How Online Classes Work

Distance learning courses can offer flexibility in when and where you participate in instruction, but they're not for everyone. Here's some information to help you decide if distance learning is right for you.

Technology requirements

In order to participate in online courses, you'll need:
  • regular and reliable access to a Web-accessible computer that meets minimum hardware and software requirements
  • computer skills, such as word processing, Web browsing, and e-mail

Success characteristics

Students who are successful at distance learning share the following characteristics:

Highly motivated Self-disciplined
Enjoy learning by reading Enjoy working independently
Budget time well Complete work on time
Willing to ask for help Willing to wait for a response

Still not sure if distance learning is right for you?

  • Take this quiz to help you decide whether distance learning courses fit your needs and lifestyle:

Distance Learning Readiness Quiz

  • Read more about what our credit online courses are like:

Course content
Students participate by reading printed textbooks and on-line lecture notes, interacting with multimedia computer files, and communicating with the instructor and classmates.

Communication & Assessment
Students turn in homework and communicate with instructors through e-mail. Instructors are also available for telephone conferences. Students communicate with other students enrolled in the course through private e-mail and class "bulletin board" postings. Students may be required to take on-line quizzes, come to the Assessment Center, or arrange for an off-site proctor for supervised tests.

On-campus meetings
Some online courses require occasional visits to campus for things such as orientation, labs, and supervised tests. However, most of the instruction and communication will occur over the Internet. To find out more about on-campus meeting requirements, contact the course instructor, or refer to the course syllabus. If you are unable to come to campus, you should talk to the course instructor to make alternative arrangements.

Course Materials
On-line courses require printed textbooks just like on-campus courses. All course materials are available for purchase in the Bookstore. If you are unable to come to campus to purchase your textbooks, call the Bookstore to make special shipping arrangements. Or books can be purchased at bookstore online.

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