Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Answers to Common Faculty and Instructor Questions
  2. Answers to Common Student Questions
  3. Answers to Common Academic Advisor Questions

Answers to Common Faculty & Instructor Questions

Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) as a substitute for Online Education Certification
Proposed by the online education Steering Committee and approved by Provost Suzanne Austin on September 4, 2020.
Faculty who have taught in Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020, and/or Fall 2020 are permitted to teach online in subsequent terms with the following training and experience:

1. Online Education Readiness Course OERC graduates


2. Completion of the self-paced Online Education Readiness course with:

  1. a Course Planning Document and an online syllabus and;
  2. approval by the department chair/program director with optional evaluative resources provided by the Online Education Steering Committee

  3. ERT experience is defined as preparation of an online course in response to an emergency campus closure.
  4. The 7-week Online Education Readiness course will continue to be offered each semester and summer to support faculty online education efforts.
  5. Faculty who are unable to complete any training prior to teaching online may enroll in the self-paced online education course while simultaneously teaching online per the approval of the department chair/program director.
  6. Synchronous individual enrollment courses, applied music lessons, internships and ensemble classes taught via Zoom or other video conferencing tools may be exempt from online education training with approval of the department chair/program director.
  7. Synchronous courses taught via Zoom per the face-to-face course schedule may be temporarily exempt from online education training with approval of department chair/program director.
  8. Graduate students and undergraduate peer teachers who teach labs and co-requisite 1-credit hour courses online may be exempt from online education training with approval of the department chair/program director.
  9. The Provost can make additional exceptions based on Section 4.2 of the Online Education Policy.

Traditional Face-to-face

Hosted on-campus on the days and hours listed in the Course Offerings list, with Social distancing, mask wearing, and other safety measures implemented (during COVID-19). Students attend class at the same time(s) and days each week. Direct Instruction. Immediate feedback

Synchronous Online

Exclusively online with online scheduled meetings with synchronous delivery (OSM). Classes conducted virtually using a combination of live and recorded content through OAKS using Zoom and other tools. No on-campus attendance. Flexibility of location. Direct instruction. Immediate feedback. No flexibility on time. Reliant on technology. Heavily structured, paced

Asynchronous Online

Students access course material, complete assignments according to the course syllabus. Exclusively online with asynchronous delivery. (ONL). Classes delivered entirely online through OAKS using recorded content and other tools. No scheduled days or meeting times. No on-campus attendance. Flexibility of location. Flexibility of time (but there are due dates). Content always available. Requires time management and organizational skills. Reliant on technology. Requires self-motivation

The Teaching and Learning Team (TLT) provides a host of faculty services, including one-on-one consultations, technology resources, training and workshops, and OAKS training. View full list of services and resources.

Answers to Common Student Questions

Your online education courses will be different from your face-to-face courses in that they will require new self-discipline and time-management. Asynchronous courses, in particular, require careful planning on your part to ensure you keep up with content and assignments. Synchronous courses often maintain a similar timeline to face-to-face courses. Thorough completion of homework assignment and active participation in the live meetings of these courses are the best ways to ensure you have the best learning experience and outcomes.

Use the dynamic schedule to find the courses that are available for the term in question

  • Select that term from the dropdown box.
  • The “class schedule search” template will open. From here you can search by class subject as well as additional criteria to narrow your search.
  • If you are looking for online courses, choose “online exclusively” from the “schedule type” dropdown.
  • Make sure to check the “date range” under each section option that comes up in your search results to ensure that you have selected the term you intended.

The College offers multiple resources to assistant students with online learning, including but not limited to:

Center for Disability Services / SNAP | Website | Contact
Provides assistance and guidance to students with a documented disability to ensure equal access to all programs and services of the College.

Center for Student Learning (CSL) | Website | Contact
Provides tutoring, Peer Academic Coaching, and study skills appointments and workshops.

College of Charleston Libraries | Website | Contact
Provides research materials and support, streaming media collections, and LibGuides on various topics.

IT Service Desk | Website | Contact
Provides technical support and guidance on issues related to computer hardware, software, and internet connectivity.

Student Instructional Technology Services (SITS) | Website |
Provides tutorials, workshops, and support for OAKS, Google Suite, LinkedIn Learning, Mathematica, Read & Write, VoiceThread, Zoom, etc.

Self-register for the Introduction to OAKS for Students course (pdf)

Writing Lab | Website | Contact
Provides one-to-one assistance for every stage in the writing process for term papers, essays, letters, memos, or book reviews.

You should be familiar with OAKS, Zoom, and VoiceThread before beginning your online education course. Other programs or apps may be introduced within the course, but having a working knowledge of these three at the beginning will facilitate your learning and ensure you are comfortably engaging with the course materials.

The professors for your online education courses will hold office hours, which will be identified on the course syllabus. Some professors will hold regular office hours at a set time, while others will hold office hours by appointment. Please check your syllabi for details about when your professors will hold office hours and about how to schedule an appointment.

Answers to Common Academic Advisor Questions

When determining their semester course load, students must carefully consider the workload of each course. For each online and face-to-face course, students should carefully read course requirements as described in the course syllabus and should note any outside of class meeting requirements. Students should also consider their individual on and off campus commitments such as time for social activities and for employment. When considering the time needed for coursework students should note that for each three (3) credit hour class, students are expected to dedicate approximately 3 clock-hours per week in class and a minimum of 6 clock-hours (2 for every 1 in class) outside of class to the course, for a total of at least 9 hours per week. When taking an online education class, students should still plan to spend at least 9 hours per week learning the course content and completing assignments and assessments. Therefore, students planning to take five 3-credit hour classes (either face-to-face, online education, or a mix of formats) should plan to dedicate at least 45 hours a week to their coursework.

Students are encouraged to carefully consider the time demand of their desired courses in concert with out-of-class commitments when determining the semester course load that is right for them. Students should ask questions and discuss their concerns about their semester course load with their academic advisors during the registration period and prior to the start of the semester.

Students having trouble with an online course because of technical difficulties related to internet connection, email issues, or OAKS access or usage should contact the College’s Information Technology office either via phone or email.

Students needing assistance with online learning formats can find assistance by visiting the College’s Students Instructional Technology Services website. At this site, students can find information on workshops and tutorials for remote learning, assistance with OAKS and other software tools, and helpful tips for navigating and being successful in online learning formats. Students should also discuss online learning challenges with their course instructor. Instructors can provide helpful suggestions for navigating their OAKS course pages and using course related software.

Students struggling academically should initially consult with their course instructor regarding course content, assignments, navigating the OAKS learning management system pages, budgeting time, and other course-specific concerns. Students may also receive academic support from the College’s Center for Student Learning and/or the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence (CAPP).

Depending on their planned courses, students should be able to take a mix of online and face-to-face courses within the same semester. However, students will need to take into consideration the physical location of face-to-face courses taken adjacent to online courses. For example, consider students enrolled in a face-to-face course that meets from 9:00am to 9:50am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays who are also enrolled in an online course with a required 10:00am to 10:50am synchronous Zoom meetings on those same days. In order to participate in the 10am online course, these students will need to identify locations in close proximity to their 9:00am course meeting location that have a dependable internet connection and that are appropriate for online learning.

Not all College of Charleston courses are delivered in an online format. For example, courses with substantial physical activity, performance or laboratory components may not be available as fully online courses. These may need to be taken in parallel with other F2F, hybrid or online courses to meet degree requirements.

Students seeking to complete their degree program with exclusively online courses should consult the College’s Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog via the College’s Catalog System to learn about general education and degree specific requirements and course offerings. Additionally, students should, with the assistance of their academic advisor, develop a degree program plan of study to determine the feasibility of completing their desired degree program with exclusively online education courses.

Students should keep in mind that not all College of Charleston courses are delivered in an online format. For example, courses with substantial physical activity, performance or laboratory components may not be available as fully online courses. These may need to be taken in parallel with other F2F, hybrid or online courses to meet degree requirements.

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