Online Course Basics

Getting Started

The Online Course Format

Tips & Techniques

Getting Started Checklist

Helpful Websites



Course Format

Topics in Course Format

Southeast Missouri State does not use a commercial course management system.  If you have taken online courses at other institutions, you may be used to platforms such as WebCT or Blackboard.  Southeast uses OIS, a homegrown platform developed in the CSTL.  This platform is more flexible than the commercial varieties.  Because of this, instructors have greater freedom in course components and layouts.  While there are best practices designed to give instructors tips on creating the most effective online course possible, you will still note a variety of styles when you take different courses through Southeast Online. 

Online classes are organized in many ways.  Different disciplines have different requirements, and therefore class Web sites may be laid out according to the stated objectives of the class.  An oral expression course, for example, may use audio and video more heavily than a math course, which may use more graphics.  However, most online classes share some elements, such as materials in certain document formats, a gradebook, a discussion board, tests and quizzes, a calendar, a file exchange area, and others. 

It is important to read through the entire course website thoroughly before you start your class.  Donít hesitate to ask questions if you are unclear about any aspect of the course.  You are responsible for the information found in the course pages, and your success in an online course will depend on your understanding of what is expected of you to complete the course.

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