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Frequently Asked Questions About Online Learning

Q. How different is an online course from a regular face-to-face course?
A. Courses that meet completely online allow all students equivalent learning opportunities and outcomes.
According to the Higher Learning Commission definition, 75% or more of the instruction occurs online. Methods of examination (i.e. exams, quizzes, assignments, and tests) take place online.

Students access all fundamental and/or supplemental course materials (i.e. PowerPoint presentations, handouts, research journals, articles, and notes) online. Students work in community online as they interact with one another and with the professor via discussion boards, group projects, email, and other online approaches that foster communication and cooperation.

Q.  How are web-enhanced, hybrid, and online classes different?
A. Hybrid:  This approach combines traditional face-to-face classroom instruction and online instruction. Less than 75% of the coursework occurs online to replace a portion of traditional class time.
A. Web-Enhanced or Supplemental: Students access supplement course materials and assignments (i.e. PowerPoint presentations, handouts, research journals, articles, and notes) online.

Q. Do all students in an online course need to be online at the same time?
A. Some online courses may be taught in a synchronized environment via Elluminate which requires mandatory online class meeting times. This will be stated in the description of the course. Lectures will usually be recorded.

Q. Will I be required to come to campus?
A. Online courses will not require you to come to campus. The exception may be for an orientation or final exam. Hybrid or Web Enhanced courses will require you to be on campus for the face-to-face classes.

Q. Are there computer labs on campus that I can use if I am taking web-enhanced, hybrid, or online classes?
A. Yes, there are several computer labs on campus and one that is even open 24 hours.

Q. What are the technology and system requirements for online classes?
A. Click here to view technical requirements

Q. What if I need to have adaptive software or equipment?
A. We have the software "Read Write Gold" available for our students.
Blackboard is fully committed to ensuring that our platform contains no barriers for users with disabilities and is both usable and accessible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation.

Please see Disability Services to inquire about modifications that are individual based.

Q. How much time should I expect to spend on an online course?
A. You can expect to study one to two hours for every hour "in class" or credit hours taken. For example: A three credit hour course requires students to be engaged in the course or meet for three hours each week;  homework may take one to two hours each session, making a total of six to nine hours a week dedicated to one course.

Q. What classes are offered online and when do they start?
A. Go to Beeline and Search for Sections

Q. How do I enroll in a course?
A. Go to the Records and Registration site for more information

Q. Where do I get my textbooks?
A. The bookstore will have all of the information and supplies needed for your course.

Q. What do I do if I have a problem with Blackboard, my username, email, or password?
A. Contact CIDT with any questions about Blackboard and IT for questions about your username, email, or password.

Q. How do I drop or withdraw from a course?
A. If you need to add/drop a course after you have registered, you may do so at any time during early registration. If you have any questions, please stop by or contact the Records and Registration Office at 563-333-6202 or at registrar@sau.edu.

Q. Will I be able to ask questions if I take a class online?
A. Definitely, the instructor's contact information will be in the syllabus.

Q. What Internet browser is recommended?
A. Firefox or Chrome

Q. What kind of academic support services are available for online students?
A. Visit the Student Success Center for study groups, supplemental instruction, and tutorial support available to all St. Ambrose students in a low pressure setting at no cost. Please call 563-333-6331 for more information.

Q.  How do I get my User ID and Password?
A.  They will be mailed to you after you register for the online or hybrid course(s). Information Technology will be able to assist you with any questions you many have with your credentials and any changes that need to be made.

Q. How do I access the online class and content?
A. Course material will be posted in your Blackboard Course. Go the SAU homepage and to MYSAU at the top right corner. Choose Blackboard, enter in your id and password, and then choose your class. The content will be on the left side of the page.

Q. How do I use Blackboard?
A. Click to learn more about Blackboard