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College of Nursing

Online Course Information

Graduate Programs

Online Course Information

The coursework for the master’s and DNP program are delivered online.  Some clinical courses will require visits to Columbia, SC for check-offs (minimum of 2 during clincal courses) with faculty at periodic intervals.   The online courses are not correspondence or independent learning type courses.  They provide learners with a very interactive and collaborative learning experience.  You and your colleagues will work in groups to explore a wide range of topics, create multimedia projects and presentations, participate in small group or whole class discussions, critique each other’s work, and learn with and from each other.

Online courses and courses with online components are accessible through the Blackboard course management system at

All courses are delivered asynchronously to accommodate varying personal and work schedules. 

How Online Courses are Organized

We use the Blackboard course management system for delivery of course content.  All online courses are organized in a similar fashion to facilitate learning navigational and communication skills.  On the main course menu, all courses will have links to Announcements, Faculty Information, Syllabus/Online Learning, Weekly Course Guides, and Class Discussion Board. 

The course content is presented in the Weekly Course Guides section.  The guide for each week will tell you what you are supposed to study, what activities you are to perform that week, and where to post assignments. 


Study Time Estimates

You are probably wondering how much time you should allocate in your schedule for studying in one online course. Expect to put in about 12 hours of online and off-line study on a weekly basis for each three credit hour course over a regular 15-week semester.  Summer course are more accelerated and require additional study time.


Communicating with Your Instructor

Some people think that the lack of face-to-face interaction with classmates and teachers is a downside to online learning. This is true to some extent, but your willingness to engage with your fellow students goes a long way towards combating a feeling of learning in isolation. In each online course, the Class Discussion Board contains a Student Café forum, which is a social space for introductions at the beginning of the semester and then for informal chatting about any topic of interest throughout the semester. Another forum called Questions about the Course facilitates asking questions about the course content, assignments, resources etc.

If you need to reach your instructor about a personal matter, please use email or phone. The contact information is posted in the Faculty Information section.


Online courses are not easy, watered-down versions of campus courses. They come with the same requirements and the same workload as face-to-face courses. Enrolling in an online program gives you the convenience of not having to travel to campus and flexibility of doing the course work on your own schedule. The trade-off is making an effort to develop new technological, communication, time management and study skills. You will be fully supported in this process.
In a nutshell, online learning can be very exciting and rewarding but it requires hard work for success.