FAQ: Distance Learning

What is distance education?

Distance education (Commission on the Institutions of Higher Education North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) is defined, for the purposes of accreditation review, as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. Distance education may employ correspondence study or audio, video and computer technologies.

What is online learning?

Also referred to as distance education, online learning includes courses offered online that do not require the student to be on campus for most or all class participation. Students can work with course materials at their own convenience, or they can work collaboratively on class projects using tools like chat and discussion groups (bulletin boards).

Is online learning just another fad?

No. With Internet usage growing rapidly, the Internet is becoming increasingly important in more functions of personal and business life. In order to meet ever-changing and growing demands on people, education must be provided in a flexible, convenient format. Online courses are a necessary evolution in education.

What are some benefits to online learning?

There are many benefits of online learning for both the student and the instructor. The following are just a few of the potential benefits:

  • Flexible scheduling
  • Enhanced learning
  • Adult learners
  • Increased interaction with classmates
  • Virtual office hours
  • Electronic competency on the job
  • Availability
  • Collaboration

If I prefer to sit back and listen in a classroom, will I be comfortable in an online classroom?

If this is your classroom style, you may not be comfortable in an online class. If you don't participate by posting messages, neither your instructor nor your classmates will know you are "in class." The online environment requires that every student participates for the entire course to succeed. For this reason, online classes are often smaller than face-to-face classes. A typical class has up to 15 students. Ideas and concepts "discussed" online become the major focus of the class.

Do I need to be online at a specific time and day in order to participate?

You can complete your work at anytime and anywhere via the Internet.

Are there any times I need to be on campus?

Master's students are not required to be on campus at any time; however, we do offer an optional on-campus residency for master's students that provides a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with peers and faculty.

For doctoral students, comprehensive exams are offered six times each year on campus for USA-domestic students and by proctor for international students. The exams occur once each semester on Friday at the end of the modular week and once between each semester on a Friday. All other residencies and orientations can be done on campus or online.

How do I access my class online?

Students are required to access their classes online via Blackboard.

How do I submit papers?

Students are required to submit their papers via email attachment.

How do I get my course materials?

Course materials are available for students in Blackboard or through our online database (Regent library or other online resources).

Can I use the library online?

Yes. Once you are given your Regent email address and password you can access the library database online using your Regent login and password.

Do I need a computer to take a class?

Yes. The program is definitely an exclusively online program.

What kind of computer equipment do I need?

The basic computer equipment you need is Internet access and the ability to work on your papers. A more detailed description is provided by our IT department link opens in a new window .

Do I need my own computer? Can I use my computer at work?

We recommend that students use their own computers.




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