Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Online Hybrid Learning/Face to Face Scanning Labs/Off Campus Clinical Training
The DMS program is offered in a blended format with face to face hands on clinical training and hybrid online learning through Blackboard Learn . Students receive face to face 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 via Blackboard. 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 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 are hybrid online programs. However, please remember, on campus face to face attendance is still required for course labs. The instructors conduct course lab scanning demonstrations and practice, hands on scanning one-on-one guidance and didactic support, hybrid online lecture content as well as optional Skills Enhancement 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 face to face lecture for that week?
Question 6: If you have questions on the course content how do you get those questions answered?
Question 7: What is the hybrid 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. Every other week you will come to school one or two days a week for scheduled face-to-face labs or for optional Skills Enhancement labs. Every semester, you can access the syllabus and course schedule for each course you are enrolled in. Also, it is good to mark your calendar ahead with course face to face meeting dates and the college academic calendar to make sure you know when all your due dates are and when face to face labs are being held on campus. During your face to face lab sessions you meet with your classmates and professor. This is a chance for asking questions, participate in group activities, participate in hands-on scanning, learn from scanning skill demonstrations, and have plenty of time to practice scanning. Montgomery College has a state of the art scanning lab with ultrasound machines, computers, phantoms and learning resources. In addition, you can sign up for Skills Enhancement Scan lab when you want to additional scanning time to work on perfecting your scanning skills. During these optional Skills Enhancement Scan labs you will have additional time to practice your scanning skills; which can help to reinforce what is learned during face to face course scan labs and what is learned at clinical sites during your rotations. It is during these additional Skills Enhancement Scan labs that you can spend as much time as you need for practicing and learning. They allow you to work and feel more comfortable using ultrasound equipment, scanning procedures and protocols 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, course schedule, grade book which tracks progress in the course, web links, and course e-mail. There are assignments, discussions, video's to view and quizzes to complete.Getting used to online learning can be challenging at first but it will become much more easy once you have spent time 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 with their classmates. The web links provide useful websites that can be used to enhance the course material. 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 and know exactly how you are progressing in your courses. At anytime you can communicate via Blackboard email, request online office hours, communicate with classmates and faculty via online tools and of course face to face on campus. There are many different ways to communicate and work with your classmates and instructors. 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?
An online discussion board is a way to discuss a topic, ask for help or simply communicate and engage with your classmates and instructors 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 posted 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 discuss. 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 that are completed online. You have the entire week to take the quiz, so you can take a quiz online anytime when you 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 board exam. Exams are proctored on-campus in the Medical Learning Center. The exam's time-frame is similar to national credential exams and range from two to three hours long.
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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?
Learning in an online program will require you to be a self directed learner. You must be organized and self-motivated to read all the required reading and course content, complete course work and online assessments and assignments in a timely manner. Letting online course work "pile up" for a week can be disastrous, you need to be self disciplined to keep reading and working every week in order to keep up with the work. You will have all material you need for each week, including, weekly Learning outcomes and assessments. A set of non-graded self test questions are provided at the end of each weekly content outline. Those self-check questions can help you to understand the material better and gauge how well you are doing on a weekly bases.
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6. If you have questions how do you get them answered?
If you have questions about the online course content, required readings assignments and/or quizzes you can email, call or go on campus to meet face to face with your instructor. You can also participate in online chat groups and study groups with your classmates as well as ask your assigned clinical faculty and clinical instructors for clarifications while at clinical about procedures and scanning protocols. If you have question while reading week material or during clinical internship, your instructors, classmates and the internet are great resources to reach out to. Due to the fact that information can change so fast, you need to always be up-to-date, internet resources often are wonderful resources for the most up to date information. Also, you will form a tight bond with your classmates because you will work with each other for two years. Faculty are always available and respond back to student questions within 24-48 hours. If you are experiencing technical difficulties with online learning you can call/email the Montgomery College Help Desk MC IT,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 for a course. You must be very organized with remember to mark your calendars with due dates and 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 live messages and ask them to chat and study with you. The online courses in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program are organized and become easy to navigate. When you come to class each week you need to be organized with the questions you would like the instructor to review with you and your classmates. Time is spent at the beginning of each face to face lab session reviewing over course material and answering questions. 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 are prepared to take a 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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