Suggestions for Success in Online Classes

The following are suggestions for success in online criminal justice courses offered at Radford University.  Please note that this material does not replace the syllabus for any online course(s) that you might be taking; it is the syllabus that contains the official policies that you must follow for your course(s).  

In order to succeed in an online class, students need to have the required level of computer skills, motivation and a commitment to learn and work on their own. Online classes are good for self-starters: those students who can take the initiative to complete coursework without the direct supervision of a professor. Online learning is not for everyone. Individuals who prefer face-to-face communication or traditional group work should weigh these factors in determining if an online class is appropriate. Academic standards for online courses are the same as those for all other courses offered within the Department of Criminal Justice. Online courses provide students with a flexible and convenient way to learn, but that doesn't mean online learning is easier than in a traditional classroom. Online courses offer the same opportunities for learning and growth, and the chance to challenge yourself as a student. As an online student you will need to be motivated, dedicated and determined with your studies.

Online Course Formats

Online courses are typically offered in three formats: hybrid, online synchronous, online asynchronous. These formats are defined below and noted in the course schedule. Students need to pay special attention to the format designation when registering for online courses.

Hybrid: Hybrid courses take place partially in the online environment and partially using campus. Content and instruction are delivered through both limited on campus meetings and the online environment. On campus meetings are outlined in the course syllabus schedule.

Synchronous: Online web-based courses deliver content and communicate completely via the internet, usually through the D2L course management system. All course content is delivered in the online environment. Students must ‘meet’ online with the instructor and/or other students during set time periods to participate in learning activities.

Asynchronous: Online web-based courses deliver content and communicate completely via the internet, usually through the D2L course management system. Students are expected to have access to an internet-connected computer and basic technical skills. All course content is delivered in the online environment. No meeting times are required, though deadlines and due dates within the course syllabus must be honored.

Course requirements

Students must read the course syllabus and any other documents related to the course to be sure that they are aware of any and all instructor policies and course schedules.

Computer skills

In order to be successful in an online course, you must have a working knowledge of the D2L system and basic computer skills, including taking online quizzes, managing and uploading content, saving, opening, and placing files inside drop boxes, and creating a document in a word processing program.

Communication and Participation

Be willing to utilize reliable and timely communication with classmates and faculty online. You will need to consistently participate in online activities and log into your course at least several times per week to view news items, participate in class activities, assignments, online discussion and quizzes and tests.

Complete the online assignments, quizzes, and activities by the deadlines to allow your instructor adequate time to review your work and provide feedback. All assignments must be submitted in the format specified by your instructor through the D2L website according to instructions.

Contact your instructor with course related questions well in advance of due dates as you may need to wait up to 48 hours for a response to your questions.

Computer/Internet access

Your computer must have reliable access to the internet and be able to run one of the compatible web browsers. Technological problems are not a sufficient excuse for failure to complete course requirements.

Academic Integrity

Like a traditional classroom, students in online courses are responsible for maintaining academic integrity and avoiding academic dishonesty in all its forms, including plagiarism and cheating on tests, assignments, and activities. Be sure to review the RU Student Code of Conduct, including the expectations regarding academic integrity.