Understanding the online experience
Online learning is a great opportunity to customize one’s academic program around individual life needs, as well as connect with public health professionals globally. To be successful in the online environment, though, students must be prepared for an accelerated and demanding learning experience, with strict deadlines. Online students will work closely with group members in discussion forums and on term projects.
Pace, Workload, and Deadlines
Online MPH courses range in length from six to eight weeks of instruction with an additional proctored exam week. Note that some courses have a proctored midterm overlapping one of the instructional weeks.
Students can work at the time of day most convenient for them and are not ever required to be online at a specific time (though courses offer optional real time office hours and other learning opportunities). Online MPH courses are not self-paced. Students must adhere to structured schedules and strict deadlines.
In general, students have the weekend to work on assignments with final deliverables due the following Monday at midnight. However, many discussion forum activities have deadlines earlier in the week, so students are advised to plan accordingly.
Group Projects and Discussion Forums
As in the field of public health, team collaboration is a significant component of online MPH courses. Most courses include a group project due at the end of the term. Please check course syllabi to determine if the course includes a group project. Enrolling in a class with a group project signifies a commitment to working with the team throughout the term. Students have access to various digital tools to facilitate team collaboration.
All courses involve discussion forum activities which require a first level post and a peer response due at different times throughout the week. These deadlines are not optional.
All online courses require at least one proctored assessment. Proctoring is a system in which the student must present an acceptable form of ID to an official proctor; the proctor will also monitor that the students is only using the allowable resources for the exam. Campus-based students have the option to be proctored by OOMPH staff, along with local area OOMPH students, during the scheduled proctoring session of the exam week (usually Sunday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Campus students also have the option of using the online proctoring service, ProctorU.
OOMPH courses follow a standard navigation scheme that differs from what campus students are accustomed to seeing in bCourses. Students who take more than one online course will appreciate the standardization of design. However, prior to taking the first online course, students will be required to complete an orientation that will introduce them to the course structure. Completing the orientation requires passing a quiz indicating an understanding of course navigation, layout of learning materials, and ability to identify weekly expectations and assignment deadlines.