Ask The Expert - Distance Learning FAQs

What is an online course?

Online courses can be quite varied in their overall approach to the teaching and learning process, but they often have certain characteristics in common. In most online courses, students use a computer to connect to a course site on the World Wide Web. Standard classroom books and printed materials are typically used in combination with online lectures, assignments, and supplementary course materials. Some courses have formal lectures, similar in length and content to lectures given in face-to-face classes. Online lectures may be entirely text-based or consist of some combination of text, graphics, sound and video. Other courses break the content up into smaller units or abandon the lecture entirely, instead relying on group discussion and other types of learning activities. It should be noted that University of Toledo distance learning courses are not self paced.

How do I communicate with my professor?

You will communicate with your professor and other students via e-mail and electronic submissions. The course is designed so that you receive course assignments, complete them within a scheduled time which is provided by your instructor, and then return them as electronic documents. Your instructor will evaluate them and provide feedback. Many courses will also use, as an integral part of the course, a threaded discussion forum which you can use to share information, collaborate, and interact with other members of your class.

How will I take quizzes and exams?

Depending on the course design, you may take your tests or exams online or come to a testing room on campus or at a local community college or public library. Additionally, some courses and programs may require predetermined trips to campus, which you should plan for before registering. The majority of online courses at UT, however, do NOT require on-campus meetings.

Are distances learning courses harder or easier than on-campus courses?

You should expect to spend as much time for study, or perhaps more, as in an on-campus course since you are managing your own learning using the online information and materials. This requires that you be self-disciplined, motivated, and have some skills using a networked computer and a Web browser. The content and rigor of the online courses offered by the University of Toledo are generally equivalent to the on-campus version of the same course.

Are there other types of distance learning courses other than online/internet courses?

Yes. UT also offers CD-ROM, ITV and Web-Assisted Courses. Web-Assisted Courses are traditional on-campus courses that are supplemented by online activities. Students must have access to either a personal or an on-campus computer.

Can I earn an entire degree through distance learning?

Yes. UT offers Associate, Bachelor's and Master's degrees online. Please go to and click on programs for further information.

Can I take both online distance learning classes and on-campus classes?

Yes. In fact many students take both distance learning classes and on-campus classes during the same semester.

Can I view a DL course schedule electronically?

Yes. The distance learning schedule can be found at (Click on Course Schedule.)

Once admitted, can I register for classes without coming to campus?

Yes. Once admitted you can register for courses using a computer (UT Web for Students). See the registration section for additional information.

Do you get different credits for distance learning courses and are distance learning courses entered differently on transcripts?

No. Credits are the same as for on-campus courses. DL courses are not designated as such on transcripts as the course content is equivalent to the on campus section.

Are distance learning classes "self paced"?

No. Distance learning classes start at the beginning of the semester/term and run throughout the scheduled course dates.

Do distance learning classes require a campus visit?

The vast majority of distance learning classes do not require a campus visit; however, students need to check the course syllabus carefully to be certain no campus visit is required.

What are the advantages of taking distance learning courses?

  • Convenience : Take courses in the comfort of your home or office.
  • Flexibility : Access your class 24/7 via the internet
  • Availability : UT offers over 750 courses online.
  • Time savings : You don't waste time commuting to classes or to the library.

Computer Skills

If you have minimal computer skills, can find your way around the Internet, and use e-mail you should do fine with Internet based classes. Knowing Microsoft Work, Excel and Powerpoint are definite pluses. Strong writing skills are a definite advantage.