TSM Online Class Structure

Online courses are scheduled to coincide with the same semester-based courses traditionally available on campus. Course materials, assignments, and communication tools are accessible to the online student by means of a web-based course management system. Other forms of remote-access resources may also be incorporated in your classroom. While there is typically some timing structure to online courses, in which specific due dates for assignments or tests are likely, students can access their online course at any time of day, any day of the week, from any location.

Each course follows standards for instruction and grading, which are outlined in the course syllabus prepared by each instructor and made available to students on the first day of class. The course information details available on the Online Program web site provide general information about each course, including course requirements, required materials, and testing methods.

Tests are administered online. Online tests may be subject to time duration limits, and they may have a specific date set in order to receive full or partial credit.

Technical Requirements

At a minimum, you must have a computer with Internet access, a current/active email address, a current browser, Microsoft Word software, CD-ROM drive, and print capability. Some courses may have specific technical requirements, including additional hardware and/or software. If materials of this type are required, they will be noted under "special hardware/software requirements" under the course information details.

Successful Online Student Characteristics

Self-disciplined, self-motivated, individuals that possess time-management skills are good candidates for being successful students in their online courses. While the online course structure provides flexibility in accessing your class, students that maintain a schedule in which they have set aside time for studying and completing assignments will be better able to stay "on-track" with their courses. Because of this flexibility, it could be tempting for students to wait until the last minute to complete assignments, causing them to fall behind.

Estimating Your Course Load

Online courses have the same rigor and depth of information as traditional on-campus courses. As a general rule-of-thumb, allow a minimum of 6 to 8 hours per week for each course you are taking. This time would include activities such as participating in classroom discussion forums, reading textbooks, completing homework assignments, working on class projects, and conducting lab experiments.

Attending Your Classes

Access to all of your course information is available through the web based "E-Study" Blackboard system. From RacerNet, the campus community's web site, find the Blackboard Icon called "E-Study" to login and attend your classes. You will find and submit your assignments here, as well as communicate with your instructor and fellow online classmates.