How Does Online Education Work?

Last updated on November 15, 2017

An online course connects an instructor to students through the internet.

In many cases, all aspects of a course take place online. This includes:

  • enrolling
  • listening to and watching lectures
  • downloading readings; submitting assignments
  • communicating with the instructor and other students
  • taking tests
  • receiving grades

Students might infrequently be required to travel in order to take proctored exams.

Some schools offer on-campus graduation ceremonies for their distance learners. Some online courses are more accurately referred to as hybrid courses. These are partially online but require occasional attendance on campus or at an affiliated learning center.

For example, some schools combine internet learning with interactive television (ITV). For students’ convenience, online colleges and universities tend to establish numerous ITV sites throughout a state or across the country. Certain subject areas are not conducive to exclusively online learning.

To become a licensed teacher, for example, an online student will need to complete a student teaching internship in person.