Student Expectations

Online Student Expectations

Online students at Lake Superior College should expect the following:

General Guidelines
  • Items in this list are general in nature.
  • Refer to specific course expectations as posted by the instructors of each individual online course at LSC.
Program offerings Lake Superior College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to deliver any and all of the college programs via online delivery.

  • Students should not expect that the administration will make every degree or award program available online, even though we have the accreditation approval to do so.
  • Students should expect that the college will only offer degree and award programs via online delivery when the proper supporting services are in place to allow students to be successful.
  • Typically, students still need to follow a program planner to complete their degree program completely online. It is not necessarily possible to create your own sequence of courses since not all required courses are offered every term.
  • View list of programs that are available at LSC through online delivery.
Course offerings Not all courses are offered in the online delivery method. Available online courses can be searched at the LSC Course Schedule page or at Minnesota Online.

  • An online course is a course that has no more than two (2) “space-and-time” requirements such as proctored exams or other class activities that require you to be at a particular place at a particular time.
  • A “hybrid” course is one that is a mixture of face-to-face classroom time along with some required work on the Internet, typically using the Learning Management System (Desire2Learn). There is a reduced amount of scheduled classroom time for a hybrid course.
  • Students should not expect that all required degree courses are offered in every term at LSC. Students should check future course schedules when making course choices for the upcoming term.
  • View screenshot of course listings for both online and hybrid courses.
Course length The standard course length at LSC is approximately 16 weeks. This applies to both fall and spring semesters.

  • Several courses are scheduled to be completed in a time frame that is something less than 16 weeks. It is highly recommended that students carefully check the course start and end dates before registering for any course.
  • The same amount of material is covered regardless of the number of weeks of instructional time. For example, there will be twice as much weekly work (on average) for an 8-week course as for a 16-week course.
  • Many courses for the online Associate in Arts degree are offered on a 8-week basis. This is called the “2 X 8 plan” where students could complete two courses at a time for eight weeks at a time for five terms during the year. (See our YouTube video about the 2X8 plan.)
  • Go to course schedule
  • View screenshot of course schedule showing different course lengths.
Course syllabi A course syllabus is an instructor’s plan for conducting the course.

  • Students should expect the syllabus to be posted inside the online course at the beginning of the term and remain available throughout the entire course.
  • Students should expect the syllabus to include the official course description, the approved student learning outcomes, and grading criteria. It might also include information about the course structure, assignments, exams, and other instructor expectations.
Test proctoring Proctored examinations (or other forms of learning assessment) are often used to ensure that the student who is receiving credit is the same student who is doing the work.

  • Students should expect that test proctoring requirements will be listed in the course information contained in the course schedule. View screenshot of course listing indicating a test proctoring requirement.
  • Students who do not live in close proximity to LSC should expect to arrange for a test proctor in their local area (if required by instructor). Typically, these proctors need to be approved by the course instructors.


Test proctoring is provided on the LSC campus as a collaborative service with the other schools that make up Minnesota Online. Key aspects of this service include:

  • LSC online students who attend a proctoring session at the LSC campus can expect that there will be no charge for the proctoring service.
  • Students who live in the Duluth and surrounding areas may take proctored exams in the LSC Technology Support Center at no charge as long as they are taking online courses from other MnOnline (MnSCU) schools.
  • Other MnOnline schools are expected to provide a similar service at their campuses for students who live close to other campuses but are taking an online class from LSC. Check this page for availability at other campuses.
  • Students taking a proctored exam can expect that the LSC administration will provide a quiet area for test taking as part of this service.
Evaluation & oversight Students should expect that the administration will provide an opportunity at the end of each term to evaluate each online course and instructor (or sometimes earlier in the term).

  • Students can expect that their completion of course evaluations will remain voluntary.
  • Students can expect that the information from their evaluation submission will remain anonymous with no identifying information given to the instructor.
  • Students can expect that the college administration will read summary reports of the evaluations collected from each online course as part of a continuous quality improvement effort at the college.
Feedback – response time Answering student questions and requests for information is an important part of the learning process.

  • Students should expect to receive feedback/responses/grades from their instructors in a reasonable amount of time. Check the course syllabus for specific information from your instructor regarding response times.
  • Students should expect quick response from the LSC administration or from the LSC Technology Help Desk during the normal posted working hours.
Textbook Availability Students can expect to have the ability to purchase their textbooks for any LSC class at either the on-campus bookstore location (Commons area) or from the LSC Online Store.

  • Purchases from the online bookstore are typically shipped out by the next business day from the date of order submission.
  • Textbook information (title, edition, author, and ISBN) for each class can be found at the online bookstore. Guide: How do I know what books to purchase fro my class?.
Interaction Students in online courses should expect to interact (usually via electronic communications methods) with other students in their classes as well as with the instructor of the class. Specific expectations will be explained by each instructor in the course materials or syllabus.

  • Examples of interactions with others include online discussion boards, chat rooms, web conferencing tools, blogs, wikis, or similar technologies.
Time flexibility Students should expect to find a reasonable amount of time flexibility for completing course requirements. In online courses, time flexibility generally takes the shape of “windows of opportunity.”

  • For example, a 2-day time period to take an online exam or quiz represents the window of opportunity for that requirement.
  • Check the course syllabus or other faculty instructions to be sure that you understand how long you’ll have to complete various aspects of your online courses.
Calendar due dates Students should expect to find a timeline for activities with specified due dates/times within each online course.

  • If timelines or the course calendar/schedule should change after the course is started, students should expect to be notified of such changes by the instructor.
Course availability An online course is considered to be “available” when an enrolled student is able to login to the online learning platform and enter that particular course.

  • Students should expect to enter their online courses no earlier than the first day of the semester and have access to them for one week after the final exam date has passed.
  • Some instructors might allow earlier access to the course than the first day of the term, but students should not generally expect this.
  • Some instructors might allow additional access to the course beyond the first week after the end of the term, but students should not generally expect this.
Academic support Online students should expect full access to critical campus services.

  • LSC has many library services available online.
  • Online students may access the Smarthinking online course tutoring service for free. (Limit to 15 hours per term)
  • Online students can and should contact LSC advisors for direction in completing their degree requirements.
  • Online students can and should contact LSC counselors for help with personal issues such as stress management, crisis intervention, career counseling, transitions, financial pressures, relationship difficulties, or if they just need someone to talk to.
Technical support Students should contact the LSC Technology Support Center (TSC) if they are experiencing any problems with their student email accounts, the learning management system (currently D2L), or other campus technologies.

  • Please check the TSC website for current hours.
  • The TSC is located in room E1001 by the East Entrance Information desk.
Student e-Services Students should expect to access e-Services to register for classes, access their course record, review grades, etc.

Grading Students can expect to find a clear explanation of the instructor’s grading policy in the course syllabus.

  • Students can expect to find their grades for all assignments and other course requirements in the online grade book inside the Learning Management System (currently D2L).
E-mail communications Students should expect the college to send them various different communications via the college email system.

  • This will include, but not be limited to, information about financial aid, class cancellations, disciplinary issues, critical dates during the academic year, and general reminders about things related to the college.
  • Online students should expect to use the college email system as the primary means for communicating with the online course instructors. Students should check the course syllabus for each course to find information about other ways (if any) that they may contact their instructors.
  • Students are expected to check their email on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with College-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. “I didn’t check my email,” errors in forwarding mail, or email returned to the College with “Mailbox Full” are not acceptable excuses for missing official College communications via email.
  • Official college policy on use of email.
Academic honesty Students should expect that LSC faculty and administrators will vigorously investigate any suspicions of academic dishonesty including but not limited to plagiarism and collusion or cheating on graded assignments and tests.

Civility Students should expect that the online course environment will be an open and honest forum for the pursuit of learning, where they may freely express their ideas related to the educational process. Civility towards others in the online learning environment is expected at all times.

  • Students should expect that other students and all LSC employees will follow the College’s netiquette guidelines related to proper online behavior and communications.
Server activity logs The online course server is managed by the MnSCU Office of the Chancellor I.T. staff.

  • Students should expect that every mouse click or keystroke that they make inside the learning management system is recorded on a server log at the MnSCU Office of the Chancellor.
  • Server logs can be checked by LSC administration in the event of a dispute over whether a student took a quiz, submitted a paper, or otherwise engaged in any activity within the learning management system.
Disability Services Online students with disabilities should expect to receive assistance from Disabilities Services.

  • Individuals who have a documented disability which might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to contact the College’s Disability Coordinator, 218-733-7650 (voice), 218-722-6893 (TTY), at the start of the semester to discuss possible accommodations. All discussions will remain confidential.