Is Online Education Right for You?

Is Online Education Right For You?


Before seeking admission to Vincennes University for Distance Education, please review the following information to determine 'if online education is right for you' as a student.

Is Online Education Right For You?

Skills and Technical Requirements for Online Classes

The following skills are beneficial to possess if you plan on taking online classes:

  • Strong reading and writing skills, self-discipline and time management skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Knowledge of basic computer terminology such as:
    • drop down menu, log in, username, program, upload, website
  • Ability to perform basic computer operations, such as:
    • Using keyboard and mouse
    • Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties
    • Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, saving files in different formats
    • Sending and downloading attachments
  • Understanding basic computer hardware and software, such as:
    • Software installation, security and virus protection
    • Using software applications, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email clients
  • Ability to use online communication tools, such as:
    • Email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments)
    • Discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers.
  • Additional Internet skills, such as:
    • Connecting, accessing, and using browsers
    • Ability to perform online research using various search engines and library databases.

Tips on How to be Successful in a Distance Education Course

    It is important that you begin an online course by reviewing the syllabus and other course items, so that any questions you may have can be addressed as soon as possible. If you have questions or concerns please contact the instructor immediately. Do not wait until the end of the semester as it will be too late for an instructor to help you. Below are some tips on how to be successful in a distance education course.

  • Get to know your course. Navigate through your course at the beginning of the semester and make sure that you read each item. This will ensure that you know where everything is located and what will be expected of you.
  • Keep in contact with your instructor. This is important.
  • Ask questions when you’re in doubt. The instructor(s) and the Distance Education office are happy to assist students. ( or 1-800-880-7961).
  • Work on your course a little at a time through the week. Do not wait until the last minute. You will not get the appropriate exposure to the subject if you rush assignments at the end of the semester and it will be reflected in your grade.
  • Course participation is important. Your attendance is based on course activity. Course activity is participating in scheduled course activities and submitting assignments on due dates.
  • Complete reading and course assignments. It will help improve your knowledge and help your success in your course(s).
  • Check the course announcements and your preferred email often. Distance Education and your online instructor will communicate with you through your preferred e-mail address.
  • Check your grades often. You are responsible for getting assignments turned in to your instructor. By keeping track of your grades you are making sure that your assignments are being received and that you understand the course material.
  • Manage your time carefully. Set time aside each week to study.
  • Be respectful when communicating with your instructor. Make sure that you are polite and not using offensive language.
  • Remember that not participating can result in being dropped from the course at 0% tuition adjustment.
  • If you need to drop a course, go through your academic advisor. The drop must be in writing from the student.
  • Remember it is the student's responsibility to confirm financial aid availability, class participation, and course materials. Tuition refunds are not granted for non-attendance, not accessing an online course, not having course textbooks and materials, or non-receipt of Financial Aid or other tuition funding.
  • Remember the student is responsible for checking their MyVU account, e-mails, and Blackboard to confirm enrollment. Tuition refunds will not be granted because the confirmation email was not seen or the systems were not accessed.

Technology Requirements

While some academic requirements for online classes can be adequately completed via the use of a mobile device, tablet or Chromebook, Distance Education students are expected to have access to a laptop or desktop computer with a Windows or Mac operating system to complete all online academic tasks.

At the following link you will find the minimum and recommended hardware and software requirements necessary in order to access an online class through Vincennes University's current version of Blackboard. Individual instructors may have additional requirements for specific classes. Be sure to check your course syllabus and discuss technology needs with your instructor as early in the class as possible. You will also be able to test your internet browser at the following link to make sure it is compatible with taking online classes via the Blackboard system.

Click Here For Minimum System Requirements

Many classes also require the use of remote test proctoring via Proctorio. To effectively use that service students must be able to utilize the Google Chome web browser and must have webcam capability on their laptop/desktop computer.

Distance Attendance Policy

Please note that online courses have due dates and are not self-paced. The VU Distance Education Attendance Policy is based on the premise that students will complete all assigned course work by the established due dates. Failure to complete an assignment by the established due date is interpreted as an absence from the class.

Any student who misses an assignment will be subject to attendance warnings and classroom concern notices from their instructor. Multiple attendance warnings and classroom concerns may result in administrative withdrawal.

Faculty-Initiated Withdrawal of Students from Class

Students who miss class hours totaling twice the number of credit hours awarded for the course, or the equivalent of two weeks of class instruction, are eligible to be dropped from class. Faculty will be using the “TAPS” program–Tracking Attendance and Performance of Students–to issue warnings for non-attendance and to drop students for non-attendance with the following final grades:

  • WN: Withdrawal for non-attendance, Not failing
  • WF: Withdrawal for non-attendance, Failing

***Please Note: When a faculty member drops a student due to non-attendance/inactivity in a course it does not excuse the student from the tuition charges or other financial obligations.***

Only the student may appeal such a drop for non-attendance, and the student has two possible avenues for appeal.

  1. The student may appeal directly to the faculty person for readmission to the course and must provide evidence of extenuating circumstances that caused the absences. The faculty person has the option to readmit the student at his/her own discretion.
  2. The student may appeal the drop for non-attendance through the Dean of Students Office by completing a Drop Petition Appeal form within five business days from the date of the notification. The Dean of Students will then review the appeal, consult with the faculty member and, potentially, the student and render a decision to grant or deny readmission into the class. If there is extenuating information/evidence unknown to the faculty person or Dean of Students, the student is responsible to provide that information/evidence. The review is conducted by the Dean of Students or a designee.

Academic Honesty

Vincennes University students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A student’s placement of his or her name on any academic exercise shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the student’s own thought, effort, and study and that the work was completed in a manner consistent with University policies and regulations. Acts of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary sanctions and include, but are not limited to instances of cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of misrepresenting academic work.

  1. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, accessing information or using resources not expressly permitted during an examination, doing work for another student, and receiving or disseminating content of an assignment or activity (e.g. test, quiz, paper) without instructor permission.
  2. Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures from another person or source without acknowledgement or applicable permissions.
  3. Other forms of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, submitting the same work for multiple assignments without instructor permission and furnishing false information to any university official, faculty member, or office.

The instructor will determine appropriate student disciplinary action that is consistent with the academic dishonesty policy contained in the syllabus of the instructor, which may include referral to the Office of the Dean of Students for appropriate disciplinary action in keeping with procedures used in the handling of other types of student conduct situations.

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