Rochester Institute of Technology has been offering distance education programs for more than 20 years. RIT converted to the flexible Internet-based mode of delivery in 1993, which made the college one of the most experienced providers of online learning in the country. There is no difference between an RIT degree earned online or on campus. More than 3,000 students have earned their degrees from RIT through online learning.
Online learning at RIT takes advantage of the Internet, computer conferencing and other multimedia technologies to deliver the classroom to your computer. To participate, you must have full access to a computer and the Internet. We strongly recommend that you be comfortable using the Internet and downloading software before you begin your online courses.
All online learning classes are instructor-led and highly interactive. Even though there is no physical meeting place, the online learning environment does emphasize both faculty-to-student and student-to-student dialogue that is effectively achieved electronically.
Online classes are just as demanding as their bricks-and-mortar counterparts. Because the same department offers the degree on campus, there is no distinction from the degree earned online. In addition, the degree uses the same course numbers, objectives, workload and faculty. Your online education has the same value as on-campus work. Just as all classrooms offer different experiences, online learning varies from course to course.
The Online Learning Department will help you get started in the course by providing you with a CD-ROM and online instructions. Once you have logged in, your professor will welcome you and share the course syllabus and objectives.
Usually there is a weekly schedule for readings and assignments, and the professor will set deadlines in accordance with RIT’s academic calendar. Most professors establish the schedule of participation at the start of class. Many use online chat or phone conferencing to enhance the online classroom. Some sessions are mandatory, while others are optional ways to enhance your education.
Requirements vary from course to course, depending on the instructor. That information is shared in the course syllabus. Many instructors deliver their courses with assignments and testing totally online while other instructors may require assignment submission via mail or fax or may use proctored testing. If your instructor requires proctored testing, you will have the option of coming to campus to take the exams or finding an approved proctor in your area to administer the exams to you. Online Learning will provide you with instructions and guidelines for choosing a proctor and will coordinate the proctored exam process for you.
Like the thousands of students who have enrolled and graduated from online courses and programs, there is no doubt that you, too, can succeed in the online environment.
At RIT, we are dedicated to lifelong learning. We are here to help you in any way we can. RIT’s academic advisors and student services staff can assist you with choosing the right degree or certificate program, as well as learning how to become an effective online learning student.
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns. Our online support staff is available through a toll-free telephone service from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST) Monday through Thursday and on Fridays until 5 p.m. at (800) 225-5748 (V/TTY) or (585) 475-5089.
Best of luck in your pursuit of higher education!