Online Course Information and FAQ’s

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The online courses at the University of St. Francis, in the College of Education, are structured and presented in a highly interactive instructional environment where candidates learn from the instructor, the course materials, and one another. In the online environment, each candidate must respond to discussion questions posted by the instructor based upon reading assignments and course content, post responses to the instructor’s questions, and provide timely feedback to other candidates. Direct interaction with the instructor and other candidates in the course is mandated. New course materials appear in each module. Candidates are expected to review all materials for optimal participation and learning. Assignments are embedded within each course, and the instructor provides feedback using assignment-specific rubrics and qualitative comments. The model for interaction within the online environment is instructor-candidate, candidate-instructor, and candidate-candidate.

When do classes meet online?
While candidates are not expected to log in at a specific date and time, there are online discussions, assignments, and assessments that are due each week. It is recommended that candidates log in the first day of the course to establish attendance, get a sense of the online environment , and view course expectations

How many assignments/topics are required to be posted and how often?
Online courses typically consist of at least eight modules with readings and assignments in each. Most online courses require a minimum of three formative assessments and one summative.

How often do candidates need to read and post comments?
Every week candidates are given several chapters or articles to read. Minimally, an instructor will expect a candidate to respond to one or more discussion questions based on these readings (usually by mid-week) and then thoughtfully respond to other candidates’ posts.

What is the interaction between candidates?
Candidates are expected to post a thoughtful response to other candidates’ posts each week. Many online courses provide candidates the opportunity to collaborate electronically or in a virtual environment.

What is the interaction between teacher candidates and the online instructor?
Online course work at the University of St. Francis is conducted in a lively and robust learning environment with frequent interaction between the candidate and the instructor each week. At a minimum, the instructor will pose a discussion question to which the candidate will respond; that response will then generate feedback from the instructor.

How do I access my student account?
If you are a new student to USF you will receive a user ID and password from the university within approximately five (5) business days. Once you have your user ID and password you must log in to the university portal to access course information, billing information, etc. NOTE: New students are those individuals who have never been enrolled in the University of St. Francis and have never had a USF User ID or password.

If you are a returning student to USF you already have information to access the university portal. To update or reset your user ID and password contact the Network Support Services office at (815) 740-3432. NOTE: Returning students are those individuals who have been enrolled in the University of St. Francis previously. It is the responsibility of the student to log in to the USF portal within five (5) business days of registering.

If you are a new student and do not receive login information after five (5) days please contact the Network Support Services office (815) 740-3432. Once you have logged in to the USF Portal, and after five (5) days, if your course does not appear please contact the REAL office at (815) 740-3699.

All university electronic communications will be sent to your USF email account once established. It is recommended that students check their university email account at least once each week.