Ohio State University Distance Learning

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    • Ohio State offers courses online in a variety of subject areas. However, OSU also offers entire degree programs online. Undergraduate students can pursue a general business major through only online classes. Some advanced degrees and certificates are also offered online, such as a master's degree in welding engineering, a gerontology certificate, a family nurse practitioner master's degree and a nursing practice doctoral degree. Nurses can also earn continuing education credits in pharmacology online.

    Types of Classes

    • Ohio State's online classes can be either term-based or self-paced. Term-based classes are scheduled in relation to the on-campus class semesters. Students in a term-based class are expected to finish their assignments by a specific date and keep up with classwork according to the professor's schedule. Self-paced courses can be completed at a slower or faster rate according to the student's availability; however, self-paced courses must be completed within a five-month period.


    • All online classes are based in the Blackboard program. Course materials are uploaded to the course site, including lecture notes, lesson plans and documents such as the course syllabus or paper guidelines. Professors can schedule a live chat on the website, and students are able to submit papers and other assignments through the Blackboard interface. Exams are administered online and scores are posted in the online grade book. The course site also includes a discussion board where students can interact with their classmates.


    • Students can enroll in online courses at OSU by visiting the Buckeye Link class search website (see Resources). When searching for classes, students should choose "Mode of Instruction" under "Additional Search Criteria" and then select "Distance Learning." The Lifelong and Distance Learning department can also be reached at 800-444-2910 to assist students in registering for online classes.

    Technical Requirements

    • Students using Windows must be using the Windows XP SP 2 operating system or Windows Vista, while those using Macintosh should be using OS X (version 10.2 or newer) as their operating system. The minimum RAM requirement is 256 MB and the processor should be at least 1 GHz for Windows or G3 800 MHz for Mac. Students also need updated Internet browsers and good Internet connection speeds. While using Blackboard, students may need to download the Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player applications.


    • Online courses are offered through OSU's Lifelong and Distance Learning department, which is based in Haning Hall. This department was founded in 1919 as the University Extension Division and incorporates independent learning projects, external student programs and professional development courses in addition to online classes.

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