Q&A: Expectations of Online Students

Answer: Whether you are in high school or college, teachers/instructors have the same expectations of students in an online classroom, as they would in a "ground" or traditional classroom. These expectations include:

Preparing for class to begin

  1. Having access to an appropriate Internet browser and computer software
  2. Purchasing your textbook from the school bookstore or another credible book source
  3. Downloading the course textbook (if applicable) and other materials
  4. Reading the course materials (i.e. syllabus, classroom and attendance policies)
  5. Reading any pre-class announcements and/or emails from the instructor

Attending class

  1. Posting a student biography and responding to other students (if required)
  2. Logging in for the required amount of hours per day and/or days per week

Participating in the classroom

  1. Reading weekly announcements posted by instructor
  2. Reading assigned materials, weekly
  3. Reviewing other course materials, regularly (see "preparing for class" above)
  4. Responding and engaging with your group members
  5. Responding to the instructor's questions in the discussion board or forum
  6. Engaging with students' in the discussion forum, as well

Completing and submitting assignments

  1. Reading and following assignment directions
  2. Asking questions and asking for assistance in advance, prior to due date
  3. Submitting assignments in the required format (i.e. MS Word or PowerPoint)
  4. Submitting assignments in the correct location

Adhering to due dates

  1. Responding to the instructor with your discussion posts in a timely manner
  2. Responding to peers on the required days and on time
  3. Taking quizzes (if applicable) by the due dates
  4. Submitting group and individual assignments on or before the due date

Online edict

  1. Addressing the person you are communicating with. (i.e. Mr., Mrs., Kathryn, etc.)
  2. Writing without grammatical and sentence errors
  3. Writing complete words and sentences (NOT "texting" shorthand, such as "OMG" and "BTW")
  4. Being aware of your tone in written communication

The expected behavior and rules in an online classroom are the same as in a "ground" classroom. It's everyone's responsibility to maintain a respectful, learning environment.

Dr. Beverley BrowningDr. Beverly A. Browning (Dr. Bev) has been a higher education adjunct faculty member for over 25 years. She has taught in the classroom and online for multiple colleges and universities including Spring Arbor College, Baker College of Flint, Mott Community College, and Rio Salado College. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Spring Arbor College and Mott Community College. She is currently an online instructor for ed2go.com (Cengage Learning). In addition to founding and directing the Grant Writing Training Foundation, Dr. Bev is also Vice President of Grants Professional Services for eCivis, Inc. She is the author over over 37 grant-related publications and a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter for national and regional conferences. Dr. Bev is a product of lifelong learning and an advocate for online teaching and learning!