Online credit courses at Virginia Tech award one to three regular, college credits that are generally transferable to other colleges or universities. These credits do not differ from credits awarded in a regular face-to-face course. Students enrolled in online credit courses are graded on an A-F scale or P/F scale, and they can obtain a university transcript showing grades and credit hours at the end of the semester. These courses may apply towards a university degree (check with an academic advisor for confirmation and planning).
In most cases, online courses are asynchronous (students and instructors do not need to participate at the same time). Students access a course website to engage in the course. In most cases, they can take the course from anywhere in the world and they never need to meet in a face-to-face setting. Instructors may require actions on certain dates, but students can usually participate according to their own schedules (although see the time lines section for further explanation). Courses using Centra software have specific meeting times, so check each course description before enrolling.
A course website may contain the following types of information: instructions for readings, announcements, syllabus, assignments, question and answer sessions, access to course materials, online quizzes or exams, etc. Chat rooms and threaded discussions are common. Online courses may or may not be supplemented by print material (e.g., textbooks) or additional software. Online courses are usually supplemented by email contact with the instructor and other enrolled students. Most assignments are submitted by email or some other electronic format.
The Virginia Tech Virginia Tech academic year consists of two semesters (Fall and Spring) and three different Summer options. All courses begin on the first day of the scheduled term and end on the last day of the scheduled term. Within that time frame, your instructor will provide details of other important dates. Unless otherwise specified, instructors strictly enforce assignment deadlines.
Currently online credit courses are not open-entry or open-exit (i.e., start and finish whenever you choose). However, individual instructors may choose to be flexible. If you require a specific time frame, check with the course instructor to see if it's possible. Courses are not self-paced; students should work at the pace set by the instructor.
Instructors expect online students to:
Students can expect instructors to:
Keep in mind that clear communication requires more effort in an online environment. It is your responsibility to let the instructor know when you have questions, are confused, or need technical support.
Students who succeed in online courses are able to:
The Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech offers Online Study Skills Workshops for topics such as study skills, time management, test anxiety, relaxation techniques, and other wellness related issues.
Tips from experienced eLearners:
We accept credit cards (MC & Visa) & e-check.