Online - FAQs

Online - FAQs

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About Online Courses at NNU

I work/have other obligations. Do I need to be online at any certain times?

Online courses at NNU are asynchronous, meaning we do not require you to be online at a specific time. A few online courses may require participation in virtual office hours or a scheduled meeting with the instructor or other students, but there is generally no particular time you need to be logged in, the courses are not independent or self-study courses. Each class will have weekly deadlines for assignments and activities to keep you on pace for completion. Online courses provide flexibility and convenience in your schedule.

What time commitment is required for online classes?

The amount of time for online classes is the same for face-to-face courses. If you take a face-to-face class, you would spend a few hours per week in a classroom with the instructor and then you’d spend additional time outside of class reading and completing assignments. In an online class, students access all their course information and activities online. For a three-credit class that is 8-weeks long, students should expect to spend 15 - 18 hours per week per course.

Do I have to come to campus for anything?

If you are in a fully online program, you typically do not need to come to campus for any classes, resources or services. NNU has 1 - 2 programs that require an on-campus component in their online programs. You may contact your admissions officer to inquire if the program you are interested in has an on-campus requirement.

Are online classes easier than face-to-face classes?

The idea that online courses are easier is a common misconception, and the short answer is no. As all course activities and assignments are driven by the student’s motivation, depending on the habits and discipline of the student, an online course may be more difficult than face-to-face classes.


It is essential for online students to be self-motivated and to avoid procrastination. Most of NNU’s online classes have the same amount of learning as a sixteen-week semester but are offered online as accelerated courses in 7-8 weeks. The courses move quickly, and if a student falls behind, it can be difficult to catch up. Looking ahead each week to plan an appropriate amount of study time is a good habit that usually has successful outcomes.


While taking courses online can seem more difficult than face-to-face, it has a lot of learning advantages. If you like to take your time to formulate your response to a class discussion or to process what you are learning before submitting an assignment, online classes could be the place for you to thrive.

Am I able to meet with an instructor if I need help?

Yes! NNU’s faculty are very flexible in finding ways to meet with their online students either in-person (if you are local to the Nampa campus), by phone or virtually through a video conference tool. Online, your instructors won’t be able to see you struggle as they would in a physical classroom which means it is on the student to ask for help. If you need help, do not be afraid to ask!

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Technology Requirements

What technology skills do I need to take an online class?

Successful online students should be able to learn or do the following:


  • Use a web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Canvas works best with Chrome.
  • Search and access websites within a browser
  • Log in to a site with a username and password
  • Type and edit a document in a word processing program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs
  • Attach a document or file to an email
  • Possess a willingness to learn a technology skill when necessary

Online students at NNU have access to 24/7 chat and phone support for Canvas and additional IT Services Help Desk support within business hours and some hours on weekends.

What are the technology requirements for an online class?

  • Access to a reliable computer with an internet connection
  • Access to a backup computer if something goes wrong with your primary computer (i.e. library, friend’s or relative’s computer)
  • A web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Chrome is preferred as it works best with Canvas.
  • An email account. All students are provided with an NNU Gmail account.
  • A word processing program such as Microsoft Word that can be saved as a .doc, or .docx file.
  • A computer that runs Windows 7-8 or Mac iOS X or higher

What if I don’t have a computer?

While it is not required to own a personal computer to be an online student, it is strongly encouraged. Without a computer, students would need to be willing to regularly use a computer at a local library, or at a friend’s or family member’s home. Most students take online courses for convenience and having access to a personal computer is the most convenient way to take online classes.

What if I have computer problems and I can’t access my class?

It is very important to have a backup plan when you have an issue with your regularly used computer. Most online instructors at NNU are understanding that problems happen, but they will expect the student to quickly resolve the issue and so as not to fall behind.


Students are responsible for resolving internet connectivity issues with their internet service provider. Online students have access to 24/7 Canvas support and the IT Services Help Desk support for assistance in resolving Canvas, login and other student technology issues.

NC-SARA: Consumer Protection for Online Education

NNU is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA membership entails both assurance of program quality and consumer protection standards for distance and online learning. In fields leading to professional licensure, we recommend students check with the licensing agency in their home state prior to enrolling in a program of study to determine what regulations, if any, apply to education programs in their state. To help students with these questions we have developed specific Professional Licensure resource pages for each NNU program that leads to licensure.