How Online Courses Work

Can I come to campus for face-to-face help if I want to?

While there should be no need for a face-to-face visit, our instructors are committed to giving every student (whether on-campus or off) the assistance they need to succeed. If you can make it to campus, that will be great. You can meet the faculty members face to face. It is a special joy for us to meet online students face to face.

Can I work from my home computer?

Yes. You can work from any computer with access to the Internet. At home or work, you can work on your classes at the times that best suit your schedule.

Do I ever have to come to campus?

No. Everything from the application to the Graduate School to the payment of tuition to your assignments and discussions takes place entirely online. You will never have to commute to Ball State University for any reason--unless you want to actually attend your graduation.

Do I have to be online during specified times for class?

Each instructor will have their own style of presentation and instruction. The intent is to "roll out" the content so that a student may access it at anytime during the week and work on it as their personal schedule permits. If an instructor plans a group chat, he or she will make prior arrangements so that all students will be available.

Do I have to buy a textbook?

The choice of textbooks and the option to use them is part of the academic freedom given to instructors. Some classes may use Web-based materials as an alternative to a textbook.

How do I interact with the professor?

Contact with instructors takes place using e-mail, threaded discussion boards, file sharing, chats, Web page posting, and possibly via telephone, 2-way video (where feasible), and for local students face-to-face meetings.

We use the Blackboard course management system, so you will have the same familiar interface in different classes.

How do I submit assignments?

Your instructor will guide you through the procedure to submit assignments. Some assignments might be submitted as attachments to e-mails or by using a digital drop-box, which will place an assignment on a server so that the instructor can access all the assignments at one time. For more information, check out the online learning tutorial.

How do I use the Ball State library if I'm in an online course?

You can access the Ball State libraries where you can search our holdings, perform other searches, discuss your needs with a librarian, get some materials online, and even have hardcopy materials sent to you through the US mail.

Will the content be appropriate for someone not living or working in Indiana?

 Yes. While different states, provinces, and countries have different standards, the concepts behind effective practices remain the same regardless of geography.

Will there be any interaction with other students in the class?

Yes. While you may never meet in person, students typically work in groups via e-mail, threaded discussion boards, chats, and file sharing.