Online Learning General Information & Technological Requirements

  • Online learning courses are designed for students who desire flexibility and convenience in their studies. Online courses are the same courses as offered on campus; they are offered on the same semester schedule as on-campus courses and meet the same learning objectives. The same degree is conferred, whether earned with online or on-campus courses (or a mix).

    KSU uses Desire 2 Learn (D2L) as its primary distance learning management system to offer courses via online learning. Students in online courses communicate with their instructor and classmates electronically via their course management site, which can be accessed through KSU’s D2L Portal. Instructors may post announcements, lectures, assignments, and examinations to the site.

    • Students will engage with faculty, content, and colleagues virtually through KSU’s learning management system, Desire 2 Learn (D2L). Most online courses at KSU are entirely online (E-Entirely Online Courses) and delivered 100% through distance education technology. Occasionally a faculty member may request a campus visit for orientation or testing. These F (Fully Online) courses are delivered 95% or more via distance education technology and contain a one-time campus visit requirement.

      If a student’s legal residence is more than 50 miles from campus, he or she may request a proctored examination in lieu of traveling to campus for a required examination. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain proctor approval from the instruction prior to scheduling a proctored exam.

      Online course descriptions and codes are available in the course catalog and will display during registration. Please make note of any campus visit requirements.

    • Hybrid courses at KSU are 50% on-campus classroom based and 50% distance education based. Students can expect out of class activities that are conducted via the Learning Management System. These will include engagement with faculty, content and colleagues virtually. Activities may include discussion activities, virtual team meetings, and self-guided assessments and evaluations.

    • eCore - short for electronic core-curriculum - allows University System of Georgia (USG) students the opportunity to complete undergraduate, general educational requirements online through accredited colleges and universities. Each course is consistent in both design and accessibility standards and taught by professors hand selected from USG institutions.

      eCore offers courses in English, mathematics, science, history, and the social sciences. The core curriculum primarily consists of courses required during the first two years of college for a given degree. Not all core curriculum classes are available via eCore; you may need to take some core classes in a traditional classroom setting.

      Student support services, including enrollment counseling, bookstore, library services, tutoring, test proctoring and accessibility services are coordinated through the eCore Administration.

    • E-learning includes all forms of electronically supported teaching and learning. The term is often used to reference both out of classroom and in-classroom educational experiences using technology. Most courses at KSU are e-learning courses and use the D2L Brightspace system. Course notes, assignments, projects, evaluations and grades may be posted on web pages using this learning management system. Face-to-face courses may also be e- learning courses. distance learning includes all forms of e-learning but is predominantly delivered to distance learners.


  • Online learning is not easier than traditional classroom learning. While the benefits are many, students who enroll in an online course because they believe it is easier soon learn differently. Self-motivation and discipline are required to succeed in distance learning courses. For many, distance learning offers access to education not previously available. It also provides a solution to flexibility needs, work and travel responsibilities, and family challenges.

    A successful experience in online learning requires a basic familiarity with technology. Resources are available for students through University Information Technology Services (UITS) for those interested in online learning but in need of a technology refresher. It is also strongly recommended that students have ready access to a computer or laptop with a high-speed Internet access, such as DSL or cable broadband. Online courses will require students to download and access course materials.

  • Students who possess the following traits tend to be successful in the distance learning environment:

    • Self-motivated to work independently with minimum supervision
    • Good time management skills
    • Good reading and writing skills

    Students enrolled in fully online courses will not meet regularly with the instructor in a classroom, so you must be able to manage your time effectively and stay on track with your coursework.

  • An online student can expect to spend at least as much time in an online course as they would in a face-to-face course, and sometimes more. To give you a point of reference, for each 3-credit hour online course in a typical 16-week session, a student should expect to spend approximately 6-9 hours per week, per course, engaged in class work. In the summer semester, with the compressed 8-week schedule, the time dedicated per course will significantly increase.

    The notion that online courses are easier is not true. They are more convenient but still require the same dedication and attention as a face-to-face course.

    • Online Learners will need reliable access to a desktop or laptop computer that has adequate memory and processing capabilities for large file downloads, video players, and synchronous meeting applications.

    • The Online Learning also strongly recommends a Webcam and Speakers or Headset for video-based communication. Many newer laptop or monitor set-ups are pre-equipped. Faculty may require additional equipment on a course-by-course basis.

    • Online courses at KSU use the web to deliver courses at a distance. To learn smoothly in an online course, you will need a high-speed Internet connection (such as DSL, Broadband, etc.) This is especially important to the distance learning experience.

    • While this will vary by course, you will need a recent version of the Microsoft Office Suite. Access to MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and MS Excel are expected and necessary for viewing course material and completing assignments. Additional requirements include anti-virus protection, windows media player, QuickTime movie player, and a compatible browser. Visit UITS for additional information on software training, compatibility and available downloads.