"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

Distance Study Logistics


How do I register for a course?
Registration is through the CSU Online Plus registration site. You do not need to apply for admission prior to registering for classes, but you should check the Course Descriptions to make sure that you have taken all of the course prerequisites and are aware of the text book(s) and computer software needed for the course. The course prerequisites, by the way, are not merely recommendations! Prerequisites are chosen in such a way as to ensure that the student can reasonably expect to be successful in the course.

How does a distance class work?
Lectures are available one of three ways: streamed video, mp4 video files downloaded from a website or mp4 video files mailed to students on DVD's.  Students are expected to view a specified number of lectures per week, although they are able to view the lectures at any time that suits their schedule. Handouts and assignments are available through the course web page on our learning platform (Blackboard).  The TA and professor are available for questions via discussions (on Blackboard), email, phone or fax.  Students are welcome to visit campus at any time.  Students complete the course by the end of the registered semester by watching the lecture videos, completing all coursework, and taking the exams.  Written work is sent to us by e-mail or fax. Regular postal delivery is accepted, but not encouraged, as it slows the progress of administering the course.  Your graded assignments are returned to you as a pdf file attachment to an e-mail. Exams are typically proctored by a representative at a university or college testing center or a representative of your company. Your educational experience in the class is intended to be identical to on-campus students: everyone does the same work and must meet the same expectations. Your grades, transcript and degree are indistinguishable from those of on-campus students.

Who is the current instructor?
Please check with Dr. Anderson or our distance office (970-491-5268) for current instructor information. Instructors are also typically listed on the course registration site.

When will I receive my DVDs?
Depending on the student's location, lecture DVDs are mailed out (typically via UPS) on the Thursday or Friday prior to the start of the semester (earlier for international students). You can expect to receive your DVDs around the first day of classes. You will also receive a Welcome Letter via e-mail on the Friday before the start of the semester. This message contains vital information regarding your course and is sent to the e-mail address registered with CSU as your primary e-mail account. You can change this information on RamWeb, if you prefer e-mail to be sent to a different account.

Where can I find the course syllabus?
Your instructor will post the course syllabus on the RamCT (Blackboard) course site before the first day of the semester. If you need to see a generic version of the course syllabus before the start of the semester, you can send an e-mail to Dr. Anderson.

What is the course text?
You can find textbook and software information with our Course Descriptions. The text may be purchased through the CSU Bookstore, a local bookstore or through an online bookseller.

How will I get my course assignments?
Your course assignments and other pertinent course information will be posted on the RamCT (Blackboard) course site.

Is the course curriculum fixed, so that the current instructor will cover the same topics in the same order as the instructor on the DVD?

Who will proctor my exams?
Proctors may be: college or university testing center representatives, military educators, pastors or ministers, continuing education officers, librarians, certified schoolteachers, school principals or supervisors.  Persons who are fellow students, subordinates of the student, coworkers/colleagues, peers, friends or related to the student in any way are not eligible to serve as proctors. Charges for testing services, if any, are to be paid by the student, as well as any mailing or faxing charges.

Do I have to take the exam at a specific time? What if I have to work?
There is typically a specified interval of time (over several days) within which you may take the exam.  If evenings or weekends work for both you and your proctor, that is fine.

What if I don't understand a concept? Can I get help?
Each course is assigned a professor and a TA. Since TAs are typically senior PhD students, they can usually answer any question you may have. Most students prefer to ask questions by e-mail or using RamCT, our course delivery software. However, students are also able to call in with their questions if that is their preference. We post discussion topics for each assignment or course topic, so that students may also discuss concepts with the rest of the class.

What is the difference between live-taped and pre-taped format classes?
If the lecture videos for your course are recorded from an on-campus classroom during the same semester you are viewing them, the class is live-taped format. If the lecture videos for your course were recorded in a classroom during a previous semester, the class is pre-taped format. This distinction is relevant for course scheduling but does not affect your educational experience or transcript.

What are the advantages of each class format?
The advantages of live-taped format courses are that you have an on-campus cadre of classmates and your professor has a larger number of students to whom s/he is teaching the material at that time. The advantages to the pre-taped format are that they can (a) be taken during summer semester, (b) be completed (to some extent) in a compressed time for faster progress towards the degree, (c) be offered during semesters when live-taped versions would not otherwise be available, and (d) potentially provide access to courses which are not otherwise offered to distance students.

What if a lecture video is late, broken, missing or of poor quality?
Please call or email Jana Anderson and our distance office (970-491-5268); also inform your professor and TA if this might delay your progress. We can often assist you very quickly, even after business hours or on weekends; however, we can't help with the problem if we don't know about it!

Return to FAQ page.