FSU follows a semester schedule and online courses fall into one of the categories listed below. Pay close attention to the Time or Location Requirements descriptor associated with each program or course before applying.
Participation in an FSU online course requires:
Academic Coordinators, instructors, mentors and other students contribute to the online learning experience.
Students seeking degrees online are provided with personalized "degree roadmaps" that are developed specifically for them by FSU departmental Academic Coordinators. Coordinators act as advisors and also
- make course selection recommendations
- provide advice regarding course equivalency substitutions, prerequisites, and academic requirements (university, school/college and department)
- monitor student progress
The instructor (who likely teaches the same course in face-to-face format) has full responsibility for the course. Faculty members ensure that course content and materials reflect current standards within the discipline and that grading is consistent. Faculty members create learning opportunities through:
- explicit instruction on goals of the course
- a schedule to follow in completing course activities
- access to expertise in the content area
- instruction organized into activities
- guidance in completing activities and assignments
Instructors may schedule specific telephone office hours or specific times within a chat room when groups of students may go online to have questions answered. Instructors also respond through threaded discussions or individual E-mail, and they make general announcements through the course website. Contact information is available in the syllabus or in the "contacts" area of the course site.
Some online degree programs use the assistance of mentors, who act as online teaching assistants and learning facilitators. Mentors support student progress by fulfilling several roles:
- as a learning coach -- clarifying course content and providing feedback
- as a communicator -- contacting students regularly regarding progress
Other students in the course add value to the online experience. Contact with other students may be through group projects, discussion boards, chat rooms, or E-mail.
All online courses at FSU are delivered through campus.fsu.edu, the FSU home of the Blackboard™ learning management system. Courses in which students are enrolled are listed on the Home; tab after login.
Within individual course sites, menus usually feature prominent links to the course syllabus, which outlines assignments, exams, instructions and expectations. Other areas of the course site might contain lecture materials, readings, linked documents and websites, discussion forums, and other learning tools. In many cases, the instructor will provide an introductory video that helps students see how everything is organized.
Just as with a face-to-face course, an online course might require that some things be done independently while others be done in conjunction with the instructor or other students.
During the semester, instructors may post assignment grades to the My Grades page in Blackboard, which is found in the tools area of the course site, on the Home tab, or in the Global Navigation menu in the top-right corner of the screen.
Student assessment may be done online within Blackboard, or via proctored exams at an external site. Instructors are required to notify students of proctored exam requirements by the first day of the semester, and must also provide direction to the proper resource for making proctor arrangements within the course syllabus. Read Tests & Test-taking for more on proctored exams for distance learners.