Students are often surprised to discover that an online course is as enriching as a traditional classroom setting. Yet students also find an increased time commitment and greater need for self-direction in online courses. This increased dedication is counterbalanced by greater adaptability to your needs and a more personalized learning experience. Here’s what you should know about taking online courses.
Students who enroll in our online courses should have a solid understanding of basic computer skills. Some of the essential skills required include:
In addition to the technical skills to be successful in an online course, students must also have access to the necessary technology requirements to complete their online coursework.
For best performance, use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
Technology requirements for individual courses may vary, and your course may require additional hardware and/or software. See the course syllabus or contact the instructor for additional technology requirements.
Students may borrow technology equipment from The University Library’s Media and Technology Center. For more information visit their website.
For technical assistance, the Help Desk staff are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time), by calling 202-885-2550. You may also email the Help Desk at [email protected] at any time.
In addition, AU offers several self-help technical support resources on our learning support services website.
Without the opportunity to meet in person, we must intentionally and deliberately create a sense of connection between all online class participants. We can bridge the physical distances that separate us in virtual classes by building community through shared interests, committed engagement, and interpersonal communication. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect one-on-one or in small groups with fellow students.
Integrity in academic performance is a cornerstone of an AU education. Our instructors expect that you have reviewed and will abide by the AU Academic Integrity Code. In short, you must be able to attest that the work you submit is your own.
Your instructors expect all class members to keep pace with the schedule of learning activities every week the course is in session. You can plan to devote between 5 to 10 hours per week to common course activities and discussions. We are confident that in time, the commitment you make to regularly participating in class activities will pay off richly for you.
AU is committed to ensuring accessibility for all qualified students with disabilities to university programs and activities, including our online programs.
You are not alone; thousands of students seek support at AU.
student contacts, on average, accessing Academic Support and Access services each year
All disability-related information is treated as confidential. Providing disability-related information is on a need-to-know basis solely to individuals who require such information as part of the accommodation process, or where permitted or required by law or university policy.
Requesting disability accommodations for the first time at AU, involves a 3-step process to get registered with the Academic Support and Access Center. The review and verification process takes 2 or more weeks, so early submissions before the deadlines are recommended.
See the detailed, step-by-step accommodations registration instructions to get started.
Eligibility for disability-related accommodations is determined by registering with the Academic Support and Access Center as described above. You can find Documentation Guidelines for health-related diagnoses on the accommodations registration page.
Any qualified student with a disability enrolled in a course or participating in an AU program or activity may request reasonable accommodations once documentation of a disability is verified by the Academic Support and Access Center. Timely notification assists in reviewing documentation and determining appropriate accommodations, which are made on a case-by-case basis.
For more information visit our Academic Support and Access Center.
Adding to the time management strategies you already use; we’ve created these tips to help you pursue your academic and professional goals as an AU online student: