An “online student” is defined as any student enrolled in a course delivered online synchronously or asynchronously.


Online students are expected to:

  1. Communicate regularly with faculty.
    1. The VCSU email system is the official means of communication for the university. VCSU faculty and administration expect that all students will read and act upon the information sent to them via email. Students are expected to check their VCSU email regularly and in accordance with course requirements.
  2. Act with academic integrity. (See policy V530.01 Academic Integrity)
    1. VCSU faculty and administrators will vigorously investigate any suspicions of academic dishonesty including but not limited to plagiarism, collusion, and/or any other form of cheating on graded assignments and tests.
    2. Students are expected to:
      1. Understand and follow online etiquette (netiquette) and civility.  (see VCSU Statement on Etiquette)
      2. Request an alternative assignment only when they are not able or willing to divulge their personal information to create online accounts outside of the official VCSU learning management system.
  3. Meet course deadlines.
    1. The university expects that students either have or will develop good time management skills as they relate to completing online course requirements. Some suggestions include:
      1. Identifying specific hours of the day for schoolwork.
      2. Setting deadlines based on personal schedules in advance of the official deadline.
      3. Creating a personal calendar of class events and requirements, or keep up-to-date to-do lists.
      4. Asking for help in a timely manner.
    2. VCSU expects that online students will generally spend a similar amount of time to complete an online course as they would to complete the same course offered on campus. The general guideline for college courses is to expect to spend three hours per week (on average throughout the term) for each credit hour of a course. For example, 9 hours of weekly work time would be considered “normal” for a 3-credit course. There are naturally occurring variations to this expectation when looking at specific courses.
  4. Be an active course participant.
    1. Login to the learning management system and enter their online courses during the first week of class. Ideally, students should enter their online courses on the first day of the term.
    2. Attend courses on a regular basis. In the online learning system, “attendance” is determined by student engagement with the classroom tools, with other students, and with the instructor. Students are expected to log-on to the course on a regular basis and in accordance with course requirements to check for news and information, and to maximize their online participation. 
    3. Be aware of course and instructor expectations and policies, including:
      1. Instructor availability and response times.
      2. Grading policy and criteria for how work and participation will be evaluated.
      3. Interaction with the instructor, content, and other students.
      4. All VCSU policies including the Student Code of Conduct.
    4. VCSU strongly encourages students to submit the end-of-term course evaluations for all courses.
    5. Students are notified when their overall course grade drops below a percentage set by the instructor.
  5. Be equipped with the minimum required course components, technologies, tools and media.
    1. Purchase textbooks or other required course materials IN ADVANCE of the start of the term,. Failure to acquire the required course materials in a timely manner is not an acceptable excuse for missing deadlines at the beginning of the course.
    2. Have regular and reliable access to the Internet in order to access their online courses. High-speed Internet is highly recommended. See this Technical Requirements page for specific technical requirements.
    3. Have or acquire basic computer skills. Failure to do so can be expected to have a detrimental impact on student performance in the online learning environment.
    4. Complete the Student Online Orientation Course that is available to all students inside the learning management system portal.
    5. VCSU expects online students using non-VCSU technology to resolve their own technology problems related to computers and related equipment as well as Internet access. The college is not responsible for fixing problems or troubleshooting issues that students might have with their own personal equipment or purchased services.



Sponsor: Faculty Senate

Effective: May 2013

Revised: May 2021