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.

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

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

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

  • Courses include at least one proctored online exam.

  • 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.

  • The greater degree of flexibility that comes with online coursework requires students to take an active role in their education.  It’s up to the student to log on to their course regularly and meet deadlines.  Disciplined work habits make you more likely to succeed as an online student.

  • 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.

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

  • Online learning requires a substantial amount of written communication.

  • 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.

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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

Motivation & Discipline



Time Investment