Student Responsibilities in Online Learning

Earning your online degree or taking online education courses is a positive experience for most students. You’ll be most successful if you are knowledgeable about online learning prior to enrolling in online courses.

It is important to understand your responsibilities as a student when it comes to your education. Your responsibilities as an online learner include, but are not limited to:

  • Contacting your instructor and visiting your course site. We recommend logging into your course on Day 1 and emailing your instructor to introduce yourself.
  • Reading the course syllabus and any other documents related to the course to be sure that you are aware of any and all instructor policies.
  • Adhering to course schedules and deadlines. Distance learning courses are not typically designed to be self-paced.
  • Using the communication procedures established by your instructor for submission of assignments and completion of course requirements.
  • Confirming that you have the necessary technical skills and that your computer meets the minimum technical requirements to undertake online courses.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the information and policies contained in your college’s Student Handbook.  Individual programs may also have program-specific student handbooks. You should check with your program faculty for those resources.
  • Checking and maintaining your college email account and reading all course and/or college announcements, at least two or three times per week (preferably daily). Your college email account is the official means of communication between you and your college.
  • Recognizing that when you submit assignments to the drop box or contribute to the threaded discussions you must observe the same college prohibitions against plagiarism that apply to assignments in on-campus courses.
  • Notifying your instructor, in advance, if you are unable to complete an assignment by the published submission deadline.

Remember that this list is not all-inclusive. Your college or instructor may have additional responsibilities for online learners. Knowing how to contact an online student helpdesk or your instructor is important as you begin online courses. Never hesitate to ask questions if something is unclear.

Contributor: Nicole Seifert, Online Student Advisor


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