Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Online Blended Learning
The DMS program at Montgomery College is offered in a blended format with hands on training and online learning through Blackboard Learn and Elluminate online lecture delivery system. Students receive hands on learning as well as the convenience of having the freedom to learn at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. This allows students to have access to lectures, quizzes, projects, assignments, and more any time,day or night, from anywhere they have internet access. Many students appreciate the convenience of not having to commute, having access to all their learning materials in one place, the user friendly online platform, and the freedom of independent learning. Therefore, if a student is are eager to learn, has great time organization and time management skills, and are motivated to be a health professional in the exciting field of diagnostic medical sonography; then please check out the Montgomery College Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. All three sonography tracks: Vascular, Echo, and General Abdomen and OB/GYN available online. However, please remember, on campus attendance is still needed according to lab course schedule. The instructors are available in the lab for scanning demonstrations, hands on one-on-one guidance and support, and online during live lectures as well as during flexible open scanning labs.
To find out more about online learning, please visit Montgomery College’s Office of Distance Learning where you can find a step by step online orientation and tutorial to acquaint yourself with the online education format at Montgomery College.
Frequently Asked Questions about Distance Learning at Montgomery College
Question 1: If the Sonography program is offered online, would I ever have to come to school?
Question 2: What does an online classroom look like?
Question 3: What is a discussion board?
Question 4: How am I tested, are the exams online?
Question 5: How will we know the material for each week if we don’t have a specific lecture for that week?
Question 6: If you have questions how do you get them answered?
Question 7: What is the online atmosphere like?
1. If the Sonography program is offered online, would I ever have to come to school?
Yes, you do come to school. Each week you will come to school at least one or two days a week for scheduled face-to-face labs or open scan labs. Every semester, you can access the schedule in your course syllabus. Also, it is good to mark your calendar ahead with courses and college academic calendar in the beginning of semester to make sure nothing will surprise you. During your face to face lab sessions you have chance to meet your professor. This is a chance for asking questions, participating in group , participating hands-on scanning, watching skill demonstrations, and having plenty of time to practice scanning. Montgomery College has a state of the art scanning lab with ultrasound machines, computers and learning resources. In addition, you can sign up for open skills enhancement scan lab when you need to work on perfecting your scanning skills. During open skills enhancement scan labs you will have additional time to practice your scanning skills; which can help to reinforce what is learned in face to face scanning labs and at clinical. It is during these additional scan labs that you can spend as much time as needed for learning and being comfortable with the ultrasound machines and ultrasound scanning skills.
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2. What does an online classroom look like?
If you have never taken an online course, Montgomery Colleges Office of Distance Learning has an orientation and tutorial that walks you through a “typical” online classroom. In an online classroom, there are places to view assignments, assessments, classroom discussions, a calendar with a schedule of events, the grade book which tracks progress in the course, website links, and course e-mail. Every week there will be an assignment and quiz to complete. Assignments are uploaded through the assignment link. Getting used to online learning can be challenging at first but it will come much more easily once you have spent a week or two learning in this environment. There is a weekly discussion board that presents students questions and asks them to discuss and describe a topic related to what is being learned that week. The website link has useful websites that can be visited related to the class. With the built in calendar tool you can become very organized because you have a list of everything that is due for the month and you also can personalize the calendar with whatever you have on your own agenda. At the end of each week you can view your grades on the grade book link. You will have a list of all your assignments, quizzes and discussion grades for each week. At anytime you can communicate via email through Blackboard. There is a roster for you to choose any of your classmates to write an email along with the instructor, this makes it really easy to communicate. The link is: http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/edu/department2.aspx?id=4963 to listen to the tutorial.
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3. What is a discussion board?
A discussion board is a way to discuss a topic, ask for help or simply communicate with your classmates about the material being covered, experiences you are having off campus at clinicals or just a way to get clarification on a question you have. A question or explanation of some sort will be asked on Sunday by your instructor and you will have to post a response to the instructors question by the following Wednesday. Along with your response you will ask a question for your fellow classmates to reply to. This is how the communication between students gets started. Following your response, you have to reply to two of your classmates questions by the following Saturday. This is graded and is an important part of the online classroom. The instructor for the course will also reply to some of the questions and this helps make a good discussion and provide clarification for questions that go unanswered by your classmates.
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4. How am I tested, are the exams online?
There are weekly quizzes have to complete online. They are located in the assessment link in your online course page. You have the entire week to take the quiz, so you can take quiz online in anytime when feel comfortable with weekly material before deadline. All quizzes are due at the end of the week. Midterm and final exams are much longer and are meant to simulate future ARDMS board exam , you are asked to take exams on campus. The exam's time-frame is similar to national credential exams. This can help you achieve successfully once you graduate from the program.
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5. How will we know the material for each week if we don’t have a specific lecture for that week?
Be sure check your Blackboard Learn course pages before class start. Most of time, each online course will be set up and organized by weeks for you, which reflect the weeks of the college semester. You will have all material you need for each week, including, outline, assessments, discussions, assignments, and online lectures. Each week, you will have course content to read or lecture video need to watch. A set of non-graded self test questions are in the end of each reading material. Those questions can help you to understand the material better. In addition to course content, there are online live lecture sessions ( Elluminate Sessions ) that you need to participate in to help you learn better. In live lecture, you are allowed to interact with your instructor. Listen to instructors explain, review and also discuss questions you ask. If students cannot participate to the online discussion, they can came back later to watch the lecture video anytime they want.
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6. If you have questions how do you get them answered?
If you want to review your quiz , you need to make appointment with instructor and be on-campus. If you have question while reading week material or during clinical internship, your classmate and internet are your best friends. Don't forget to do some research first. Due to the fact that information can change so fast, you need to be always up-to-date, internet can provide with the latest information. Also, you will form a tight bond with your classmates because you will need to work with each other to find out answers. If you still cannot find satisfied answer, do not hesitated to email your professor. They will respond to your email within 2 business day (48 hrs). If you have IT problem, not forget call /email MC IT service desk and they are open 24/7.
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7. What is the online atmosphere like?
When you are online you can access everything you need from day one. You must be very organized with deadlines. When you are logged in to your course and online, there is a feature that allows you to see who is online studying at the same time as you. You can send them a live message and ask them to chat with you. Overall, the online courses in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program are organized and become easy to navigate with time. When you come to class each week you need to be extremely organized with your questions, deadlines seem to creep up on you, so you need to keep on top of things. If you can keep organized and manage your time then you will get the best that the online classes have to offer such as being able to make your own personal study schedule that works best for you and your daily life. Don’t put things off to the last minute because a lot of the work you do needs to be researched and it takes time to learn. The best advice you can follow, is to have a schedule that you can follow each week. Do all your discussion topics one day, assignments another day, while reading your chapters and lectures each day. This will ensure that by the end of the week you will be able to take quiz and then move on to the next week’s material. Being organized is the most important aspect of an online program.
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