At SCPS, our goal is to deliver an exceptional student experience, whether you are learning in a classroom at one of our Academic Centers or learning online from where you live and work. When you enroll in an online course, you’ll experience a collaborative learning environment where you’ll interact with your instructor and other students who live not only in Virginia, but also in other parts of the United States and around the globe. This student diversity adds to the richness of online learning, as participants share their differing opinions and life and work experiences.
Online learning combines focused learning with the convenience and flexibility for working professionals to “go to class” from their home or work. Classes are offered online in real time (synchronous) or 24/7 (asynchronous), making it convenient for you to fit continuing your education into your busy schedule.
Online classes provide an engaging and interactive environment for the student who is self-motivated and can communicate effectively through reading and writing. Don’t expect to hide in the back of “the classroom”. You’ll need to complete the required class readings and assignments and come prepared to participate in discussion forums, student-to-student collaborations, and student presentations.
Online learning isn’t any easier or less time consuming than learning in a classroom. You’ll need to devote several hours per week to attending class online, in addition to completing assignments and class readings. The actual number of hours will depend on the specific course. Some classes, by the nature of the subjects, may require more reading and writing. However, a good rule of thumb is to set aside at least 3-4 hours a week of “in class” time, with another 10-15 hours for class readings, writing, and other assignments. The course syllabus will specify the instructor’s requirements for how much and how often you will need to log in to your online class, as well as the expectations for class readings, writing, and assignments.
Getting Started for Success
To ensure your success in an online class, you’ll need to have basic computer and word processing skills. You’ll need a computer and access to the Internet (high-speed access is recommended). Learn more about the minimum standards to learn online.
Online classes are delivered through UVaCollab, the University of Virginia’s centrally-supported online collaboration and learning environment. Visit the UVaCollab portal for a complete list of helpful information as well as system and browser requirements. Your instructor may also have additional software requirements, which will be shared prior to or on the first day of class.
Online classes follow the same academic calendar as the classes offered in our Academic Centers. You need to be ready to “attend” class on the first published day of the class, and continue attending sessions through the final day of class. It is your responsibility to ensure that everything is ready for you to log in on the first day of class. This includes setting up your UVa email account in order to have access to electronic resources at the University, including UVaCollab and your online class.