Expectations of Siena Heights University students enrolled in Online Courses
Overview of an Online Course at SHU
Courses delivered in an online format include literature review, written assignments, and participation in weekly discussion “threads.” Depending on the course, collaborative group projects and/ or exams may also be included to meet learning outcomes. Your instructor will guide you through the course activities, posting announcements, delivering lecture materials, responding to questions, and grading assignments and exams. Similar to a traditional classroom experience, participation in weekly discussions offers an opportunity to discuss topics with other classmates, who reside within the U.S. and internationally, at virtually any time during a given week.
Overall Course Expectations & Tips for Success
General expectations to prepare you for success in your online course:
Undergraduate students enrolled at the main campus (in Adrian, MI) are required to seek written approval from their academic advisor to enroll in an online course. All students should consult with their academic advisor to determine if enrollment in online courses fits within their degree plan and schedule of classes, as well as the process to enroll in an online course.
TIP: For undergraduate students on the main campus, send an email to your advisor seeking approval for your record. You’ll need the written approval to register in an online course.
You are expected to assess if online learning is for you, meet the technical requirements, and satisfy the course pre-requisites.
TIP: Complete these steps and consulted with your academic advisor to determine if online learning is right for you!
You are expected to be familiar with the course syllabus including the textbook requirements and any other requirements (such as pre-class assignments) prior to the start of class, as well as the course calendar of when assignments are due.
TIP: Review the course syllabus prior to the start of class and calendar, if available, for deadlines of reading and writing assignments including participation requirements for weekly discussion units.
You are expected to complete the assignments as noted within each course.
TIP: Follow the instructor’s process to submit written assignments in the course – which are commonly sent to the Dropbox – and review your grades in the Gradebook. Always consult with your instructor (or classmates in the water cooler or similarly titled discussion unit) if you have questions or need clarification on assignments. While courses are delivered through a “distance learning” method, your instructors and advisor are simply a phone call and email away!
You are expected to fully participate within each week’s discussion. These discussions, in which you will post your own detailed “thread” as well as respond to other students' comments, play a central role in the learning experience.
TIP: Login to the course on a daily basis to review posts from students and the instructor. Post your discussion threads, whether starting a thread or responding to classmate’s post, in a clear, concise form, and as you would a written assignment with proper grammar and reference notations.
If you are assigned to a team project, your team members will rely on you to actively participate and contribute to the projects.
TIP: Keep in contact with group members, and in addition to group discussion, engage in listening to others. Set aside specific times each week for engaging in course activities, and stick to them. Otherwise, you may find you quickly fall behind in the course.
Participation in the Virtual Classroom Discussion
Participation in weekly discussion does not require you to participate at specific times during each week’s unit (otherwise known as “synchronous”). It does require you to actively participate on several different days minimally throughout the week’s unit. A standard recommendation is to login at least once a day to check announcements, review and respond to discussion threads, and examine online materials. The actual length of time devoted toward each weekly unit varies depending on the course activities. Many online courses are delivered in an accelerated format (less than 15-weeks) with considerable writing expectations that will require you to stay on task to ensure your success in the course.