Are there benefits / advantages to taking online classes?

Online classes offer so many benefits! One of the most important ones is that you can work on your own time and at your own speed while adhering to course deadlines. You don’t need to worry about driving, parking, or missing work to attend your course. Instead, you can concentrate on how best to arrange your week in order to manage your workload. Another nice benefit is the ability to re-read and re-watch lecture materials as many times as you’d like to fully digest the materials. One of the best elements of online classes is the deep, meaningful connections students build with their instructors and fellow students—connections that we often see outlast the duration of the courses themselves.

Do I need to log in at certain times each week?

No. UVM online courses are asynchronous, which means that students do not have to log into the course at the same time. However, there are specific due dates and times when assignments, discussion activities, and tests will be due.

Some courses offer “live” sessions where instructors and students can meet via online communication tools. These sessions, if held, are always recorded so that you may listen in later, if need be. For the vast majority of online courses, though, you do not need to be present at any specific dates or times.

How will I communicate with my classmates and my professor in an online course?

There are numerous ways in which you may be expected to communicate with your classmates and your professor. Depending on the course, you may use a variety of tools within the Learning Management System (LMS) to interact, such as discussion forums, blogs, email, wikis, and journals. In some courses, you will work collaboratively with your classmates to complete group projects. Your course may also have scheduled meeting times using web-conferencing systems. Your course syllabus will contain all communication guidelines and expectations.

If the course is a hybrid/blended course, there may be on-campus or virtual meeting times as a required part of the course. For hybrid/blended courses, all meeting times are listed in the course registration information. Your course syllabus will also list all scheduled meeting times.

Are online classes hard?

Online courses are neither harder nor easier than on-campus courses. UVM’s online courses are often taught by the same professors and lecturers teaching the same course on campus. You can absolutely expect the same quality of instruction as well as the same rigorous course material and workload. Like on-campus courses, having strong time and study management skills can mean the difference between passing and failing your online course. Our instructors and staff are here to assist you throughout your online learning experience, including offering insight and advice to help you develop a plan to keep you on the road to success.

What is a hybrid course?

You may also see courses listed as hybrid/blended. As with our online courses, all of the course-related materials, syllabi, readings, lecture notes, assignments, and discussion boards are contained and organized within the Learning Management System. The only difference is that a portion of your class occurs online, and some take place in a face-to-face classroom setting. Specific details around meeting times are published on the Professional and Continuing Education website.

What assignments are typical for an online class?

Assignments vary with each program. You can expect to see a wide variety of creative assessments, depending on the subject matter. In general, you might see discussion activities, journals, papers, quizzes and tests, as well as creative endeavors like projects and presentations.

What are the minimum system requirements to take online classes?

At a minimum, online students need access to a computer and internet connection.  See the recommended system requirements. Specific programs may have requirements for software.  These are listed in the course syllabus or program description.