FAQs for Online Students

  • Every student enters an online classroom with certain expectations.

    The information below explains some of the common expectations that students and instructors have about the online learning experience. It addresses some of the common questions that you may have about learning online.

    1. How much time should I expect to spend per week on my online course?
    2. Can I take the course at my own pace?
    3. Do I need to come to campus for anything?
    4. Do I need books for a distance education course?
    5. How will I communicate with the instructor during the course?
    6. How will I turn in assignments and receive grades?

     

     

    1. How much time should I expect to spend per week on my online course?

    It is a common misperception that online courses take less time per week than face-to-face courses. In actuality, online courses often require a substantial time commitment. Although the amount of time required for an online course varies depending on the length of time allotted to complete the course, it's a good rule of thumb to allocate about 10 to 12 hours or more per week per online course.

    You should expect the following:

    • The amount of homework required in an online course will be roughly the same as that assigned in a face-to-face course.
    • Most online courses will ask that you spend time participating in discussions with the instructor and other learners. These discussions will play a central role in your learning experience.

    You may be asked to play an active role in group or team activities. This will involve coordinating and working with several other learners who may be dispersed across different regions. 
     
    2. Can I take the course at my own pace?

    Most online courses will be facilitated by an instructor who requires that learners adhere to a course schedule for readings, assignments, and discussions with other learners. It will be important for your success to adhere to this schedule so you can contribute to discussions and group projects in meaningful ways. Your presence in the course will only be apparent if you participate!

    3. Do I need to come to campus for anything?

    The answer to this question varies and depends upon the program you are enrolled in. Please ask your admissions counselor or director of the program to be sure. 

    4. Do I need books for a distance education course?

    Instructors generally require students to use textbooks for their online classes. However, these textbooks could be accessible online or have online components. When taking an online course, it is important to order your textbooks as far in advance of the course as possible because it may take some time for them to arrive. It is also vital to make sure that you purchase the correct version of the textbook as page numbers and information can sometimes differ. Online students can visit the Carlow Bookstore virtually, order their textbooks online and have them delivered right to their doorstep. 

    5. How will I communicate with the instructor during the course?

    Your instructor will advise you about their preferred mode of communication in the course syllabus. When you are enrolled in an online course, faculty members expect students to read email sent to to Carlow email account daily. All communication from your instructor will be sent to your Carlow email.

    6. How will I turn in assignments and receive grades?

    While your instructor may use Blackboard’s grade center to advise you on your progress during the course, WebAdvisor is the system of record for your final course grade.

    Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) will provide access to your course site. Throughout the program, the Blackboard course site will be your online classroom. This is where you will access course materials, submit assignments, take quizzes, discuss topics with your colleagues, work with team members, post final projects, get to know each other, and so much more. Blackboard helps to create the experience of a traditional class in a classroom and is accessible! When you are admitted you will receive an email with your Blackboard username and password. For more technology assistance, visit Carlow's Technology Resources.