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Online FAQ

Do I ever have to come onto campus?

Some courses require either a face-to-face or a proctored exam. Students needing a proctor will need to coordinate with the professor to ensure satisfactory arrangements are made.

Are online courses self-paced?

Generally online courses are not self-paced. While online courses offer students the convenience of arranging their study times and locations around work and family needs, most instructors provide specific dates for completing assignments and taking tests. In addition, some online instructors require students to participate in online discussions at specific times. It is important for online students to closely read the syllabus to make sure that they complete all assigned work on time.

Will I be able to get help if I run into diffuculties in the course?

  • The instructor: Students are encouraged to contact the professor using email, phone, or office hours. Check the syllabus to find out how to contact the professor.
  • Other students: Most courses provide a discussion board where you can post questions and topics for other students. In addition, some courses offer a live chat feature where you can converse with your fellow students.

Yes. We want students to succeed. The Sources of Assistance webpage lists some of the agencies that students most frequently wish to contact.

In addition to the sources of assistance mention above, students can receive help on course material from the following sources:

Do I need to buy a textbook?

For most courses you will need to purchase a textbook; check your syllabus for requirements for each course. Textbooks may be purchased at the following locations:

What hardware is required to participate in an online course?

It is highly recommended that you have DSL/ high speed internet connection. Your computer should meet the minimum requirements recommended by the Center for Extended and Distance Education.

Do I need any specific software to participate in an online course?

You will need MS Windows (95 or later) and MS Office (2007 recommended) for most courses. Some courses may require additional software. Be sure to contact your instructor for questions about a specific course.

Are online course easier than on-campus courses?

No. You will have more flexibility in an online course, but you will be required to learn the same material and meet the same course objectives. You will be required to study most of the material on your own and most communication with the professor will be through email. This means that you may have to wait for an answer to your question. There are challenges to taking an online course, but self-motivated, responsible students can do well in these courses. The amount of time you need to spend preparing and reviewing material for an online course depends on your study habits.

What do I do if the computer kicks me out during a test?

This happens occasionally. If technical difficulties prevent you from completing a test, you should notify your instructor immediately. The instructor is able to permit you back into a test. Do not wait until after the deadline for taking the test to notify your instructor.

When will I be able to access the material in my online course?

Online courses begin on the same day as traditional courses. The Academic Calendar provides information about when classes begin each semester. If you are not able to access one or more of your courses on the first day of class, please contact the following: