About Macon State
Life’s challenges can sometimes make attending classes difficult. The Macon State College Office of Distance Education helps faculty take advantage of the latest educational technologies to remove the constraints of time and location that might burden learners. The Office of Distance Education is dedicated to supporting a quality educational experience for all Macon State College students and faculty engaged in e-Learning. To help you with your educational goals, we have compiled information on this web site that we hope you will find helpful. Macon State’s online courses are an expansion of our traditional courses, and are of the same quality and rigor, while meeting the same educational standards and objectives. Online courses require students to take a dedicated and self-disciplined approach to study and completing their coursework. The reward is access to quality higher education at times and places that are convenient to the student.
Online learning and distance education have been a part of Macon State College for over 10 years! From courses offered completely online, to partially online courses where technology is used to deliver more than 50 percent of the course, to hybrid courses where classes meet face to face and technology is used to enhance the learning process. Macon State College offers flexibility, affordability, and opportunities for students to take advantage of the latest in instructional technologies to meet their educational goals.
In 2010, Macon State College became an affiliate institution of the University System of Georgia’s eCore program, allowing students to complete the first two years of their core curriculum entirely online. In addition, a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology is offered entirely online. As of Fall semester, 2011, nearly half of the student population at Macon State were engaged in some form of online learning. Macon State College’s Office of Distance Education supports all modes of instruction and learning through the Internet and other distance formats. The chart and graph below show there has been a significant increase in the number of hybrid courses developed and offered over the past three years. Enrollment in these courses suggests that students desire a combination of online and traditional classroom interaction.
Macon State College is proud to be a part of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus. The Electronic Campus is a comprehensive source for information about higher education opportunities in the South whether traditional campus study or e-learning. It is a gateway to e-learning opportunities and online services designed to meet the unique needs of adult learners wishing to start, continue, or complete their education.
Macon State also lists its courses and programs via the Georgia ONmyLINE database of online and distance education programs. Georgia ONmyLINE is a helpful resource for anyone wanting to begin a degree program online, as well as current students seeking an online course to fit into an on-campus schedule.
MSC Vista will no longer be in use as the Learning Management System of Macon State College after Fall Semester 2012. To learn more about the new Desire2Learn system click here.
A core component of Macon State’s online learning is Blackboard Vista (also known as MSC Vista or GeorgiaView, and formerly known as WebCT). MSC VIsta allows faculty and students to communicate and interact via virtual classrooms. The system is web-based - you don't have to install a Blackboard Vista program on your computer and it is compatible with both Windows and Apple OSX systems - and you can access it by logging in from a variety of Internet connections and web browsers. There is a good chance that you will be required to use MSC Vista for one of your classes (online, partially online, hybrid, or traditional) so take a few minutes to log in and familiarize yourself with the application. Click here for more information about MSC Vista for students.
MSC Vista enables faculty to place their course material online without having to know any web programming. Students, in turn, have easy access to their courses. MSC Vista is integrated with Banner (our Student Information System). As a result, all courses and enrollment information are automatically updated in MSC Vista through Banner.
Benefits of MSC Vista
Macon State College has recently purchased licenses for Blackboard Collaborate (previously known as Elluminate). Bb Collaborate is a web-based program that allows for synchronous online collaboration and communication with engaging multimedia content. Bb Collaborate offers integrated audio and video, shared whiteboards, instant messaging, application/desktop sharing, synchronized notes and a polling/quizzing manager. Instructors can import PowerPoint slides, transfer files to students, or take students on a web tour.
By using Bb Collaborate, we can support instructor-led courses, student projects or collaboration, remote guest lecturers, live demonstrations, staff training and other opportunities for teaching and learning. Instructors can offer virtual office hours and mentoring while departments can hold meetings with external partners and the College might offer a virtual conference or workshop. The ability to record sessions means providing students with access to replay content they might have missed during a class session. Real-time interactivity in online courses creates a sense of community that has been proven to increase student performance and retention rates.
Additional Bb Collaborate tools for instructors include:
Macon State College is one of a small number of institutions of the University System of Georgia taking part in the migration to Bb Collaborate. As a part of this migration, the Office of Distance Education has created a Bb Collaborate User’s Group for faculty and staff. For more information on training and access, and to become involved in the user’s group, please contact Charles Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macon State College lists all of its online, partially online, and hybrid courses on the Class Schedule* page located at http://www.maconstate.edu/onlineschedule/. Instructional delivery type of the course can be identified on the schedule by the following icons -
*Please note that Macon State College reserves the right to change class scheduling, including course additions and cancellations. Instructors listed on class schedules may change according to the requirements of the College.
Macon State College is an affiliate institution within the University System of Georgia’s eCore program, allowing students to complete the first two years of their core curriculum entirely online. In addition, MSC’s Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology is offered entirely online. More online courses and programs are currently in development and will be offered in the near future, so check back here often!
eCore—short for electronic core-curriculum — allows students the opportunity to complete their first two years of their collegiate careers in an online environment. eCore courses are taught entirely online, except for the occasional proctored exam. eCore courses are designed, developed, taught and supported by faculty and staff from the University System of Georgia (USG), therefore your instructor may or may not be a faculty member of Macon State College. Students must be fully admitted to Macon State College in order to register for eCore classes. Students must also be academically advised and complete the required eCore Orientation and Quiz located at http://ecore.usg.edu/prospective/orientation/msc/. eCore is not a formal degree program but is a convenient and adaptable option for either getting started in college or for resuming college after a break or pause. The core curriculum primarily consists of courses required during the first two years of college for a given degree. For detailed information about the eCore program at Macon State, please visit the eCore section on this page.
Macon State faculty have also developed online, partially online, and hybrid courses that are offered beyond the core curriculum. Consult the class schedule page for more information about which classes may be available.
General Computer and Internet Requirements for Online Learning
Before your first log in to MSC Vista, check and configure your browser using the Browser Tune-up.
Then, read the following information about setting up your computer and browser properly.
Internet Explorer: 6.0 and 8.0. Although IE 9 is a supported browser, the HTML creator does not work with IE 9.
Firefox: 2.0 and 3.0
Firefox 4.0.1 has problems running the HTML creator. So those who are on the latest version of Firefox, they may want to downgrade to version 4.0 or lower.
Safari: 3.0 and 4.0
For Windows: Go to http://java.com/en/ (for older versions of Java, click here)
For Mac: Java comes pre-installed on OSX, so you should not need to make any changes.
How do I know if I have Java on my computer?
To check whether you have Java on your computer, try loading these pages:
Determine your version of Java:
For Windows XP:
1. From the Windows Start menu select Settings > Control Panel.
2. From the control panel double click Java Plug-In.
3. In the Java Plug-In click the About tab.
4. The version number and other information will be displayed. The important thing to check is the “Build”. You need build 1.5.0_07.
For Windows Vista:
1. From the Windows Start menu select Control Panel
2. From the control panel double click Classic View (if it is not already enabled)
3. From the control panel double click the Java icon.
4. In the Java window, in the General tab, click the About button.
5. The version number and other information will be displayed.
Security Warning: Java 6 Update 19
The latest version of java mistakenly identifies the java programs used in Vista 8.0 as being a security risk. When a user accesses their blackboard page they will receive a java warning message: “Java has discovered application components that could indicate a security concern. Block potentially unsafe applications from being run?”
When the user receives this message they should click “NO” so that java programs in Vista 8.0 continue to work correctly.
Please disable any pop-up ad blocker programs if they are installed on your system. Pop-up blocker applications work in the background while you browse the Internet. When they detect a pop-up window that may be an unwanted advertisement, they automatically close the window. This functionality will prevent MSC Vista from performing properly.
Pop-up blockers may be installed as part of a browser toolbar, as part of your browser, as part of your virus protection software, or even as a separate program.
The Macon State College library offers a variety of resources for students enrolled at a distance or taking part in online courses.
The Macon State College Counseling Center offers counseling and disability services for all Macon State College students, including students enrolled in completely online courses and programs. Counseling may assist students to develop personal awareness and coping skills to manage life challenges that are interfering with their ability to be successful. Disability Support Services coordinates academic accommodations for students with a documented disability. Please contact their office to find out if you qualify for this service.
Yes, just simply follow the instructions below:
For technical support, the GeorgiaView Online Support Center can provide assistance for all MSC students. The direct link to the website is: help8.view.usg.edu The link for this site is on the MSC Vista login page and is located inside the system so that all users can access it.
The MSC Technology Assistance Center (TAC) provides students assistance with password issues and login information. It is also a good idea to contact your instructor if you have technical support questions about your class.
If you forget your username, you can look it up here.
All faculty teaching online, partially online, or hybrid courses must have the same academic credentials as to teach in the traditional classroom environment. All faculty are provided the opportunity for training and ongoing support in the effective use of the MSC Vista Learning Management System. In addition, faculty teaching in Macon State College’s Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program adhere to the Online Course Policies, Expectations, and Guidelines for Faculty. Faculty teaching for the eCore program adhere to the eCore Faculty Expectations.
Macon State College has recently become an affiliate institution of Quality Matters. Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. Quality Matters has generated widespread interest and has become a national standard in its peer-based approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement in online education. Faculty will begin being trained in QM during the 2012 academic year.
While each online class is different, students should be willing and able to commit 4 to 15 hours per week per course. The vast majority of MSC online courses are not self-paced and regular participation is required. Please remember that you will spend as much or more time completing an online course as you would taking it in a traditional face-to-face classroom format. The special circumstances of taking an online course demand regular and consistent participation. Be sure to pace yourself throughout the semester making sure your responses to communications and assignments are timely. If you are not able to participate in any assigned class activities, you must contact your instructor immediately.
Definitely not! In fact, many students say that online classes are more difficult because it requires the student to take a dedicated and self-disciplined approach to their education. Not every student may have what it takes to be successful in a completely online class. The Macon State College School of Information Technology has developed a set of Online Course Policies, Expectations, and Guidelines for Students to assist students in becoming successful in their online coursework. The Illinois Online Network also provides a great overview of factors that contribute to “What Makes a Successful Online Student?”.
There is a difference in tuition for eCore and online courses offered through Macon State College. A description of the eCore and eTuition costs can be found at http://www.maconstate.edu/businessoffice/eTuition.aspx.
You may be eligible for financial aid to help with your tuition and expenses. More information on how to apply can be found by visiting the Macon State College Office of Financial Aid http://www.maconstate.edu/finaid/
The Test of Online Learning Success (ToOLS), developed by Dr. Marcel Kerr of Texas Wesleyan University, was designed to help students decide if they are ready to be successful in an online course.
Your scores are not reported to anyone, so it is in your best interest to be as honest as possible when you take this. The only purpose of this survey is to help you decide if online education is a good option for you.
You will be given scores in the following areas:
If your overall score is:
Realizing that students may have grievances/complaints regarding their experiences, either inside or outside of the classroom, Macon State College has developed and published policies that allow students to request review of issues of concern. The staff of the Office of Student Affairs regularly receive complaints and concerns from students and their parents. These complaints are managed in a timely manner, with students receiving responses via student e-mail, phone, or postal mail.
In addition, higher education institutions delivering courses by distance education are required to provide current or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with the institution's State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint. Macon State provides students with access to “The Reporting System” and Hotline. The Reporting System is confidential and easy to use. The System is operated by Global Compliance, a third-party provider, which specializes in this type of service. To report issues via the Internet, you simply log on to the website and fill in important information fields regarding the nature of your question or report. If you opt to call instead, dial the AlertLine number to speak with a live operator, who will ask those important questions. Calls are toll-free and both methods are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Regardless which method you choose, the System will prepare a report and forward it on to the appropriate person in our organization for review and, if necessary, investigation.
Call the Hotline toll-free 1-877-516-3457 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or click to file a report online.
Distance education students outside of the state of Georgia may wish to contact their own state’s office concerning complaints.
Complete the First Two Years of Your Collegiate Career Online
eCore—short for electronic core-curriculum — allows students the opportunity to complete their first two years of their collegiate careers in an online environment. eCore courses are taught entirely online, except for the occasional proctored exam. eCore courses are designed, developed, taught and supported by faculty and staff from the University System of Georgia (USG). General information about eCore, Georgia’s College Core-Curriculum Online, can be found at http://ecore.usg.edu/
Here are the steps you must go through to be able to register for eCore courses through Macon State College.
You must be fully admitted at Macon State College in order to take eCore classes. A student, who is currently enrolled in another college or university and is not a degree seeking student at Macon State College, will be admitted as a transient student. Students with CPC deficiencies or students with Learning Support requirements are not eligible for enrollment in eCore courses.
If you are not currently a student at Macon State College, admissions information, including an application, can be found at http://www.maconstate.edu/admissions/
a) Visit the USG “Is eCore Right for Me?” webpage to learn about what eCore courses entail (http://ecore.usg.edu/right/).
b) Visit the USG “eCore Course Array” webpage to learn about the courses that are offered by eCore (http://ecore.usg.edu/courses/curriculum.php).
c) Visit the USG “Courses” webpage to read the course descriptions, prerequisites, and sample syllabi (http://ecore.usg.edu/courses/description.php). You must have completed any prerequisites applicable to any eCore course.
Meet with your academic advisor and discuss your academic program of study and if eCore courses would be appropriate for you to take. It is critical that any eCore courses you wish to take are appropriate for your degree program.
The eCore courses available to students at Macon State College are listed in the college’s class schedule. The class schedule can be found at http://www.maconstate.edu/onlineschedule/. You can search the schedule for courses by term and by subject. eCore courses are denoted with the word ECORE in the course title.
You must also have completed any prerequisites applicable to any eCore course.
The eCore orientation must be viewed before you can be registered for an eCore class. The orientation can be found at http://ecore.usg.edu/prospective/orientation/msc/.
After you complete the orientation you will take a brief quiz to assess your understanding. If you do not pass the quiz with a score of 80 or higher, you will be redirected to take the quiz again. If you pass the quiz with a score of 80 or higher, you will receive a follow-up email from Mr. Terry Hamilton, Macon State College’s eCore Advisor.
After successful quiz submission, it takes 24 hours or more to update your academic records. The 24 hour period excludes weekends and holidays. After your academic records are updated, you should be able register for eCore classes using your Banner Web access.
Upon successfully passing the orientation quiz you will receive an email from Mr. Terry Hamilton, Macon State College’s eCore advisor.
You can self-register for eCore course(s) through Banner Web just as you would for any class offered at Macon State College. However, to self-register you MUST have passed the Orientation Quiz with a grade of 80 or better AND all Banner Web Holds must be satisfied. If you have any Banner Web Holds, your academic advisor is authorized to register you for eCore classes. Students who have CPS Deficiencies or are in Learning Support cannot be registered for eCore classes.
You must have satisfied all of the prerequisites for the eCore course. Prerequisite information can be found using this eCore web page: http//ecore.usg.edu/courses/description.php
Please check with your academic advisor should you have any questions about eCore courses and your school's core curriculum requirements.
The tuition for eCore classes is different from the tuition charged for on-campus courses.
Current information on eCore tuition can be found at http://www.maconstate.edu/businessoffice/eTuition.aspx
Financial Aid is available for eCore classes just as it is available for on-campus courses. Please visit the Financial Aid Office webpage at http://www.maconstate.edu/finaid/default.aspx for additional information.
You should contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions.
The list of textbooks and required materials for each course can be found at http://ecore.usg.edu/courses/textbooks.php. The required textbooks for eCore courses may be different from the ones used in regular Macon State College courses.
The textbooks and other course materials can only be purchased through the eCore bookstore, the MBS Direct Bookstore (http://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/ecore.htm).
Currently financial aid is not an accepted payment method for eCore textbooks and course materials. Please check with your financial aid office to determine if you can be reimbursed for any of your eCore textbooks and course materials.
Approximately 2 weeks prior to the beginning of each new term, registered students should receive a letter from the central eCore office. The letter will be sent via your Macon State College email address. The letter that you should receive will include very important information such as how to buy books, how to get help, and how and when to logon.
If you do not receive this letter, please contact your eCore Advisor at email@example.com.
Please note: Students cannot logon to their courses until the official first-day of class. Although you will be unable to access your course(s) until the first day of class, you will be able to access your MyGeorgiaView page as well as the Student Guide to eCore, so go ahead and log in to be certain that your username and password work.
If you added a course during late registration or drop/add, you will receive an eCore letter through your Macon State College email account within 24 hours after your registration date. If you do not receive this letter please contact your eCore Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org to have another letter emailed to you.
On the first day of class you can login to eCore directly by going to the eCore login page at https://ecore.view.usg.edu.
Lost Password: If you have lost your GOML/eCore password, this link will assist you in retrieving your password at the time you registered for an eCore class: Password Lookup
Your username is the official email address provided to eCore by your home institution.
Example: If your official email is email@example.com, that is your username.
Passwords: Your initial password is your 8-digit birthday, without dashes or spaces, in mmddyyyy format.
Example: You were born on October 15, 1987 - so your initial password would be 10151987.
The eCore academic calendar can be found at http://ecore.usg.edu/courses/calendar.php.
The Business Office deadlines (payment deadlines) can be found at http://www.maconstate.edu/businessoffice/tuition.aspx
To withdraw from an eCore class, students must complete the eCore withdrawal form available at http://ecore.usg.edu/students/withdraw/msc_policy.php. The eCore withdrawal information will then be forwarded to the Macon State Registrar.
Exams in eCore classes work differently than exams in traditional, on-campus classes, because they require you to plan and schedule appointments at a testing center.
Information about exams and testing can be found at http://ecore.usg.edu/exams/.
The instructions you are to follow should your exams be proctored can be found at http://ecore.usg.edu/exams/student_instruct.php.
The Macon State College testing center is one of the approved testing sites. Contact information for the center is below.
Academic Testing Center
|firstname.lastname@example.org.||(478) 471-2050||100 College Station Dr.
The Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology provides students with knowledge in the core information technologies and builds on that knowledge to create professionals who meet the business and economic needs of Central Georgia. The program is designed to produce graduates with a diversified set of skills, roles, and experiences including knowledge in areas such as:
These knowledge areas will prepare our graduates for careers in a range of organizations, from small to large. The courses in the program also emphasize critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, and interpersonal and communication skills. Career success through lifelong learning and professional development is emphasized at all levels of the curriculum.
The mission of the Office of Distance Education is to manage and support all distance education, hybrid, and partially online courses and programs offered at Macon State College. In compliance with federal, state, and accreditation guidelines the Office of Distance Education will facilitate learning and teaching through effective implementation of various and innovative pedagogical, technological, and administrative practices in distance education and online learning. These efforts support Macon State College’s commitment to quality education and student success through excellence and innovation in teaching. Please feel free to contact us to discuss how online learning at Macon State College can possibly help you reach your academic goals!