Preparing for Online Learning

To help you get prepared for your online program, we've gathered some resources that will help you be more successful in the online environment and give you an idea of what to expect as you move forward.

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Understanding and Enhancing Your Online Experience

One of the main challenges for students taking an online course is to adapt their face-to-face classroom experiences to the innovative approaches and tools offered in the online environment. Here are some strategies and tips to help increase your connectivity with both your classmates and professor as well as to enhance your online learning experience.

Tips to Avoid Problems in Online Classes

  • Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin preparing an assignment or studying for an exam! Give yourself plenty of time to develop your own thoughts.
  • Be careful with copy-and-paste. If you quote a website directly, be sure to cite the website, author, and date of publication. See these research and citation resources for help with this.
  • Visit the UTEP Writing Center website. You can chat live online and get help planning your paper, organizing your thoughts, and citing courses appropriately.
  • Become familiar with the various formatting and writing styles. There are many web resources that can help guide you through the particulars of using APA, MLA and other styles.

Academic Integrity and Student Expectations

The International Center for Academic Integrity, comprised of a consortium of universities worldwide, defines academic integrity as “a commitment to fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action.” As they relate to students -- both face-to-face and online -- these values can be defined as follows:

  • Honesty: “adhering to standards of truthfulness and integrity”
  • Trust: participating in “an environment of confidence”
  • Fairness: abiding by the “standards, practices, and procedures” outlined by your instructors and institution
  • Respect: “encouraging a wide range of opinions and ideas”
  • Responsibility: assuming personal accountability and accepting sanctions in cases of misconduct.

Online students are responsible for adhering to the above standards in all academic activity and refraining from all forms of academic dishonesty.

According to the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures, academic dishonesty includes committing (or attempting to commit) the following:

  • Plagiarism: Taking credit for work that is not your own (e.g., copying and pasting from the internet, failing to cite sources of information, failing to attribute direct quotes to their original author, or submitting your work from another course without prior permission).
  • Cheating: This includes copying another student’s work during an exam; using notes, books, or electronic devices during an exam without prior permission; taking an exam for another student; and communicating with or helping another student during an exam.
  • Collusion: Any collaboration with another student without the permission of the instructor.

Procedures for Allegations of Academic Dishonesty

Students alleged to be engaged in academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Students who will conduct an investigation to determine if the student should be held responsible. Possible sanctions include a failing grade on the project, a failing grade in the class, and suspension from the university.