Online Education Frequently Asked Questions

If you have never taken an online course or would like to prepare yourself, please take the SUNY Cobleskill Online Self Assessment.


Q 1. How do online classes work at SUNY Cobleskill?


Answer: Online courses at SUNY Cobleskill are developed and presented completely through the Internet. Professors and students communicate in an asynchronous format through a very popular online Course Management Suite, MOODLE. This format makes it convenient for any student to receive an education 24/7, even during the holidays. Instructors lecture online through MOODLE within the course site. MOODLE is a user-friendly program requiring no special training. The MOODLE system provides easy tools for students to interact with instructors and other students through emails, the Discussion Forum or the online chat room. MOODLE also makes it simple for students to submit their papers and check grades online anytime. Check this PDF out to learn how to use MOODLE:


Online courses do not have regular meeting times. Students can do
their coursework at times that fit the demands of their lives. If work,
family or constraints prevent you from pursuing your education in a traditional setting, online courses let you to create a schedule where you work on your terms. You can complete your assignments late at  night, early in the morning, on weekends or even while on vacation. It’s all up to you! Online courses may also fit your learning style  better if you are self-motivated and are a good time manager. Online courses also open up a wider array of courses that you can take here.


Q 2. Is there an "Orientation" for online students?


Answer: There will be no formal on-campus orientation for online students like traditional students usually have. However, instructors will contact their students through email, telephone or even through regular mail before class. They will discuss how the class will be conducted and address any questions you may have. The “Orientation” gives you information as how to get to your MOODLE course site, how to use Cobleskill’s network, contact network support, how to order your books and even get a head start on your first assignment.


Q 3. Do classes meet in "real time" (I.E. conference calls, web conferences, or chat room, etc)?


Answer: Typically online classes do not meet in “real time”. However, if a course is designed with a “real time” component, then the student would be responsible for that course requirement.


Q 4. Do we need books and other hard copy materials? Where can I get them if we do?


Answer: Online classes use textbooks and other hard-copy materials just like any other college class does. In most cases, students can get their textbooks through a website such as or through the campus bookstore.                                                                                              

Contact Information for SUNY Cobleskill's Bookstore:
Phone: 518-255-5227
Fax 518-255-5505
Check Bookstore's website for detail information: Book Store


Q 5. Is the acceptance criteria different for online students than for on-campus students?


Answer: The acceptance criteria for online students is exactly the same as it is for on-campus students. Visit the admission office for more information:


Q 6. How can I submit an application for admission?

Answer: visit this website for the application procedures:           Information about tuition and fees can be found on this page:

Q 7. What would be the cost for taking an online class?

The cost of an online class is exactly the same as any other credit-bearing course. Information about tuition and fees can be found on this page:


Q 8. What online courses are offered at Cobleskill?

A list of online classes can be found in the Schedule of Classes for any given semester. They are identified by the prefix, ONLI. You can click this link: Online course listings and descriptions, to find the online courses offered for the year.


Q 9. I am a full time student at a different college. Can I take online courses at Cobleskill?

That would depend upon your reason for taking the online class at Cobleskill. Do you plan to transfer the credits back to the other college? If so, you would need prior permission from that college to transfer the credits before you take an online course at Cobleskill.


Q 10. I am an international student at Cobleskill. Can I take an online class in my home country during the summer?

Online courses are available anywhere there is Internet access.


Q 11. Do online courses make use of pod-casts?

Some instructors will implement Podcasting on some MOODLE courses. The files from these Podcasts are usually MP3 files. You can download the file or open it inside MOODLE if you have a sound card and working speakers in your computer.


Q 12. What kind of computer hardware and software do I need to take an online course?


Internet connection: Broadband (cable or DSL)
Internet Explorer 10
Firefox 23.0.1 or better
Hardware: a desktop or laptop computer.
Software: Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 Home/Pro, 2010
Operating System: Windows XP, VISTA, or Windows 7, 8
OS X (10.8.5)
Plug-ins (free downloads): Window Media Player 12 or higher
Adobe Acrobat Reader 11.0.04 or higher; Flash Player 11.8, Java 7


Please visit the Technical Requirements page for links to download this software.


Q 13. Can I access my online course from work?


Answer: Unless the place you work uses a restrictive firewall, you should be able to access your course from work. Only your employer can determine whether or not you should access your course from their network.


Q 14. What kind of technical support is available if I run into a problem?


Answer: If you encounter problem with your Cobleskill network connection or email, contact the Help Center at 518-255-5800 or on their website:

If you have questions or problems with MOODLE, call Jiang Tan at 518-255-5869 or email:


Q 15. How can I get advice on which degree/program I should apply for?


Answer: Call or email the Admission Office:
Toll Free: 1-800-295-8988
Local: 518-255-5525

Q 16. How are tests conducted? Are final exams given?

Testing varies from course to course. Some courses are writing  intensive and do not emphasize tests. Other courses might have  weekly quizzes which you have a certain amount of time to  complete. Some courses may require you to come to campus to
take tests, as might be the case with a hybrid course. Some
courses may use online exams that you submit electronically to the instructor. Each instructor explains testing activities, as well as their course requirements, in the syllabus that is posted on the
course website.

Q 17. Is there a team assignment for online classes? How do team assignments work? How often are they assigned?

Team Assignments are given at the discretion of the instructor who would direct students in the assignment. How often they are given is also at the discretion of the instructor. There is no set rule for this criteria so make sure to read your syllabus and check the course website to be sure.


Q 18. Before I apply for an online course, is there any way that I can review the course schedules?

Go to online course listing and description for detailed information.

Q 19. How do I register for my online classes?

If you plan to take online courses in summer, you can register online. If you are interested in taking online courses during other semesters, visit the Registrar's Office for more information, or check out their website:


Q 20. How do I contact my academic advisor?

If a student is taking online classes and/or is a part time student, they are not assigned an academic adviser. If the student is a full time matriculated student, then they would contact their academic advisor through the usual channels. Advisement would have taken place before the faculty leaves campus. Students taking a summer class would not have access to their academic advisor, as their advisor is not on campus for the summer.


Q 21. What payment plans are available?

Information for payment plans can be found at:

Students Account Office, Knapp Hall, Room 118A
Phone: (518) 255-5539
Fax: (518) 255-5844
Student Account Office
Or visit this site: Payment FAQ


Q 22. How much time should I devote each week to my online course?


Answer: During a typical fifteen week semester, an on-campus student spends at least three hours a week in the classroom and is expected to spend an additional two hours per credit hour (six hours for a 3 credit class) studying and/or preparing for the course. Over a fifteen week time frame, the total hours expected in a three-credit course would be 135 hours, or 9 hours per week. However, in an online class that time can be higher since the class does not meet and the burden of making time is on the student. In a condensed situation, such as summer classes that are only six weeks long, the amount of time spent per week in an online class will be significantly larger.


Q 23. How do I find the course textbook information?


Answer: The Bookstore on campus has all the information on what books you'll need for the courses you are taking. You can call this number 518-255-5227 to find out. Check this site for textbooks or eTextbooks.


Q 24. What computer skills should I have to be successful in an online course?


Answer: In order to be successful, an online student should have decent typing skills and general familiarity with their computer, including:

-File Management, specifically locating, naming or renaming and saving files

-A basic understanding of file types and extensions, (.doc, .PDF, .jpeg, etc.)

-Knowledge of how to use electronic mail software

-Using Internet Explorer or another web browser to navigate the internet

-Experience with the user interface of your computer, specifically it's hardware and software


Q 25. How do I communicate with my online instructor?


Answer:  In addition to announcements and assignments given through  MOODLE, the main method for communicating with your instructor  is through emails. Your instructor’s email address is listed both on  your course website, as well as on the college’s website. You will  also be given a email to use as a student. As your  instructor may send you individual or group emails, it is crucial  that you check your emails regularly. Your instructor may also
post feedback about your assignments on your student portal.
After an assignment grade has been posted, check to see if your instructor has also left specific comments regarding your work.


Q 26. How do I interact with other online students ?


Answer: Many instructors use the “Discussion Forum” function on the MOODLE portal for facilitating student interaction and discussions. For many online courses, an instructor will post a weekly topic for students to react to. In addition to your posting, you may also be asked to comment on postings submitted by other students. Using this tool, you have the opportunity to interact with your fellow students and instructors in a meaningful way other than through emails. Your participation in the discussions is often used as part of your course grade.


Q 27. Are library resources are available online?


Answer: Yes. On the Online Education homepage, you’ll find a direct link to Cobleskill's library resources. Among these resources, you can search numerous databases of current journals in most academic fields. From these searches, you can access full-text articles that you can use for course assignments or papers. The library resources can also be reached by going to


Q 28. How do I know if I'm ready to take an online course?


Answer: If you feel that you would like to take an online course but are unsure how prepared your are, please use this Online Self Assessment to determine your readiness: SUNY Cobleskill Online Self Assessment.


After completing the assessment, count the number of times you selected “Yes” and “No”. If you answered “No” to at least 7 statements, online courses may not be right for you. You may want to rethink your reasons for wanting to enroll in an online course. Take some time to decide if you still feel comfortable with this style of instruction and capable of learning this way.


Q 29. Will taking an online course let me complete my degree early?


Answer: This depends upon how many credits you take or have taken over the academic year. You are allowed to take a maximum of 18 credits for the spring and fall semesters and online courses allow you to gain credits without being physically present. However, you should definitely consider whether you feel you can handle it before committing yourself to an 18 credit workload.