SCDM Education Portal

Online Course FAQ

Below are answers to common questions about SCDM online courses. Do you have additional questions? Send them to


Q: How are the courses structured?

A: The course organization is based on social constructivist principles which engage learners in active meaning-making through discussions and assignments that foster applied learning in real world situations. You will progress weekly from one module to the next. While discussion postings and weekly assignments have pre-determined due dates, learners are at liberty to make submissions at any time up until the deadlines. Active participation will enhance your learning of the topic and enable you to make professional connections for future networking.

Q: What kind of course content is included in the course?  

A: The content presented consists of narrated PowerPoint presentations, readings, videos and links to Web sites, all of which are provided to you within the course. No book purchases or access to hard copy library reserves is necessary, assuring that you have the required course content available to you at all times.

Q: What happens during the discussion forum?

A: Typically, every week you will post a response to a discussion post and respond to another student’s posting a few days later. Your instructor joins in these discussions, offering comments and feedback and references to further resources. You’ll get to know your colleagues better and develop a learning community in which you share your experiences, challenges, solutions and unique perspectives. By the end of the course, or even before then, you will likely have added to your network of valued colleagues.

Q: How are assignments submitted?

A: Assignments are easily submitted by the due date via a virtual drop box in the course. No more paper-based assignments for the dog to eat.

Q: How does the instructor provide feedback to students and stay in touch with them?

A: Communication takes place in the discussion forum, the cyber café, on the home page and via e-mail. Grades are posted in an online grade book so you always know how you are progressing. Frequently, your instructor will leave comments in the grade book beside your grade.

The course home page has an announcement section your instructor will use to keep you informed about due dates, course direction changes or observations from the week’s work. The course home page also has a calendar alerting you to due dates so that you never miss a deadline. During the course orientation the instructor will provide his/her contact information and office hours, giving you e-mail access 24/7.

Q: Why are online courses good for professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of DM topics?

A: Professionals in data management are under tight deadlines and are busy people trying to balance their work and personal lives. Online courses have flexibility built right in for access to course materials anytime and anywhere. With advance knowledge of course due dates, learners can plan ahead for successful completion of requirements over the duration of the modules. If you are traveling or vacationing, your course travels with you as long as you have Internet access. In addition, course rigor and design contributes to increased proficiency and the ability to apply what is learned. Finally, once the course is over, learners can stay in touch with new colleagues to build a community of practice that endures for networking and problem solving.