Online Learning Responsibilities

Generally, student and faculty responsibilities in an online or blended course parallel those encountered in the traditional classroom with some variations given the nature of the course environment. Whether you are the student or the instructor, following these responsibilities will help make you more successful.

Student Responsibilities

Generally, student responsibilities in an online or blended course parallel those encountered in the traditional classroom with some variations given the nature of the course environment. These responsibilities include

  • Attending the Course Orientation:  Whether on-site or online, students must participate in a course orientation to become accustomed to the learning environment in which the course will operate.
  • Reading Course Documents:  It is important that students read all course documents (e.g., syllabus, assignments) to become familiar with course expectations. This will allow students the ability to properly plan for all course activities.
  • “Attending” Class:  Students must “attend” the online components of a course just as they would a traditional course. Class participation is essential to course success. In an online course, student attendance is considered to be defined as logging into the Learning Management System regularly and participating in all academic activities required by the instructor.
  • Organizing and Managing Time:  Courses that have a significant online component may not provide students with as many reminders of course expectations regarding time as do traditional face-to-face courses. Therefore, the student needs to be well organized and must pay careful attention to the course’s schedule and deadlines.
  • Academic Honesty: As with traditional classes, academic honesty is a cornerstone of student online coursework. Frostburg State University standards of academic honesty and conduct pertain to all online courses taught at the University.
  • Acquiring Needed Materials: Students must obtain all necessary course materials, including required textbooks, lab materials, and course software. In addition, the student may need to access various library resources. In this instance, students can access their library code via the PAWS system. Go to Student Center and scroll to the bottom of the page and a library code will be among the blue links.
  • Evaluating Computer Setup: Students are responsible for ensuring that they have access to required hardware, software, and an Internet connection. If they plan to use public Internet access (e.g., a public library), they must contact the provider to determine whether the service is a viable option. Since all online and blended courses utilize FSU email accounts as a primary means of communication, students must be comfortable using their FSU email account.
  • Students have the responsibility of maintaining the security of their usernames, passwords, and personally identifiable information. Students must abide by FSU's Responsible Computing Policy.
  • Staying in Contact: Student interaction with peers and the instructor is just as important in an online or blended course as it is in the traditional classroom. Students must take advantage of all the communication options that are available in the course (e.g., email, discussion boards, chat areas) to facilitate learning and complete projects.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Faculty who teach distance education courses at FSU should first obtain a Certification for Online Teaching through the Office of Information Technology. This 6-week course is designed to teach faculty best practices in online teaching and pedagogy.
  • At the start of the course, Faculty will orient students to their online course environment and identify the layout of the course within the Learning Management System, learning objectives, expectations, and outcomes.
  • Efficient and effective communication is imperative. Faculty must provide frequent assessments and feedback to students. They must also identify when and how students will interact with and contact the instructor.
  • The instructor must develop or adopt appropriate materials, assessments, class exercises, and any other helpful resources that will assist in developing a supportive learning community.
  • Considering that instruction will be done in an asynchronous format, faculty must provide clear criteria for course participation.
  • Faculty should intervene in student discussions to keep dialogues from stalling or derailing.
    Faculty are responsible for applying pedagogical practices that are effective in verifying student identity. Possible methods used include: Virtual class meetings using video display; Reviewing student writing samples from written assignments; Routine interaction with the student (through email, phone, and video); Group assignments; etc.
  • Faculty are responsible for noticing changes in student behavior and coursework such as sudden shifts in academic performance, writing styles, or behaving differently in group assignments.
  • Faculty are responsible for including information on Academic Dishonesty in their course syllabus.
  • Faculty are responsible for including any hardware and software requirements in their course syllabus and materials.