The Student Experience
Distance Education students at UT Arlington include those who can’t attend a class because of work or family schedule, professionals wanting to advance their careers, and soldiers overseas. Online courses and programs are great for the at-home mom or dad, a traveling business executive, a busy nurse or teacher, a high school senior seeking dual credit, or one of the estimated 3.5 million Texans who didn’t finish college as a young adult. During the Spring 2011 semester, nearly 6,000 UT Arlington students boasted fully-Internet schedules, and more than 22,000 UT Arlington students enrolled in at least one online course.
See Programs and Courses for online course offerings.
What Makes an Online Course Different?
Online courses differ from on–campus courses by using a Web-based learning management system (LMS) to deliver content. However, the differences usually stop there. Students receive the same assignments, reading materials, and resources as those in an on–campus class. Many instructors record lectures for students to view online, or provide the text of the lectures for reading on your own time.
How is an Online Course Similar to an On-Campus Course?
Fully online courses offer the same lecture content, reading, assignments, and activities as on–campus courses. When you take an online course, you receive the same quality instruction and interaction as you would in a classroom, just in an asychronous environment. For example, instead of discussing lecture topics in the classroom, students discuss online in a discussion board or chat.
Is an online course harder than an on–campus course? Since coursework and access to learning resources are the same, online courses are not more difficult. However, self-discipline is a must to ensure deadlines for assignments are met. Online courses are also not any easier than an on–campus course—instructors set due dates for coursework and expect the same commitment to the class as you would have in an on-campus course.
A degree earned online from UT Arlington carries the same prestige and credibility as a degree earned on campus. UT Arlington is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All courses count towards your degree, regardless of delivery format.
The cost of textbooks depends upon the courses selected. Generally, books for technical subjects are somewhat higher than those for other academic subjects. In certain technical, scientific, and fine arts fields, there are extra expenses for equipment and supplies.
The University Bookstore has both new and used textbooks available. The bookstore will purchase used textbooks which are in good condition at any time during the year, provided such textbooks continue to be used by the academic departments and if needed by the bookstore. “A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.” (Texas Education Code, Section 51.9705; 19 TAC 4.215 et seq.)
Information about required and recommended course textbooks, including titles, authors, other publisher information, and price, can be found at the UT Arlington Bookstore’s website. Further information about required course materials is available by reviewing individual course syllabuses at UT Arlington’s Instructor and Course Syllabus Information website.