Online Education

A Division of the Office for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many hours a week should I reserve for an online course?

Typically, an online class at URI is expected to take the same amount of time as a face-to-face course, approximately 6-9 hours. Even though you will not have scheduled meeting times it is expected that your instructor will assign course materials and activities which can include readings, videos, podcasts, written assignments, participation in discussions, wikis, problem sets, case studies, group work, or other types of work designed to help you meet the learning objectives of the course. Accelerated and summer courses will demand the same amount of time, but in fewer weeks. You should expect to spend 15-18 hours per week in a 7 week course.

How long will it take to complete an online course?

Online courses run on the same schedule as face-to-face courses at URI. Although you are able to manage your time during a week at your own pace, most instructors have specific deadlines weekly and throughout the semester. It is a good idea to read the entire syllabus and map out your assignment due dates on a calendar.

Can I complete the online course early?

In many classes this is not possible, for example, classes with required weekly discussions. However, you can often work ahead and complete readings and other assignments early. Remember that you can take your online class from anywhere at anytime. If you are traveling or working extended hours, you will still be able to login and participate.

What is Sakai?

Sakai is the learning management system at URI (other schools may have used Blackboard, or WebCT, for example). This program is where you will login to access your course documents, participate in message board discussions, and probably submit your assignments. If you’d like to see what a Sakai course looks like, check out our Sample Course page.

What are “blended” courses?

Blended courses are 25 – 75% online. In these courses you can expect to complete a portion of your work online, but also attend classes a portion of your time. In a blended course you are expected to be able to access the campus for the face-to-face part of the course.

Can I earn my entire degree online?

Currently, URI offers several programs entirely online: RN to BS degree in Nursing, Masters of Science in Dietetics, Cybersecurity Professional Science Masters Degree, Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and several post-baccalaureate certificates.  Read more about our Online Programs/Certificates.

How much does it cost?

Each online program has specific tuition and fees. Online courses which are not part of a fully online program follow the same tuition and fee schedule as our on-campus courses.

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