RIT has been engaging students in distance learning for more than 37 years. Our online courses have the same objectives, rigorous workload and expert RIT faculty as taught on campus. Yet our online courses are delivered in a flexible manner that allows you to better balance the demands of work, family, and school. The degree or certificate you earn is identical to the one awarded to all of our RIT graduates on campus.
- Course Delivery
All online courses at RIT are delivered through myCourses, the RIT home of the Desire2Learn learning management system. MyCourses allows students to interact with their classes and access course materials online through a standard web browser.
Instructors can set up their courses to include a variety of materials, such as document and file sharing, course calendar, news, quizzes and surveys, grades, chats and discussions, and drop boxes to submit assignments. Just as every on-campus course is different, depending on the preference of the instructor, every online course is different as well.
Just as with a face-to-face course, an online course might require that some things be done independently while others be done in conjunction with the instructor or other students.
Online course exams are administered in a variety of ways, depending on the preference of the instructor. Exams can be online and/or scheduled proctor exams. Your instructor will inform you if proctored exams are a requirement for the course by posting this information in the course syllabus or outline.
- Technical Requirements
Participation in online courses at RIT requires:
- Regular and frequent access to a computer that is less than 5 years old
- Speakers (or headphones) and printing capabilities
- Reliable Internet connectivity and a compatible browser
- Additional requirements as noted in course syllabi or via instructor communication
- Microsoft Windows (Vista or 7+) or Apple Mac OS X
- 1 GB (gigabyte) of RAM
- High-speed internet access (broadband, cable, or fiber)
- Web browser (i.e. Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox)
- RIT computer account
- Online Community
Academic advisors, instructors, and other students contribute to the online learning experience. We have created a superior online community of support to help you succeed.
Academic Advisors Students seeking degrees and certificates that are enrolled in online programs at RIT are connected with departmental academic advisors. These advisors are well-versed in all of the specific requirements of your program. They can also:
- Make course selection recommendations
- Evaluate transfer credits, course equivalency substitutions and prerequisites
- Provide information about academic policies
- Monitor student progress
Instructors The instructor (who likely teaches the same course in face-to-face format) has full responsibility for the course. Faculty members ensure that course content and materials reflect current standards within the discipline and that grading is consistent. Faculty members create learning opportunities through:
- explicit instruction on goals of the course
- a schedule to follow in completing course activities
- access to expertise in the content area
- instruction organized into activities
- guidance in completing activities and assignments
Instructors may schedule specific office hours or specific times within a chat room to communicate with individual students. Instructors also participate in threaded discussions and/or respond to individual e-mail. They also make general announcements through the learning management system (myCourses). Contact information is available in the syllabus or in the contact area of myCourses.
Students Other students in the course add value to the online experience. Contact with other students may be available through group projects, discussion boards, chat rooms, and/or e-mail.
Concierge Our concierge services continue after you enroll in a course or program. The concierge supports current online students by answering questions you may have outside of your courses and academics. While we have provided a variety of self-serve resources and support at your fingertips, we understand that it’s nice to have a real person to reach out to at times.
- Virtual Campus
RIT has created a virtual campus experience for online students that connects you to all of our campus resources and services. Within the RIT Online Campus, you will have access to a variety of resources. The RIT Online Campus provides:
- A private, online campus experience comparable to the physical campus experience
- Dynamic, personalized portal to assist adult learners with online academic success
- Unique online campus offerings and enhanced user experience
- Daily RSS feeds provided by your program faculty to connect you with industry relevance
- Multiple levels of social interaction and feedback mechanisms
- The Idea Factory, a space where expert faculty and staff give specialized presentations
- The RIT Online Channel, a space broadcasting athletics, graduation, major speakers, etc.
- Virtual network map of online students (in your class, in your program, near you)
- Tutoring, career coaching, wellness, counseling and academic support services
- Comprehensive technical and academic support for all online needs
- Concierge offering personalized service to respond to student requests and suggestions
- Dynamic dashboard highlighting student interaction and activity around the world