-site classes. The difference is that student questions are transmitted either by the email or phone call. The course length depends on subject, but most courses are 1, 2, or 3 days. Most materials are included in the price of course and will be available while enrolling classes. When examinations are included with a course, the examination is made locally available usually one day after the course. Students can take the examination at their local (downlink) site.

The Big questions to ask about Online Programs:

1) How is the course delivered?

There are many ways that an instructor can lecture: online using text, with accompanying slides, with or without student interaction, video, teleconferencing, audiotapes, CD-ROM, etc. Course content is more easily understood if it's presented in a dynamic engaging manner that involves an interaction between the students, the instructor, and the material. When you choose a program you should make sure that your online school utilizes many different methods to convey information.

ACI COMMENT: This is true of ACI's online programs. Our programs are noted for their dynamic, engaging manner, which includes daily and weekly interactions among instructor, students, and material. Our instructors have been thoroughly trained by the top online universities in the US, which pride themselves for providing such instruction.

2) How do I interact with the instructor and other students?

Some standard options for online student interaction include chat rooms, instant messaging, teleconferencing, and video conferencing. Finding a program that facilitates, and even requires, student interaction is an important aspect of choosing an online program. How the online community functions should be very important to both the instructor and the institution.

ACI COMMENT: This is very true of ACI's online programs. Student interaction (learning from each other) is a major feature of our programs.

3) How will I be evaluated?

Will you actually be required to work in order to earn your degree (or other recognition). If students aren't evaluated appropriately and degrees are handed out with little or no verification that the students have actually learned anything, the program is not likely worthwhile and even less likely to be accepted by employers. A school that offers shortcuts may actually be a Diploma Mill , and should be avoided.

ACI COMMENT: All students are evaluated weekly as well as at the end of the course. Weekly evaluation is based upon student discussion contained in ¡°Threaded Discussions¡± on the subject matter for the week. Students are evaluated on quality and quantity of their discussion and analysis. Final evaluation of students in graduate level programs follows the model of most major universities. Students are normally tested at the highest levels of student learning (analysis and synthesis) by requiring them to show their learning through a detailed case analysis of a business case pertinent to the subject matter. Final evaluation of certification and other programs also follows the normal practice of multiple choice examinations, normally consisting of 80 multiple choice questions on the subject matter.

4) What kind of library and research materials are available?

Ensure that the school you are interested in has a good system for providing reference materials and texts¡ªthey should be accessible from anywhere. The school's online references should be up-to-date and available at any time.

ACI COMMENT: Our courses typically provide references and textbooks directly online (accessible through the course webpage). References and textbooks not provided are accessible through weblinks provided in the course webpage or are listed in the syllabus for purchase by the student. Most of our students find they can complete the course without buying textbooks.



Learning Resources

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