Collage of images including a female student working on a laptop, a set of hands using a computer tablet, and distance learning icons overlaying them.

Getting Started

As a distance learning student, you’re allowed the flexibility and convenience to be able to take the classroom anywhere you go! Instructors and students build a community online, that fosters learning and growth as you work towards your education goals. Students at Farmingdale State College can take any of the distance learning courses hosted by the college, or Open SUNY, which offers over 500 online degree options. These courses are also available in many different distance learning formats that you can take depending on your preference. There are some things to consider before taking on a distance learning course. Students need to meet the minimum technology requirements to be able to partake in their course. It is also important to understand the kind of commitment that’s necessary to succeed in your distance learning course. We have put together a self-assessment that can give you insight on whether you are ready to take an online course. 

Technology Requirements

To take courses through Brightspace, your computer system should meet at least the following minimum requirements:

  • Processor: 1 Ghz or faster
  • Operating system: Windows 7 and higher, Mac OSX 10.6 and higher
  • RAM: 8 GB is recommended Internet Connection: Broadband (high-speed) capable of 1.5 Mbps or higher
  • Web browser: Google Chrome browser is highly recommended
  • Java must be installed, and pop-up blockers must be allowed
  • Monitor that supports screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher
  • Word processing software: Microsoft Word is recommended 

How to Find Distance Learning Courses

Distance Learning Formats

Online activity is mixed with classroom meetings, replacing 50% of face-to-face instructional activities with online learning experiences and activities. The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) describes this as a “replacement” approach, in which online activity replaces some class meetings.” (Online Learning Consortium) 


distance learning

Greenley Hall
Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Last Modified 2/16/23