Prospective Students FAQ
- What type of student does well in a distance education environment?
- What are the technical and software requirements for participating in an online class?
- How do faculty and students interact in the virtual (online) classroom?
- How are exams administered?
- Are campus visits required?
This is an important question because distance learning is not for everyone. Students who do well in the online environment:
- Take command of their own learning
- Are self-disciplined, self-guided and flexible
- Have the necessary computer skills
- Are comfortable with online text-based and email communications
- Do not require the face-to-face interaction of a traditional classroom
To help determine if distance education is for you, feel free to take our self assessment test.
In addition to a confident level of computer and Internet literacy, certain minimum technical requirements must be met to enable a successful online learning experience. Visit the eLearning System Requirements page to view the settings, browsers, and software needed.
Each class's structure and activities are determined by the instructor. Faculty use a variety of tools and activities to increase interaction with students.
- Web page format presentations with streaming audio lectures
- Downloadable course files
- Online text-based conferences which create "threaded discussions" of key topics
- Email exchanges
- Real-time, text-based chatting for class discussions and instructor office hours
- Electronic submission of written assignments
- Online exams and quizzes
- Occasional web conferences
The academic integrity of online courses is an important concern. Exams may be administered in several different ways: embedded in courses, uploaded by email or proctored. For courses requiring a proctored exam, the online student is responsible for making arrangements with a testing service convenient to them or must come to UT Dallas on the exam date set by the course instructor. Specific information is available on the Proctored Exam Information page and also in each course syllabus.
Campus visits are not required for most online classes. Please check with the program contact or advisor for more information. In most cases, instruction is completely online, as are other services such as registration and book ordering. However, for a course which requires a proctored exam, a student may choose to take that exam on campus on the day designated by the instructor, or arrange for UTD's Testing Center to administer the exam during the exam period.
Page last updated on November 14, 2013 .