Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if you’re prepared for learning online? Does your schedule allow enough time for online learning? What kind of technology will be required? Explore the frequently asked questions below to determine if online learning is right for you.
How does online learning work at Boise State?
The format of online classes at Boise State is very similar to traditional classes with regard to schedule and workload. Instead of physically going to a classroom each week, you access course content online through Boise State’s secure course management system, Blackboard. Courses are structured into weekly modules, and each week you’ll access a new module of learning content. Within a weekly module, you’ll find a variety of learning activities including readings, instructor videos, and discussions. Typically within a week, you will also have assignments to complete with set deadlines and due dates.
How much time is required for an online class?
Online classes are more flexible but require the same time commitment as an in-person class. You choose the time each day that works best for your schedule to complete learning activities, and you are still required to meet deadlines and class expectations each week. Online classes have regular due dates for you to follow just like any in-person classes. For more tips, keep reading this FAQ for additional information on how to plan your study time effectively.
What technology is required?
A computer and reliable internet access are most important to your success as an online student!
Computer System Requirements
Your computer should have sufficient RAM memory, storage space, and processing power for running the latest operating systems and software releases. Most newer computers will meet these hardware requirements. If you have an older computer, you may try it, but you may experience difficulty using some of the tools available in your online classroom.
At a minimum, a standard level high-speed internet connection is recommended. A wireless internet connection may not be stable enough for activities such as taking tests and submitting assignments. Cable modems are the preferred internet connection followed by DSL. A satellite connection (such as HughesNet) will work, however you may experience performance delays.
Email and Other Requirements
Boise State uses Google Apps for Education and all students are given a free student email account with access to Google Apps. You must also be comfortable using a browser to navigate the Web; open, close, and save files and attachments. You must also be comfortable using a word processor to create, and save files. Other software may be required by your program.
Can I learn at my own pace?
Online classes at Boise State follow set weekly schedules. While there is some flexibility each week as far as when you can access your courses, it is your responsibility to ensure you are meeting deadlines and completing work on time. Since we know that returning to school can be challenging, we have developed our programs specifically to help you succeed.
Time management is so important to online students and we strive to establish clear time expectations for courses and assignments.
Most online programs offer both part- and full-time degree paths so you can choose the schedule that works best for you.
Faculty, advisors, and support staff are available to answer questions and help keep you on track to graduate.
How will I interact with my instructors and classmates?
You will interact with online instructors and classmates in a variety of ways. From online discussions where you will dive deeper into the course content to group projects and assignments, there are several opportunities for you to interact with your online instructors and classmates. Several tools will help keep you connected and communicating including emails, announcements, discussion boards, even video chat.
The more involved you are the better your online classroom experience will be.
The only way your instructor can “see” you are present in your online course and understanding the materials is through regular communication. If you have questions or are struggling, it is up to you to communicate with the instructor in a timely manner. Stay involved by regularly participating in classroom activities and discussions.
How can I plan my study time effectively?
There are several strategies you can use to plan your time effectively.
- Review Your Schedule: This will help you better understand how you currently spend your time. Make note of which scheduled commitments are essential and which ones could be put on hold while in school.
- Create a Calendar: Having all your important school, work, and personal due dates and deadlines in one calendar will help you quickly see what your day, week, or month will look like.
- Outline a Study Plan: This will help keep you on track and ensure you are spending enough time each week to be successful without dedicating too little or too much time to one course.
- Use To-Do Lists: Like a calendar and study plan, to-do lists are another strategy you can use to quickly see your daily or weekly tasks all in one place and prioritize what needs to be completed first.
How will I complete exams and assignments?
Exams and assignments in your online class are not that different from an in-person classroom.
- Assignments: You will complete reading and writing assignments and upload documents to your course site for your faculty to review and provide feedback.
- Research Projects: Research projects help you apply the concepts from the classroom. If working in a group, a variety of technology tools allow you to collaborate together online to complete your projects.
- Quizzes and Exams: Online quizzes and exams are provided within the online course site and could be proctored or unproctored (monitored). If a proctor is required, we will help you locate one near you.
What technical support is available?
A variety of technical assistance is available to support you throughout your online program.
Technology Help Desk
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help Desk is your one-stop-shop for a wide range of technical issues. The Help Desk is available to help you troubleshoot your technology needs and they are available by email, phone, chat, and even remote connection.
Program Support Staff and Faculty
If you have a question and aren’t sure where to start, your online program has support staff and faculty that are also available to help you with any technical troubles. Dedicated program resource sites also put a variety of support resources at your fingertips.
Can I take just one online class?
In addition to fully online programs, Boise State also offers a variety of fully online courses.
Fully Online Programs: If you are looking to complete your degree, all of our online programs offer flexible part-time schedules so you can better balance your work, school, and family priorities. View available fully online programs.
Fully Online Courses: If you aren’t looking to complete a full degree program online, but are interested in taking one or more classes, we have options for you. View our list of individual online classes.
What accreditation does Boise State have?
Boise State is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
- You can trust your degree is part of a quality program undergoing continuous improvement
- Institutions must be accredited by a federally recognized accrediting agency to qualify for participation in federal financial aid programs
- Often employers require accreditation for company-sponsored tuition reimbursement
- Regionally accredited institutions typically accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions
- Licensing boards in many fields require degrees from accredited programs to sit for licensing exams
In addition, many academic programs have special accreditation or endorsement. For more information see University Accreditation.
What is State Authorization?
Boise State University delivers online education programs and courses throughout the United States and internationally and online offerings continue to expand. Idaho’s State Board of Education has approved all programs offered through Boise State Online.
Due in part to the increased popularity of distance education, many states have prescribed an “authorization” process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents. Through such proactive processes, states are striving to ensure quality post-secondary education to preserve the integrity of an academic degree and to instill greater consumer protection for its citizens.
State Authorization (sometimes referred to as “registration,” “licensure,” “approval,” etc.) indicates that the institution has met certain minimum standards under the laws and regulations of that state. Authorization does not constitute an endorsement of any institution, course or degree program. Credits earned at an institution may not transfer to all other institutions.
Boise State has taken steps to protect its students and operations through nationwide compliance and currently participates in a voluntary State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) encompassing all states except California and Massachusetts. Boise State can operate without state authorization in California because it is a public accredited institution and in Massachusetts due to the nature of its activities within that state.
Individuals considering a course or program in preparation for professional licensing or certification outside Idaho are encouraged to seek guidance from the pertinent licensing agency in that state in advance of application and periodically thereafter.
Some online programs may not be available in some states or may not be designed to prepare a student for professional licensure. Please contact the academic department before submitting an application.
Boise State’s authorization status:
If you are or will be enrolled in a program delivered completely online, please contact the program’s academic advisor.
If you are or will be enrolled in an online course that is not part of an online program, please contact Boise State’s Regulatory Affairs Coordinator.
Is there a process for filing complaints?
Boise State University is committed to supporting students in and outside the classroom and resolving student complaints in a fair and timely manner. Grievance policies exist to ensure students have avenues to voice concerns about academic and non-academic matters.
- Complaints associated with Boise State University should first be directed to the appropriate university office/department involved with the concern. See the link above for guidance on filing a complaint.
- SARA students not satisfied with the outcome of the university’s resolution may file an appeal with the university’s portal agent or with their home state’s portal agent. Portal Contact Listing
Is Boise State required to share certain information?
Boise State University is a public, state-supported, accredited university overseen by the Idaho State Board of Education.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires institutions to disclose certain information to students. See Student Consumer Information to learn more about this important information.