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New Student FAQs

What does taking an course for academic credit actually mean?

Taking a course for academic credit involves two steps:

  1. Complete Basic content for course on Coursera with a verified certificate.
  2. Complete the enhanced version of the same course with Illinois. The enhanced version includes extra case studies, detailed exercises, team projects and or exams, and direct interactions with faculty, moderated discussions, personal evaluation and grading from faculty, the same rigor that you would encounter from an on campus course at Illinois.
Where do I go for my course?

The course will use Illinois Compass 2g (powered by Blackboard Learn) as the main starting point but will also use materials and activities in Coursera.

What tasks and course materials will I find in which system?
  • Compass2g will guide you through all of the materials, regardless of the system the content resides in.
  • The tasks to be completed in Coursera consist of lecture videos, quizzes, and peer assessment exercises. All of these activities must be authenticated through Signature Track and are required for the Verified Certificate.
  • The course materials in Coursera will be augmented in Compass2g with (but not limited to) additional required textbook and/or further readings, new case studies, and additional videos.
  • There will be other activities to be completed in Compass2g such as (but not limited to): graded class discussions, further case study analyses, reflection or analysis write-ups, individual or team projects, and other problem-solving activities depending on the topic/discipline of the course.
Does my progress in Coursera contribute to my final grade?

While your final grade for the University of Illinois graduate for-credit course is based on the total percentage points accumulated in the Compass 2g portion of your course, you will be required to complete and pass the associated Coursera courses with a course completion certificate in order to earn a passing grade in the course. Failure to pass either of the Coursera courses by the indicated deadlines will result in not passing the course irrespective of your grade in the Compass 2g portion.

How many hours per week should I expect to spend in the course?

We encourage students to budget 10-15 hours per week for their courses.

How much time will I have to take the exams and complete the assignments?

You will be required to complete an exam in a period of 24–72 hours, depending on the course. Some exams may be timed but will be available for a period of time (1–3 days) so you can complete them at your convenience. You will not need to log in at the same time as everyone else in order to complete final projects or exams.

When will assignments be due?

All assignments will have deadlines on a consistent date and time (i.e., Sunday night at 11:59 PM US Central Standard Time). Note that all times are listed in US Central Time, which can be US Central Standard Time (CST) or US Central Daylight Time (CDT). If you do not live in this time zone, you may wish to use a time zone conversion website (such as timeanddate.com) to translate times to your local time zone. When assignments require discussion and peer review, there may be an initial deadline within the week (e.g., Thursdays to make an initial post) and a follow-up deadline later in the week (e.g., Sundays to submit a peer review). The specific due dates may vary from course to course. It is your responsibility to keep track of all due dates and times as late submissions will not be accepted.

When must work be completed in Coursera?

Although the Coursera activities are ‘on demand’ and can be completed any time, for the purpose of the Illinois-credit course, you are required to complete activities based on the course deadlines specified in Compass2g. All Coursera scores will import into Compass2g each week up until the final course deadline.

When will assignments be made available to me?

Assignments in Coursera are always available. The assignments in Compass2g will be made available no less than three days before their due date. In some courses, all content will be available on the first day of the course; in other courses, the content will become available as the course progresses. In some cases, the content must be worked through sequentially, and later modules will become available upon completion of the earlier modules.

Where is the current schedule for courses being offered for academic credit?

You can view all upcoming course offerings here.