PS Online Course Expectations for Students

Weekly Format

Not counting breaks for holidays, Fall and Spring courses are generally 15 weeks long while Summer courses cover the same material in 10 or 11 weeks.

An online course week corresponds to a 7-day week and runs Monday – Sunday. Unless otherwise indicated, assignments are generally due by 11:59 PM of the last day of the week in which they appear.  The course is based on Phoenix, Arizona Time.  If you are in a different time zone, be sure to calculate the time difference and scheduling appropriately.

Learn and Apply

Each week is divided into Learn and Apply categories. Not every week will have activities in both categories, so be sure to pay close attention to the course web page.

Learn activities are your readings and lectures to watch.

Apply activities are your discussion questions, assignments, and exams.

Time Commitment

Online courses are structured with various activities due each week. For a 2-hour 15-week class, you can plan on spending at least 6-7 hours per week to complete all required activities in the course.  A 4-hour course would require twice the time commitment, and because they are compressed Summer courses demand an even greater time commitment.

Asynchronous Learning

Online learning does not have real time interaction like that in a classroom. You must be able to stay motivated with virtual, rather than face-to-face, interaction with your fellow students and professor. This requires more discipline than on ground courses, but the benefit is the increased flexibility.

Deadlines and Assignment Requirements

Always refer to the course syllabus for details about deadlines and assignment requirements.  The course web page will duplicate some but not all of the relevant information.  It would be unfortunate, for example, to discover after the fact that an exam was open book.

Computer Requirements

Any recent popular browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) should be sufficient.  Refer to PS Online Student Support for help with your specific browser.  

Many of our courses use a lecture capture system called Tegrity. Tegrity recordings can be streamed in your web browser or downloaded for watching or listening to offline. The Tegrity lecture system works most seamlessly with Internet Explorer.  A reliable Internet connection is required for streaming or downloading recorded lectures. More detailed Tegrity requirements can be found here.

Most students use Microsoft Word for writing papers, but any modern word processor will suffice including free software solutions such as Open Office.

Last modified: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 2:08 PM