Online Course Basics

Getting Started

The Online Course Format

Tips & Techniques

Getting Started Checklist

Helpful Websites




ForumPicture of the splash page for UI Four Hundred

The Forum, sometimes called a Bulletin Board, is the place where you, other classmates, and the instructor go to have discussions about relevant topics in the course. Just as class conversations are very valuable in a traditional classroom setting, online discussions are very valuable to the online classroom.   

Drop Box

The Drop Box is where you will turn in assignments to your instructor.  From the Drop Box, you can upload word processing documents, Excel files, PowerPoint presentations, images, and many file types.  You can also download assignments, files, etc. from your instructor or other students in the class.


One of the most liked features of an online course is the ability to see your grades using the online Gradebook.  Your instructor will post your assignments and test grades here.  The Gradebook lets you know how you are doing in the course as you work your way through the semester.

Tests and Quizzes

Whether it is a practice test, quiz, or actual exam, taking a test online is probably the one element that students usually worry about the most.  Don't let taking online exams scare you; it's just like taking a test in any other class.  The questions might be multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay or a combination - the major difference is your computer is now your "pen" and "paper."  Downloading the UTest Browser (if required) is simple; you can find it at


Some instructors use “chats” as a way for you talk to him/her and your classmates in real time.  Some instructors have online office hours and are available to chat with you and other members in your class about specific questions relating to the course.  Other instructors establish chat sessions as an option to allow interaction and discussion of specific topics in real time.

Screen shot of the BS one oh eight splash page

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