As an online student, you will:
Preparation and participation in your courses will make demands on your time. Keep in mind that the average time required for successful completion of a 4-credit study can be as much as 10 hours per week.
Keep a regular schedule. This is vital to meeting course deadlines and completing assignments in a timely manner.
While online learning offers tremendous flexibility it also requires consistent and dedicated participation.
Expand the topics below to view tips for being a successful online student.
Only registered class members and the instructor have access to your course. However, even for participants in your course, different documents within the course have different levels of privacy. Within your course, some parts can be read by all course members, and others only by you and the instructor.
Occasionally, some computer or administrative staff may need to access your course to do their job. They are professional staff who respect the confidentiality of the system and its students. These staff include:
Your course may have guests. These may be new instructors who are going to be teaching online, guest speakers or participants, or a student who has made special arrangements with the instructor. A guest will request permission to "observe" from your instructor and your instructor will follow Empire State College's policies about course observations. This includes:
From time to time, the college conducts research related to its online courses. This research is related to general principles of online learning effectiveness and not tied to any particular student or course. No identifying information related to students or professors is tied to college research activities.
All research projects are approved by the college's Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Most courses engage students with the course material through discussion and group projects. These learning activities center learning in context through dialogue.
Course instructors vary in their expectations of student and instructor participation in discussions. Some instructors "sit in the back of the class" and listen while students dialog about topics. Other instructors participate frequently to direct student dialog.
Regardless of your instructor's style, you will be expected to substantively participate in required discussions.
Course-related questions should be posted in the public question area where all students can benefit from the instructor's response. Often, students engage with each other's questions.
Personal questions should be posted to your instructor using the course messaging system. Be sure to only send your message to the instructor.
Instructors evaluate your learning and respond to each written assignment (usually within seven days).
Instructor comments, based on the course evaluation criteria, explain what you did well and how you can improve on future assignments.
When extenuating circumstances arise, a student may request an outcome of incomplete (IN) from the instructor.
The instructor normally submits an IN outcome only when the student has consistently engaged in learning activities and has successfully completed at least 50 percent of the work before the end of the enrollment term for the study/course. The instructor is not obligated to grant an incomplete.
A student who is awarded an IN outcome is allowed no more than 16 weeks after the term end date to complete the course. The instructor may establish an earlier completion date.
If the instructor submits no further outcome, an IN outcome automatically becomes a no credit outcome after 16 weeks, or earlier if the instructor has specified an earlier completion date.
Additional information about incompletes can be found in the college's Undergraduate Student Evaluation and Grading Policy.
You can expect to receive a grade or outcome after the end of the term — if you successfully complete all course work on time.
Grades/outcomes are due according to the schedule below:
Additional information about final grades can be found in the college's Undergraduate Student Evaluation and Grading Policy.
If you require a final grade or outcome sooner than the days shown above, for issues such as employer reimbursement, please request assistance from your instructor prior to the end of the term.