The Brandman iDeal FAQs

Q:     What will Brandman courses look like beginning Fall 2010?
A:     In Fall 2010, all courses offered at the Brandman University campuses will transition to our iDEAL (Instructional Design for Engaged Adult Learning) model, the same trimester in which we transition to 8-week sessions.  All Brandman courses will be offered blended or fully online. See the Academic Calendar. 

Q:     How is a Brandman blended course different from a fully face-to-face course?
A:     In our current model of course delivery, you attend class 4.5 hours one night per week. Under the iDEAL model, courses meet face-to-face approximately three hours each week.  During the remainder of the week, you will be engaged with the course material through interaction with your fellow students as well as with the instructor. The online environment provides you with the advantage of deeply processing the course material before participating in face-to-face discussions. Online preparation and interaction throughout the week provides your instructor with the opportunity to optimize classroom time. 

Q:     Brandman offers both blended and online courses – how do they differ?
A:     In the iDEAL format, a course has approximately three hours of face-to-face interaction in the classroom one evening per week. Fully online classes never meet face-to-face. iDEAL optimizes the benefits of the in-class and online experience, providing those who desire a classroom environment with the face-to-face interaction as well as the flexibility and technological enhancements contained in online courses.

Q:     What are the weekly time/meeting expectations of students in Brandman courses?
A:     The majority of the online activities are asynchronous allowing you the flexibility, freedom and convenience to work online wherever and whenever you have the time and access to do so.  You should expect to engage with the class throughout the week. The type and frequency of this engagement is specified in the course outline; however, in an asynchronous environment, the times of engagement can vary based upon your schedule.
Some classes will have synchronous collaborative activities where you will be involved in text chat, audio chat or Web cam. These elements will be designed into the course in a fashion that best meets the need of the intended learning.

Q:     How much interaction can I expect with my instructor in a Brandman iDEAL course?
A:     Currently, you meet with the instructor 4.5 hours one night per week.  In the new iDEAL model, you will meet face-to-face with the instructor approximately three hours each week.  During the remainder of the week, you will be engaged with the course material through interaction with other students and with the instructor.

Q:     What tools and interactions are designed into a Brandman course to allow learners of all styles to be successful?
A:     Brandman's iDEAL courses are designed to integrate multiple modalities into the instruction both online and in the face-to-face portion of the course.  You will continue to meet in the classroom each week. The online portion of the course will not only be text based but will include links to Web material, PowerPoints with voice-over narrations, and other visual and auditory materials. You are able to engage in class in the way that you prefer while being challenged to learn in other ways.  For example, auditory learners enjoy classroom lectures while visual learners gain a better understanding of the material from the images presented in the online portion of the class. Simulations allow tactile learners to get the feel of doing or using the content. Those who need more reflective time before participating in discussion can think before responding in a threaded discussion.
The Brandman iDEAL model gives you the option of participating in class activities and discussions that best match your personal learning styles.

Q:     What options and support does Brandman provide for students who don’t own a computer or who may not have Internet access?
A:     Owning  a computer with Internet access enables you to have more flexibility in accessing the online material for the blended course; however, it is not a requirement for enrollment. If you do not own a computer or have Internet access, you will need to carefully plan your time to ensure your ability to complete assignments on time.

You may use the library and computer labs at your local Brandman campus.  You may also wish to work online at public libraries which offer computer access.  If you have a laptop but no Internet access, several businesses offer “free wifi”. Brandman students are eligible for student discounts through Dell.

Q:     What technology skills do I need to be successful in Brandman's iDEAL classes?
A:     In essence, the technology skills needed to be successful in an iDEAL class are the same as those that should be required of you in our face-to-face classes.  They include the ability to:  (1) type a document using Microsoft Word software; (2) print the document; (3) upload or download documents; and (3) access information on the Internet.  At a minimum, these skills are essential to prepare you for today’s careers.

Q:     What are the recommended computer and system requirements for success in Brandman courses?
A:     You can access these requirements online.

Q:     What kind of technology training and support does Brandman provide to help ensure student success?
A:     Training on Blackboard will be available via an online tutorial.  Local campuses will identify individuals to assist you with access issues and the basic Blackboard tools.