Course Structure

Designed to be completed in a 12-week semester, each online course includes a detailed week-by-week assignment schedule (accessible at the online course site) that guides students through reading and writing assignments and other course activities. During the semester, students submit assignments to a mentor and participate in asynchronous course discussions. Mentors facilitate student discussions, providing guidance and focus for the class, grade assignments, discussions and examinations, and submit final grades. There is no specific time when one must be logged on for the class discussion; thus, students can maintain the flexibility of independent learning; however, those who wish may engage in informal discussions with classmates, providing real opportunities to exchange ideas and enhance the informal aspects of learning.

Most courses require a textbook (and perhaps a published study guide) and may require readings and media components. Self-assessment tests and exercises often are incorporated into the course materials. A few courses have software containing additional information and exercises. Mentors formally assess academic progress through written assignments, participation in course discussions, and proctored and nonproctored examinations or some other form of comprehensive assessment. Mentors are available for consultation by email or telephone.