How Online Works
The University of Denver's college of professional and continuing studies, University College, offers graduate students and Bachelor of Arts Completion Program students the opportunity to earn their degrees or certificates entirely online, on campus, or in a combination of both. Whichever method of delivery you choose, you are ensured a high quality, career-relevant degree from the University of Denver.
Designed and delivered for busy adults seeking a convenient format to pursue their degree, online classes allow you to fit education into your demanding schedule and help propel your career forward. At University College, our philosophy is to embrace technology to improve and accelerate learning for busy adults. Online classes present the same content and are driven by the same academic outcomes as campus classes, but are delivered differently for your convenience.
Online classes are asynchronous, so students are not required to be online at the same time and may instead log into their online class when their schedule permits. Every class is available in the campus or online format, allowing students to select what works best for their schedule and learning style.
Canvas is your online classroom. This secure course delivery system used to present material online and provide interaction between students who are enrolled in the class with you. Canvas features a forum called the discussion board, where students and instructors participate in online. Primary correspondence is done through your DU e-mail address, which is provided upon registration.
How does an online class work?
Students receive a robust educational experience from instructors through streaming multimedia, dynamic discussions, and audio and visual elements in the online course. Students enrolled in online classes will log in to the "course shell" and submit assignments, participate in discussion boards, and complete quizzes via computer. Participation is a major aspect of each online course.
Because online classes are asynchronous, you can log in at any time during the week that is convenient for you. If you're traveling for your job, deployed with the military, or busy with work and family commitments, online learning is an ideal way to fit education into your hectic schedule. Students have 24/7 access to technical assistance, so you'll always have support throughout your online class.
The asynchronous nature of the classes also allows students the ability to reflect on their responses to the discussion, which leads to extremely rich and thoughtful conversations. Students in online classes also benefit from the perspective of every student in the classroom due to the consistent participation that is required of each student.
Is online learning right for me?
Being a student in an online class requires a certain sense of discipline, willingness to participate, and time management skills. Online classes involve the same dedication as campus-based classes, which is approximately four hours per week for every credit hour. In an online course, participation means checking the course shell and utilizing the discussion board; participation is likely to impact your final grade (see your syllabus for specific percentages). If you thrive in self-guided learning and managing your own time, and want a challenging course with the same academic outcomes as an on campus course, then online learning may be right for you.
For a student to be successful in an online environment, she or he must:
- Be self-motivated to do the work and complete assignments on time
- Be well-organized and have time management skills
- Accept constructive criticism as guidance for improvement
- Possess effective communication skills using email and discussion boards
- Possess computer skills required to navigate the Internet and create, save, and send files
- Have reliable Internet access through a compatible browser
- Have access to a library or library materials such as books, journals, and magazines that may be used for research in the course (e.g., DU Penrose online).
Online courses are guided by the same academic objectives as campus-based classes and University College students acquire the equivalent knowledge and skills regardless of delivery mode. To demonstrate comprehension of a subject, students may be asked to write papers, take tests and quizzes, participate in class discussions, build projects, and/or work on a real-life example or case study of a current issue. Online courses at University College follow the same ten-week quarter schedule adhered to by campus-based classes. More specific schedule information is available in your syllabus.
Ideally, students should check their online classes daily. Because learning is asynchronous, the discussion boards are constantly updating and online students are expected to stay current with class discussions with peers and instructors. You may log into Canvas at any time to participate from anywhere you have Internet access.
Your instructor will provide you with a syllabus, course documents, required readings, and will guide you through your learning experience. They will be available via email to answer questions and they will evaluate, critique, and respond to your work.
The instructor is expected to:
- Present pertinent information
- Provide relevant materials and structure
- Respond to student comments and requests in a timely manner
- Post class materials and information in a timely manner
- Guide students toward success
- Offer a learning structure according to accepted adult learning principles
Online courses at University College follow the same ten-week quarter schedule adhered to by campus-based classes. More specific schedule information is available in your syllabus.
Textbooks can be ordered online through the DU bookstore, or another online bookseller, and in most cases can be delivered within a few days. Depending on the selected course, special software may be required and will be described in your syllabus. Special journal articles may also be part of the required reading, and will be available online via the electronic reverse at DU's Penrose Library.
At minimum, students who wish to complete online courses should have Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, or Apple users should have a Mac OS 10.5 or above. Regular, consistent access to a computer and internet with these specifications is required. For additional information, please visit University Technology Services (UTS).