Frequently Asked Questions

Online Learning

You do the course-work on your own schedule, as long as you meet the assignment due dates. So this will fit well with your other commitments. Some online courses however do require scheduled meeting time online. These live “synchronous sessions” are held virtually through the computer. So be sure to check LOCUS and the syllabus for information about any required synchronous sessions.

Some online courses are completely “asynchronous.” meaning that there are no required meeting times. Others will include live, virtual synchronous sessions when you have to login at scheduled times.

  • Practice good time management: review the syllabus and course carefully to determine when assignments are due and when you will work on them.
  • Be proactive and communicate: tell instructor about schedule conflicts and difficulties; share reactions, ideas, concerns.
  • Post your questions to class Discussion Board for others to benefit.
  • Take advantage of office hours or other synchronous communication.
  • Interact with fellow students.
  • When in doubt, ask.

Every instructor is different but you can expect a variation of the following components:       

  • Discussion Boards
  • Other formats for communication: Email; Announcements; Blogs, asynchronous and IM chat; Wikis; and Journals Adobe Connect or Synchronous or recorded sessions.
  • Instructor’s office hours
  • Group work
  • Check LOCUS and the syllabus to determine if the course has synchronous sessions or is completely asynchronous
  • Contact the instructor with questions before or at beginning of class
  • Review the course syllabus which will be available on Blackboard or Sakai
  • Use resources for online learning available through Loyola’s websites:

Online Learning website:

Sakai website:!gateway/page/!gateway-100

  • Textbooks are purchased either through the Water Tower Campus bookstore or the Lake Shore Campus bookstore, depending on the class (check LOCUS and the syllabus)
  • Additional materials may also be available through the course, as determined by the instructor, including online resources, recorded or live presentations, articles, summaries, assignment guidelines and rubrics, electronic databases, etc.
  • The course will be organized in modules, according to weeks or units
  • Each unit will typically include required readings, additional content/materials, Discussion Board topics, assignments and rubrics
  • The pace will be determined by your instructor
  • Assignments are given for a variety of assessments and activities
  • Deadlines and due dates will be given by instructor
  • Be organized (time-management; planning ahead)
  • Be methodical (frequent review of course materials and communication formats)
  • Be self-directed (active learning)

In most cases there will be no extra fees for online courses; however, there may be a fee for courses that require an online proctoring service. Any additional fee will be noted in LOCUS.

Online courses are equivalent to on-campus courses in terms of content and assignments. Many students find that their participation increases in online classes, as discussion is on-going and not limited to the few hours of a face-to-face class session.

No! You just need to know the same basic computer skills that you use for your regular classes. It may take a little time to learn how to use the different features in an online classroom, but there is plenty of help and support at Loyola and through SCPS, with people to guide you and online tutorials to show you the ropes.

Sakai is replacing Blackboard as Loyola’s learning management system. It will be used for all online classes starting Summer 2013. For more information about Sakai, please visit

Adobe Connect is a web conferencing solution for conducting synchronous online classes and meetings. It’s features include streaming audio, video, and slide show presentations, as well as tools for collaboration. Adobe connect meetings allow for virtual, live interaction and the sessions can be recorded for later viewing. For more information, please see