Online Courses and On-site Classes How do online classes compare to on-site classes? • • • Online classes developed and offered by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma are fully accredited, count toward degree requirements, and are academically equivalent to the same class offered on-site. Online courses follow the same numbering conventions as regular courses, so that 1000- and 2000-level classes are lower-division and 3000- and 4000-level classes are upper-division. The only difference is that online courses carry a special section number: 995999. All the online courses offered by College of Arts and Sciences are listed at http://enroll.ou.edu, and are indicated with a special computer icon: How are online classes similar to on-site classes? The online classes offered by the College of Arts and Sciences are similar to on-site classes in the following ways: • • • The calendar for registering, adding, dropping and withdrawing from an online class is the same as an on-site class. University of Oklahoma faculty teach all of our classes, online and on-site. Like an on-site class, an online class will have a syllabus, identifying the resources and requirements for completing the course. In both formats you are expected to complete the assignments by the deadlines established by your instructor. Interaction between students and faculty is an important part of the OU experience. In both online and on-site classes you will have the opportunity to communicate with your instructor and participate in class activities with your fellow students. Reading typically plays an important role in the learning process in traditional classrooms. It is also important in online classes. In most cases online students will still purchase books. Find out what books and materials are required for your online course by visiting the online course catalog. • • How are online classes different from on-site classes? College of Arts and Sciences online classes are different from on-site classes in the following ways: • • • • Online classes do not meet on campus unless noted on individual course pages. Instead, a virtual classroom space has been created for each class using a course management system (most courses use Desire2Learn, although WebCT is used for some courses). Communication in online classes occurs through electronic means such as email, discussion boards, and chat rooms. Online classes require students to assume a higher degree of responsibility in the learning process. Because online students do not sit in classes to hear lectures, they must acquire basic course concepts in other ways. In the virtual classroom, faculty will identify readings, research activities, quizzes, and projects which assist the student in grasping course concepts. It is each student's responsibility to plan sufficient time during the week to devote to virtual classroom activities. How does an online class work? In many ways, online classes work the same way as on-site classes. First, students must be admitted to the University of Oklahoma. Once the admissions process is finished, students can register online during open registration. Online classes begin the first day of the semester or academic period. Students are expected to log into the virtual classroom at the beginning of the first week of classes to begin their online orientation and course work. How do I communicate with my online instructor? You will probably use a variety of ways to communicate with your instructor, including email, online discussion boards, and chat rooms. Your instructor’s contact information can be located on this website. Each instructor will explain his or her preferred modes of communication. How do I communicate with other students in my online course? Depending on what your instructor prefers, you may communicate with your fellow students with the same methods that you use to communicate with your instructor, i.e., email, online discussion boards, and chat rooms. How is my progress in an online course evaluated? Your instructor will use many of the same evaluation strategies that are used in on-site classes. You will be able to submit written papers and assignments online, and you may also take quizzes and exams online. Your participation in discussion boards and other class activities may be recorded and might form part of your grade. Check with your instructor to find out exactly how grades will be assigned for your online course. Do I have to come to campus for exams? Maybe. Most faculty evaluate student work through a variety of other means. However, there may be some cases when an online class requires that you take a proctored or supervised exam. Your instructor will notify you if any on-campus activities are required.
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