Frequently Asked Questions about Online Learning at Wheelock

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Meet the high-quality faculty teaching Wheelock's Online Degree courses:

Ellen Faszewski
Felicity Crawford

Judith Richards
Jeff Winokur

What types of technology must I be able to access to complete Wheelock's online programs?
What does an online course look like? How do I navigate through the material?
How often will I be interacting with my instructor and classmates online?
What are the chief advantages to learning online?
How much time will I need to spend on coursework?
Do I earn the same degree that on-campus students earn?
How long will it take to earn my master's degree?
Will my professor be available for questions or "online office hours"?
What if I can't keep up?
How much does the program cost?
I have read the website. What if I have more questions about the programs or how to apply?

What types of technology must I be able to access to complete Wheelock's online programs?
You will need a computer and reliable Internet access. Some classes also require a digital camera and access to a flatbed scanner.

Wheelock uses a virtual learning environment called Moodle. To run Moodle successfully, you need a solid, reliable Internet connection and a modern web browser. It may help to have a 200+Mhz processor on your computer. Moodle should work in any modern web browser. However, it works best in the following:

  • Firefox (all versions) 
  • Internet Explorer (v5.5 or later)

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What does an online course look like? How do I navigate through the material?
If you haven't taken an online course before, you may feel a little insecure about how the course is laid out and its navigational features. Here's a brief walk through of what a typical Wheelock online course looks like:

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How often will I be interacting with my instructor and classmates online?
Although not the same as a campus-based course, an online course will still involve frequent interactions with your class and instructor in an online environment through chat rooms and discussion forums. Group projects will require communication and connection to classmates and some courses may require you to participate in real-time video conferencing. Wheelock's courses are designed to be a collaborative "online community" that fosters collaborative learning, rather than self-paced courses. As a result, most of our courses have required assignments and weekly deadlines.

However, it is also important for you to be able to work independently. Much of the communication in an online course consists of written messages between you and the instructor and electronic discussions among class participants. You need to be proactive in asking questions and commenting on other student's discussion posts and be self-motivated enough to participate with your professor and fellow students as often as required.  This takes self-discipline and motivation.
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What are the chief advantages to learning online?
Online courses work well for those unable to attend campus courses for a variety of reasons, including busy schedules or personal/work circumstances. The convenience of online learning may remove the final barrier of you pursuing a degree. Since there are no site visits or campus classes to attend, you can complete your studies from anywhere that has Internet access. Wheelock's classes do not meet at a specific time each week and you will have 24-hour access to your courses. However, please note that some courses may require real-time video conferencing or other scheduled interactions with the instructor or fellow students. And unlike self-paced courses, most of our courses have required assignments and weekly deadlines.
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How much time will I need to spend on coursework?
Wheelock's online courses are academically rigorous and are condensed into eight weeks of instruction. You will need to be prepared to spend about 15 hours a week on coursework. It is important to plan ahead when you are in an online course.  Because the course is technology-driven, you need to have your assignments completed and ready to upload when required.  Time management is key to success in an online course.
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Do I earn the same credits and degree that on-campus students earn?
Yes, Wheelock College awards the same course credit and accredited degrees regardless of the delivery method—the traditional campus-based program or the online program. The diploma will not distinguish that you were a distance education student with the online program or whether you attended on-campus. Prospective students can place confidence in Wheelock's notable reputation for excellence and high standards while learning on-campus or online from a distance. The resulting graduation and degree is the same.
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How long will it take to earn my master's degree online?
You can complete the entire STEM Education MS Degree Program online in as few as 20 months while taking one course per 8-week term. We also offer an optional accelerated format in which you can earn your Master's Degree in less than a year by taking 2 courses during most terms.
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Will my professor be available for questions or "online office hours"?
Yes. Professors teaching in the online environment recognize their students' need to feel a part of a learning community and to be in touch with their professor. One of the goals of Wheelock's courses is to create a collaborative, "online community," where students interact frequently with not only the instructor but also with fellow students via chat rooms and message boards.

Each individual professor will also establish a schedule for responding to questions and consulting personally with students. The schedule will be included in the course syllabus and the introduction that welcomes you to your online course.
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What if I can't keep up?
One of the benefits of studying in a small learning community like Wheelock is the special support you will receive from your peers and faculty. Students typically find this greatly helps them to stay on track. Your instructor recognizes your challenges and wants to help you succeed.
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How much does the program cost?
Current information is available on the Curriculum pages for each program. Wheelock College offers the same quality education through its distance program as campus-based students receive to ensure that all students with the drive and determination to complete our professional program have the opportunity to do so.
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I have read the website. What if I have more questions about the online degree programs or the individual online courses?

For questions about Wheelock's online degree program for teachers or our STEM education courses, please contact our program advisory team at 617-982-2032 or graduateonline@wheelock.edu

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