About this Course
This competency-based, skill-building course will help non-U.S. students, first generation immigrants and foreign-born professionals better understand and master American e-Learning, as well as other U.S. virtual environments, for college and career success. To excel in American online learning and work environments, international students and foreign-born professionals need to know how American universities and companies use the Internet to organize study and work, develop and execute projects, communicate ideas, collaborate, and solve organizational and technical problems. By taking this course, you will learn how to enhance your cultural knowledge and assess potential skill gaps that may hinder your online experience or negatively impact your performance in U.S. virtual work environments. Throughout the course you will systematically review competencies required for online work, come to better understand common barriers for non-native students and professionals, learn how to detect and overcome competency gaps, and develop plans for self-improvement. We hope that you will enjoy the course and invite you to share your own experiences with other students.

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 10 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks, 4-5 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 10 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks, 4-5 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


4 hours to complete

International learners in U.S. online education

In this introductory module, we explain why many international online learners and foreign-born professionals experience problems in American e-learning environments and how they can use a competency-based approach to overcome barriers and become fully proficient for college and career success. Your instructors for this week are Dr. Valeri Chukhlomin, Dr. Dana Gliserman-Kopans, Dr. Michele Forte, and Amy Giaculli. Guest lecturers are Prof. Xenia Coulter and Lorette Pellettiere Calix....
21 videos (Total 117 min), 6 readings, 5 quizzes
Video21 videos
Meet Alex, the Global Web-Surfer2m
How this course works3m
Capstone Project (video and text descriptions)4m
Bonus interview: International students in American online courses9m
Alex: How does it work, actually?3m
The problem that we are trying to solve in this course3m
How to use a competency-based approach to overcome barriers4m
What is uniquely American in U.S.-based online education?5m
Bonus lecture: The anatomy of a U.S.-style, student-centered, online learning environment11m
Bonus interview: A faculty perspective on working with international students in online environments13m
Alex: What do you want to know about the online classroom in the U.S.?3m
Classroom navigation8m
Getting help2m
Student information center1m
Student services4m
Disability services1m
The U.S. academic system5m
Academic qualifications and degrees8m
Bonus lecture: The philosophy of American education7m
Bonus lecture: The methodology of American education8m
Reading6 readings
How this course works10m
How I can contribute10m
Navigating the online classroom10m
Important skills for online learners10m
Tips for success in the online environment10m
Week 1 Learning journal10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Do you need this course? Take this self-assessment practice quiz!8m
Week 1 Self-assessment8m
Week 1 Lesson 2 practice quiz: Barriers and competencies24m
Week 1 Lesson 3 Practice Quiz: U.S. online education16m
Week 1 Final quiz: Barriers to U.S. online education10m


4 hours to complete

Overcoming barriers of technology, language, and culture

This week covers three lessons to help you address the key barriers of technology, language, and culture. The first lesson on technology will help you become familiar with the general expectations regarding the technological competencies necessary for your success in the U.S. university environment. Our goal is to make you an expert user of technology which will empower you navigate comfortably through your online learning program with ease, no matter the school or program in which you are enrolled. The remaining two lessons are designed to help you understand the critical language and cross-cultural factors that might either hinder or help your success as a student in an American setting. The main objective is to master the language and cultural competencies that are needed to fulfill the required tasks for efficient and effective cross-cultural communication. Your instructor for this week is Dr. Bidhan Chandra, capstone task facilitator - Dr. Michele Forte. ...
12 videos (Total 54 min), 11 readings, 5 quizzes
Video12 videos
The basics of technology for American e-Learning1m
Getting through, obtaining information, using systems0m
Refining working skills1m
Using e-Learning infrastructure1m
Bonus Interview: A Faculty Perspective on Technology-Related Barriers16m
Introduction to language and culture2m
An International Faculty Perspective 111m
An International Faculty Perspective 27m
Culture in general and culture shock1m
Some critical cross-cultural skills2m
Conclusion to language and culture2m
Reading11 readings
The basics of technology for American e-Learning10m
Getting through, obtaining information, using systems10m
Refining working skills10m
Using e-Learning infrastructure10m
Language barriers in eLearning10m
eLearning vocabulary and other support services10m
Introduction to culture and culture shock10m
Avoiding stereotyping and using generalizations10m
Some critical cross-cultural skills10m
Basics of American society and culture10m
Week 2 Learning journal10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Week 2: Lesson 1 Practice Quiz10m
Week 2: Lesson 2 Practice Quiz10m
Week 2: Lesson 3 Practice Quiz10m
Week 2 Self assessment12m
Week 2 Final Quiz: Technology, Language, Culture16m


4 hours to complete

Navigating the U.S. academic system

In this week, you will become familiar with the U.S. academic system, concentrating especially on communications and the culture of online environments. We will look closely at the American online classroom and review necessary skills. Your instructor for this week is Dr. Dana Gliserman-Kopans, capstone task facilitator - Dr. Michele Forte. ...
13 videos (Total 36 min), 16 readings, 5 quizzes
Video13 videos
Understanding the American Education System - A student's perspective1m
The Role of the Online Instructor2m
American Culture in the Classroom - A student's perspective1m
Understanding the Philosophies Behind American Education - A student's perspective0m
Participating in Classroom Discussions - A student's perspective2m
Overcoming Language Barriers - A student's perspective1m
Communicating With Your Instructor - A student's perspective3m
The Online Learning Environment3m
Online library1m
Evaluating Information Sources for Audience and Purpose7m
Narrowing Your Topic3m
Your Research Question and Thesis Statement5m
Reading16 readings
Entering the American Classroom10m
Student Roles and the Learning Environment10m
Faculty Roles10m
Classroom Culture10m
Addressing Faculty10m
Class Discussions10m
Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication10m
Becoming a Better Writer10m
The Varieties and Purposes of Writing10m
The Writing Process10m
Scholarly vs. Popular Sources10m
Thesis or Claim10m
Essay structure10m
Tone, Diction, and Mechanics10m
Week 3 Learning journal10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Week 3: Lesson 1 Practice quiz12m
Week 3: Lesson 2 Practice quiz12m
Week 3: Lesson 3 Practice quiz10m
Week 3 Self assessment8m
Week 3 Final quiz: The U.S. Academic System10m


4 hours to complete

Navigating U.S. professional environments

In this week, you will become familiar with the professional contexts of U.S. working environments. We will look closely at employability skills such as self-management, problem solving, creativity, and self-directed learning. We will also examine how ethics, leadership, and teamwork skills may contribute to your success in the U.S. professional context. We will close the week by exploring professional contexts in specific areas. Throughout this week, you will be provided with example scenarios to help you get acquainted with the type of interactions that happen in U.S. environments – both work and learning. Your instructor for this week is Dr. Anant Deshpande, capstone task facilitator - Dr. Michele Forte. ...
23 videos (Total 107 min), 8 readings, 5 quizzes
Video23 videos
Self-management: Introduction3m
What is self-management and its importance in online learning?4m
What is problem solving and why is it important?2m
What is self-directed learning?4m
Employability skills - An interview with Sam Conn6m
What is needed for new hires in the US?4m
How can you be successful in online classes?1m
Bonus video: How can you successfully compete in US environment and importance of pre-requisite courses for classes7m
Bonus video: International students in online environments2m
Leaders and followers (Case animation 1)2m
Leaders and followers (Case animation 2)3m
Leaders and followers (Case animation 3)2m
Leading and working in a virtual team14m
What are the competencies required to successfully navigate the American professional environment and what is needed to be successful in the US workforce?8m
An example of participation in a U.S.-based virtual team8m
A case scenario of a foreign national in the US: Is it an ethical behavior? (Case animation 4)1m
Ethical leadership in the US context5m
Professional contexts in specific areas: Introduction2m
The importance of pre-requisites3m
Getting acquainted with the U.S.-based working environment3m
How can you better transition to a U.S.-based professional environment7m
A case scenario of a foreign national facing a dilemma about seeking legal help in a U.S.-based workplace (Case animation 5)2m
Reading8 readings
Problem solving10m
Self-directed learning10m
Leadership in the U.S.10m
Teamwork and Ethics in U.S.-based professional environment10m
Pre-requisites, professional culture and legal contexts in the US based work environments10m
Week 4 Learning journal10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Week 4: Lesson 1 Practice quiz14m
Week 4: Lesson 2 Practice quiz14m
Week 4: Lesson 3 Practice quiz12m
Week 4 Self-assessment8m
Week 4 Final quiz: U.S. Professional Contexts10m


3 hours to complete

The final week: Capstone Project and course review

Whether taking an online course or taking a training module, navigating American e-Learning systems can be rewarding – but also very challenging.In this week, you will submit a Capstone Project. This project will ask you to identify a barrier you might face in this environment, think about the competencies implied in that barrier, and then create your final project -- a plan for improvement. Complete the Capstone Project peer-review assignment and the-end-of-the-course survey. Your instructors for this week are Dr. Michele Forte, Dr. Anant Deshpande, Dr. Valeri Chukhlomin and Dr. Tonka Jokelova....
3 videos (Total 6 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Iman Sedighi, Iran2m
Irina Zakharova, Russia1m
Reading4 readings
Overview for the Capstone Project: A Plan for Self-Improvement10m
End-of-the-course survey10m
Course Developers and Contributors10m
Re-use of Course Materials10m

Top Reviews

By AAJun 1st 2016

This course is excellent for any student who dreams of e-Learning in America!



Dr. Anant Deshpande

Associate Professor

Dr. Tonka Jokelova

Coordinator of Curriculum and Instructional Design

Amy Giaculli

Assessment Specialist

Dr. Michele Forte

Assistant Professor, SUNY Empire State College

Dr. Dana Gliserman Kopans

Associate Professor

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York, with 64 unique institutions, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States. Educating nearly 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs both on campus and online, SUNY has nearly 3 million alumni around the globe....

Frequently Asked Questions

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