Online Learning at Rhodes State College affords you the opportunity to continue your education as you go about your busy life. Whether you are interested in a certificate or degree, Rhodes State offers options for wherever you are in life and in your career. Want to change careers or build new skills? Want to take your first two years of coursework at a lower tuition before transferring to a four year institution? Rhodes State has you covered every step of the way!

As you think about enrolling in an online course/program, first assess your readiness as an online learner. The feedback you receive will help you think about yourself as a learner and guide you as how to be successful in an online learning environment. It should take you about three (3) minutes to complete the questions.


Learning Style

  1. I am willing to participate frequently (2-3 times a week) in online discussions and other class activities.
  2. I have no problem retaining information if I read it.
  3. I am comfortable learning in various instructional formats (e.g., text, video, and audio).
  4. I am comfortable learning through individual reading and study.
  5. I am comfortable expressing myself in writing using formal grammar and spelling.
  6. If I can't figure out something, I am comfortable asking my classmates or the instructor for help.

Technology Access and Skills

  1. I have reliable access to a high-speed Internet connection (DSL or cable).
  2. I have unlimited access to a relatively new computer (no more than 5 years old).
  3. I am able to install onto my computer (if necessary for a course).
  4. I know how to use a computer, including how to save and locate files, create folders, and send an email with an attachment.
  5. I am able to use a web browser/search engine to navigate the Internet (e.g., Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome).
  6. I have speakers/headphones, a webcam, and microphone.

Time and Environment Management

  1. I am usually able to stay on task and avoid distractions (texting, Facebook) while studying.
  2. I am very good at planning and managing my time so that my work is on time and complete.
  3. I am able to set aside 5-7 hours per week for each course.
  4. I have a quiet place to study or will be able to complete my work even when there are distractions.

Conditional Feedback

Learning Style

If you answered yes to five or more questions, your responses indicate that your learning style is well-suited for online courses!

If you answered no to two or more, your responses suggest that you may not be comfortable as an online learner just yet. That does not mean you won't be successful, but you may have to go outside of your comfort zone a little. Please contact the Center for Distance and Innovative Learning at or 419-995-8008 with any specific questions or concerns.

Technology Access and Skills

If you answered yes to five or more, your responses indicate that you have access to the required technology and possess the technical skills necessary for online courses!

If you answered no to two or more, your responses suggest that your computer may need some updates or upgrades to ensure the best possible online learning experience. See the Computer and Software Specifications below.

Your responses also suggest that you may need to work on your computer skills in order to ensure that you will be successful in an online course. Please consider reviewing these free online computer tutorials from GCF Learn Free. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact the Center for Distance and Innovative Learning at or 419-995-8008.

Time and Environment Management

If you answered yes to three or more, your responses indicate that you have adequate time management skills and have access to an environment appropriate for completing online courses!

If you answered no to two or more, your responses suggest that you may need to work on your time management and study skills in order to ensure that you will be successful in an online course. The flexibility of an online course can promote procrastination, so it is essential to set aside adequate time to complete your work. Please contact the Tutoring Center for more information.

Your responses also suggest that you may not have access to the ideal environment for focusing on your coursework. It is essential to find an environment that is relatively free from distractions. Please contact the Tutoring Center for suggestions.

Total Score

13 points or higher

A total score of 13/16 (or more) is a strong indication that you have what it takes to be successful as an online learner.

10 points or lower

A total score of 10/16 (or less) is an indication that you may face challenges as on online learner. If you are still interested taking online courses, you should understand these challenges and work on a plan to overcome them. Please contact the Academic Success Center for more information.

Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) where your online courses are found. In an online course, instructors post course material: 

  • lectures
  • presentations
  • assignments
  • readings
  • quizzes/tests

Engage with your instructor and your fellow classmates anywhere you go!

student guide to canvas

Student’s computer should meet the minimum suggested specifications:

  • Windows 7+ or Macintosh OS X 10.10;
  • 2.5 GHz Processor;
  • 8 GB RAM;
  • Graphics Card: l GB GPU with 29 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant;
  • A high-speed Internet connection (minimum of 512kbps);
  • Webcam and microphone;
  • Android and iOS both support the two most recent versions of their respective operating systems.

Student’s computer should meet the minimum software requirements:

  • Latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java

Note: Courses that utilize webcast lectures may require Windows Media Player and Microsoft Silverlight. Additionally, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is used by all faculty on campus and is required for select courses/programs. Please see your course syllabus for course-specific technology requirements.

To be successful online, students need the ability to:

  • Use Windows operating system or Macintosh operating system
  • Use a web browser (such as Firefox or Google Chrome)
  • Use word processing software
  • Download and upload files
  • Manage files and folders
  • Download software

The Guides provide you with valuable information, directions, and insight to support your success in using Canvas and as an online student. Be sure to read through them and refer to them when you have questions.

Student Guide to Canvas

Student Guide to Online Learning

There is no classroom, but there is a Learning Management System

Online courses will be conducted in the Canvas Learning Management System. Canvas enables instructors to deliver and rnanage course materials for distance learning courses; the online course is where you will 'take' your classes. You will use Canvas to receive instruction, submit assignments, communicate with classmates, and complete quizzes/exams. Traditional and blended courses will also use Canvas, but in a limited capacity.

Online classes are not easier than traditional classes

Online classes demand every bit as much time and attention as in-class lessons. They often include more written correspondence with teachers and classmates, as well as extra quizzes or written coursework to measure progress. Expect to spend 7-8 hours on coursework per week for a three credit hour course. Additionally, online courses are not self-paced, there are deadlines that you will need to meet. Online courses provide you the flexibility in how you meet those deadlines.

You are still able to interact with your instructor and fellow students

The Canvas Learning Management Systern provides the opportunity for instructors to provide grading feedback, schedule virtual class sessions, or conduct one-on-one video chats with students who need more personal guidance. Canvas also provides the opportunity for class discussion and online collaborative projects, which will allow you to interact with fellow students.

You need to have access to a computer (and be comfortable using it)

You should own or have full-time access to a well-maintained and up-to-date computer with a reliable Internet connection. It's also a good idea to have access to a workplace that is relatively free from distractions. You should have a back-up plan in-case your primary computer has an issue. Additionally, you should feel comfortable doing these things:

  • Using Windows or Macintosh operating systems
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Accessing the Internet
  • Using a Web browser
  • Using an Internet search engine
  • Using word processing software

Attendance is tracked

Although online courses allow you to work from home, attendance is still tracked. However, instead of roll-call at the start of class, your attendance in an on line course will be tracked through the completion of assignments. This means that you must be actively working on all courses in which you are enrolled. So, make sure that you turn in assignments by their due dates, and contact your instructor if you're falling behind.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary, national initiative established to allow member states to offer on line courses outside each institution's state by seeking and maintaining state approvals via a streamlined process.

Learn More

Online vs. Hybrid - two flexible ways to get your education

Online courses provide:

  • Flexibility in learning;
  • Coursework 100% online;
  • Fit it around your work schedule;
  • No reason to come to campus;
  • Receive all the support you need from counselor, advisors, faculty and more.

Take your course with you wherever you go!

Hybrid/Blended courses provide:

  • Fewer trips to campus;
  • Assignments completed online;
  • Meet face-to-face with instructor;
  • Balance work and coursework;
  • Receive all the support you need from counselor, advisors, faculty and more.

Combines the best of both online and hybrid delivery.


Online Certificates, Degrees, and Courses

Whether you are looking for an online certificate, degree, or course that fits into your busy schedule, you can find it at Rhodes State College.

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Ready to Apply?

Go ahead. Take the next step by applying to Rhodes State. What are you waiting for?

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 Additional Resources