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Online Learning


The Department of Online Learning serves both students and faculty in their online course spaces. Whether classes are fully online or supplemented by the Learning Management System, Online Learning serves as a resource for our campus. 


D2L Tutorials


For Students:

For students, Online Learning offers orientation services and continual support and self-serves resource to ensure that technology is supporting, not hindering, academic and personal goals. 

 Rigor and Time Expectations

Students can expect online courses to meet the same academic standards of their face-to-face courses. Just as you can expect to spend about 2 hours outside of every hour you are in class for a face-to-face course, you can expect to spend that same amount for online courses, factoring in that now you are responsible for that one-hour of “in-class” time at home as well. For a three credit hour course, for example, you can expect to spend about 9 hours each week. Let’s break down that calculation: 2 hours studying and 1 hour of instruction x 3= 9 hours of time required.

Self Direction

Online classes tend to be highly self-directed which means you are given a chunk of information that you can work through at your own pace and then submit that section's work by a particular date. This is different from preparing for a Monday class, doing homework, then preparing for Wednesdays class and doing homework. In face-to-face classes, the workload is more definitively broken into small, workable chunks. Online classes will ask you to be more self-motivated; there is no one making sure you are on task during lecture, for example. You will also have to space out studying on your own.


You will find that your online faculty design and teach their courses in a variety of ways–just as if you were face-to-face. Be assured that despite these differences, all approved online courses are reviewed and follow sound pedagogical design practices. Each course begins with a set of outcomes–what you will be able to do at the end of the course.  The instructor will provide the structure to help you reach those outcomes through various materials and assignments or tests. Instructors may also use announcements, email, or personalized feedback as mechanisms for teaching you, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with all the tools and how each professor uses them.  However, because there are design differences, it is important that you dedicate a little time at the start of each online course to make sure you know how to find information–especially details on what is expected of you.


Your online professor is a valuable resource for your success in your class. Each instructor is available for email and office hours. See your course for details on arranging time to work with your professor. PSC offers all of its other supports virtually as well–tutoring to financial aid to career services to counseling, just to name a few. Often professors link to these resources in their classes, but you can also find a variety of information and self-help tools in the Student Resource Center in D2L.

Want to find out if you’re ready? Take the Online Assessment System for Internet Students (OASIS) for personalized feedback on your readiness for online learning.

For Students

For Faculty:

For faculty, our staff provides instructional design services, techincal support, prrofessional development workshops, as well as support for the LMS and integrated platforms.

Online Learning


Out of State Compliance and Complaint Resolution

Online and distance education is an important part of the PSC program offerings.  Recent amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 include changes in regulation for State Authorization that may impact online, distance, and correspondence education providers. The relevant language includes:

If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)

In compliance with the language passed in the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) conducted a Negotiated Rule Making Process in 2010, institutions offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state. Below is information on PSC's accreditation agency, followed by links to the agencies in each state responsible for complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs.

This resource contains important information about whether or not course programs align with requirements for other states. As a result, only those programs that are currently identified as leading to cetificate or licensure are included.

PSC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board has authorized the College to offer undergraduate courses and certificates, as well as associate degrees. Information regarding complaint process can be found on the HLC website (http://www.hlcommission.org/HLC-Institutions/complaints.html).

Prairie State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the north central region.

Contact information for the HLC:

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411
Phone: (800) 621-7440 / (312) 263-0456
Fax: (312) 263-7462

These new regulations require us to provide prospective and current students with contact information for filing complaints with the appropriate agency in the state where the student resides. Please click on your state to be connected to the contact form should you have a complaint about a PSC distance program.

Student Complaint Information by State and Agency
Illinois Community College Board - Students

Contact Us: onlinelearning@prairiestate.edu