How Do Online University Degree Programs Work?


Quick Answer

Most online university degree programs work similar to traditional on campus programs where students have lectures, class assignments and take tests. However, students get assignments, lectures, notes and other information for the program courses through an online learning platform provided by the online school.

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Full Answer

Most online programs provide distance learning either through real time (synchronous) or asynchronous sessions. Synchronous sessions involve student instructor interaction through chats, emails, instant messaging and virtual conferences. However, asynchronous sessions can entail online degree programs making lectures available through audio, video or written materials. With distance learning, students can log in at any time and access asynchronous sessions.

Another feature of online degree programs are that they require handing in weekly assignments, but students do it online instead of in person. Students can also participate in class through peer discussion boards and interact with other students taking the same course through chat rooms or emails. Additionally, it may also be necessary for students to do projects together by communicating through these same methods.

Students attending an online university degree program may also need to meet minimum class attendance. For example, student's taking online introductory classes at Ashford University must attend a class once every 7 days, as noted by Ashford University. Students taking online courses also take tests that may require a proctor. Students can either go to a school campus if it is near their homes to take the test. Students, who live far from the school campus, may need to find a proctor in their area by contacting an counselor at their online school.

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