Ten Myths About Online Learning

Myth 1 - I can take as long as I want to complete my online course.

Fact: No. Like classroom-based courses, online courses have definite time frames for accomplishing assigned reading, writing, participating in discussions and other activities. Deadlines and due dates keep any course progressing and on track.

Myth 2 - Online courses are easy credits.

Fact: No. Online courses have the same rigor and expectations as face-to-face courses. They allow flexibility and convenience but online courses have definite time frames, deadlines and due dates for accomplishing assigned reading, writing, participating in discussions and other activities.

Myth 3 - You're on your own when you take an online course.

Fact: No. You have support from many sources when you take online courses at UNLV. Your instructor is the first person to contact when you have any questions related to your course. Because of the frequent and profound communication made possible online, students report that they feel more connected to their professors and classmates. Students have access to technical assistance with WebCampus. The Academic Success Center (ASC) helps you with advising, tutoring, and improving your study skills.

Myth 4 - Online courses do not follow the regular semester.

Fact: The truth is, many classes at UNLV follow the regular semester and many do not. Whenever you enroll in an online course, be sure to clarify with your instructor when the course begins and ends.

Myth 5 - Broken computers are great excuses.

Fact: No. Most instructors will not accept excuses involving broken equipment. Computers with Internet access are available at public libraries, Internet cafes, retail outlets and on the UNLV campus.

Myth 6 - You will be taught how to use a computer.

Fact: No. Students taking online courses must have basic computer skills. Some instructors provide training for the specific tools used in their courses. Contact the UNLV ASC if you need to learn basic computer and Internet skills.

Myth 7 - I can hide out and remain anonymous.

Fact: No. Online courses demand engagement and a high level of participation. Discussions require the exchange of ideas and provide opportunities for all students to contribute in an unthreatening environment. Students respond that the online environment helps them gain confidence in their ability to interact with others.

Myth 8 - Cramming your work into one log-on session is fine.

Fact: No. Most online classes require students to log-on several times a week. This ensures active participation and maximum learning. The nature of online learning requires more interaction to establish community and presence in the virtual environment of a course.

Myth 9 - It is okay to procrastinate.

Fact: No. Studies indicate that students who succeed in online courses are self-directed and independent learners who can take responsibility for completing assignments on time and meeting deadlines. Since there are no outside warnings or reminders, online students must have excellent time management skills and discipline to develop and adhere to schedules.

Myth 10 - Employers don't accept online degrees.

Fact: Not true. Twenty-five years of research tells us that online education is as good and, often better than other instructional modes. Online programs must meet the same accreditation standards as their traditional on-campus counterparts. Employers know this and don't distinguish degrees based on delivery mode. Furthermore, the ability to work in cyber teams is quickly becoming a required work skill, and students with this experience may have an advantage.

For more information, please contact the Office of Online Education, toll free (877) 895-0334, or