The Online Experience | FAQs

  • Is online learning right for me?

    Before you enroll, take our online learning readiness quiz to find out if online learning is right for you, or if you may need a little more time to prepare. 

    You can also visit the Great Plains IDEA Student Success Center for advice about time management, online discussion board postings, writing an academic paper, searching for a job, and much more.

    Hear from Katie Mott, campus coordinator for Iowa State University, on what makes Great Plains IDEA unique for students and how our online programs afford students the flexibility to learn at their own pace.

  • How do I access my online courses?

    Students access Great Plains IDEA courses through the Learning Management System (LMS) used by the teaching university. The LMS is your virtual classroom for the semester. Once you enroll, the campus coordinator at the teaching university provides instructions for accessing their LMS and your course.

  • Where do I purchase my textbooks?

    If your courses require textbooks, you may purchase them through your home university bookstore, from an online vendor, or at a bookstore near you. Find the title, author, and international standard book number (ISBN) on our website on the course description page.

  • How are faculty expectations of online students different than those of on-campus students?

    While your instructor is in charge of giving you materials to help you learn, you are responsible for your learning whether online or face-to-face. In online courses, you communicate your ideas to instructors and fellow students generally through email or discussion board posts. Expect to keep up with readings so that you can contribute to online discussions. Faculty still expect online students to think critically and creatively in class activities, to do honest work, to meet deadlines, and to respect others in the class the same as they would in on-campus classes.

    In this video, instructor Fransisco Villaruel shares how faculty are committed and passionate about Great Plains IDEA.

  • How many usernames am I going to have?

    Some students have as few as two or three usernames, while others have as many as five or six. The number is based on the number of teaching universities you access in your program. To help you remember usernames, we offer this fillable Course Login Tracking Sheet (PDF). When in doubt about a Learning Management System username, contact the teaching university campus coordinator  for assistance.

  • Am I ever required to come to campus?

    All courses are taught online. You may choose to travel to campus for the optional graduation ceremony.

  • What about a graduation ceremony when I complete the program?

    You may travel to your home university to participate in the on-campus commencement ceremonies. If travel is not an option for you, many universities live stream graduation ceremonies. Some institutions provide a virtual commencement for distance students. Ask your campus coordinator about graduation options for distance students at your home university.

  • How do my instructors know of disability accommodations I need during their courses?

    Some programs have a student handbook filled with helpful information. All Student Handbooks are located in the student section of our website.  Visit our webpage for testimonials to hear what students and alumni are saying about Great Plains IDEA programs.