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Online Learning Environment Guidelines

Each course is set up by individual instructors with expertise in the subject matter. Each instructor therefore will provide an online learning environment that reflects the subject matter being taught and the best way to achieve course outcomes. In this endeavor, the School of Nursing does prescribe to certain online practices in order for the student to understand what is expected of him/her. The online learning environment guidelines discussed below are considered minimal expectations. Each course is based on course specific content and objectives under the direction of the course instructor.

  1. Online learning may be unfamiliar to many students enrolling in such a course. It is the student’s responsibility to prepare for this type of learning experience. Before starting an on-line course the student must be familiar with FerrisConnect and the current version of Microsoft Word. They need to be able to know how to upload and download files, send email, submit assignments and how to recognize the different sections of FerrisConnect.
  2. Online learning is a very student centered approach to teaching and learning, which means that students must be self-directed and self-motivated to complete course work. It is suggested that students establish a routine and maintain it throughout the semester.
  3. Online learning frequently uses an approach where groups of peers discuss and focus subject matter in the course. Group members provide support and feedback for online learning and are integral to success in this learning environment.
  4. If a student wants to get a head start on the class content, the student can begin reviewing text books in lieu of any other available materials.
  5. Students buying books from online vendors prior to class can go to the bookstore web page at FSU and obtain a list of textbooks. Students can order textbooks in advance of the course from the bookstore or any vendor they so choose. The Bookstore at FSU states that books are usually available a month prior the semester begins. Students do not need to wait for the instructor to deliver the syllabus to purchase textbooks. You can access book information from Ferris360, Ferris Bookstore as long as you are registered for the course. You can use this information to purchase from FSU or another vendor.
  6. Classes officially begin on the first day of FSU’s academic calendar. Students should expect the course to be open on the first day of the FSU calendar, and if the instructor is able to do so, he/she will open it sooner or send advanced materials via your FSU e-mail account. However, the date to begin classes is the first day of the semester as posted on the FSU calendar and it should not be an expectation that courses will always be open prior to that date.
  7. Assignments, including discussions, are posted on FerrisConnect. The student should refer to the schedule or syllabus posted in FerrisConnect.
  8. Grading of assignments: Online instructors have varying schedules and may be assigned 4-5 different courses to teach, some of which are also on-line. It is important to understand that students may not get instant feedback on assignments especially if they are lengthy and involved. A reasonable turn-around time for course assignments will be communicated by the instructor in the course materials and may vary from instructor to instructor and course to course.
  9. Discussion postings are provided by the instructor and will include the times your initial posting is to be completed, a date by when any replies should be completed and when the discussion is closed. Because discussions are intended to provide for group participation, students should all be actively engaged in the open postings. It is important to note that there will be variability among faculty in the management of discussion boards.
  10. Email is the lifeline of communication for online courses. It is required that course related emails be sent within the FerrisConnect course platform, not to the instructor’s direct email address. The instructor will strive to answer all email in 48 hours of receipt during the normal work week, Monday through Friday. However, answering of email on the weekend is at the discretion of the instructor.
    1. Please remember that e-mail is not confidential and if sending an email to peers it becomes their property and can be easily resent to anyone. So please use discretion in your email content.
    2. While we ask students to keep course related issues and questions within FerrisConnect, there may be program or University issues that are sent to students through the University gmail account. We recommend students check this account frequently.
  11. Online learning allows for different venues for collaboration with peers. If you need a discussion area set up or a chat room set up to work through group projects, and one has not been created, please request one from the instructor.
  12. MOST OF ALL, technology is not infallible and will foul up when you most need it to work. So please appropriate your time wisely and don’t wait until the last minute to get started on projects, discussions and assignments. Please check notices on the Ferris website and Ferris360 to keep abreast of any FSU downtime of systems such as Ferris Connect.