Whether you are a non-traditional student or just graduating from high school, here are some things you should know before signing up for an online class.

Coursework

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  • Students access course material and interact with their instructors and classmates through Blackboard, our online learning platform.

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  • Course content may include online lectures, videos, discussion boards, collaborative work, etc.

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  • Students submit regular assignments, including homework, papers, and projects, through Blackboard.

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  • Courses include at least one proctored online exam.

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  • Typically, there is no specific time that you have to log-on. Coursework is open for a span of time to allow flexibility for completing and submitting assignments.

Technology

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  • Technology plays an integral role in online learning. You’ll need regular access to a desktop, laptop, or notebook computer, high-speed internet connection, and basic computer skills.

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  • Many assignments will need to be completed using Microsoft Office.  A free download is available to Murray State College students on our website.

Communication

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  • Online learning requires a substantial amount of written communication.

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  • You will be assigned a student email account after you complete an online application.

  • Email will be your primary means of communicating with instructors and other students.  Your instructor will outline communication options and guidelines in the course syllabus.

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  • Most courses require you to engage regularly in online discussions through Blackboard, as well as collaborative coursework.

Time Investment

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  • Though you can complete course assignments during the hours that work best for you on a day-to-day basis, you must finish each course within the allotted time period.  Our regular spring and fall semesters are 16 weeks, though some courses are available in an 8-week format.  Each course has built-in deadlines along the way to make sure that you progress at a manageable pace.  Online course beginning and end dates correspond with our regular semester courses. 

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  • Online courses are not “time-saving” courses.  Since there is usually not a lecture component, you can expect to spend more time reading the course material.  As a rule of thumb, plan to devote about 6-12 hours a week for assignments, reading, and study for each 3-credit online course.