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Frequently Asked Questions about Online Courses
Is there an orientation before the online classes begin?
Students will have an opportunity to meet and speak with their professors and practice their online skills before the class begins each semester.
Do online courses begin and end at different times than regular on-campus courses?
Online courses start and end on the same dates as evening courses.
Do online courses have final exams, just like regular on-campus courses?
During the week of final exams, your online instructor will let you know if you will be taking an exam online or submitting a final paper.
Can I submit my work whenever I am ready?
Online courses have weekly schedules and due dates for readings, postings, and tests. Your instructor will let you know what to do each week and you will have to submit work on a regular, weekly basis, just like a class on campus.
Do I have to be online at the same time as everyone else in class?
Some online instructors use the live chat function of
to hold office hours or conduct live chats online. Your instructor will make you aware of any requirement to be online at a certain date and time.
Are online courses easier than on-campus courses?
The content of online courses is identical to that of on-campus classes. In fact, they require more discipline and maybe even more time, because students have to read the material by themselves and keep up with the coursework and writing.
Does it take a certain type of student to do well in an online course?
Online learning is not for everyone. We know from research that students who are independent learners, highly motivated, disciplined, and good time managers perform well in an online course.
Can I participate in my online course whenever I want to?
Class participation is crucial to success online. Threaded e-mail discussions are the heart of the course and the main way everyone communicates. Participation requirements will vary from course to course, but your instructor will let you know how often to be online and what you need to do in order to meet participation requirements.
Do I need to have a computer background to take an online course?
Successful online students need to be able to perform the following tasks comfortably: Send and receive e-mails
Send and open e-mail attachments (Word files)
Use Microsoft Word
Manage files in Word
Function in online library databases
Perform basic research on the Internet
Be able to use a browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox.
I am not sure if online learning is right for me. Is there a way for me to find out?
There are several student self-assessment tests available that are designed specifically to help students decide if the online environment would suit them.
You can take a quick 20-item self-assessment (download:
Distance Learning document for assessment
). Once you have the results of your assessment, you can discuss them with your academic advisor and decide if online courses are right for you.
Can I take more than one online class at a time?
Students who are comfortable with online courses may take several courses online or combine online and seated classes.
Where can I get technical help regarding computer issues?
ITS Department Help Desk
How do I get my student ID login and password for online classes?
New students will receive a letter from Widener University with their
login and password information. Current students will use their existing
3800 Vartan Way
P.O. Box 69380
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9380
CAMPUS PHONE NUMBERS:
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P.O. Box 7474
Wilmington, DE 19803
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