Course Syllabus

Welcome to GE 103

Introduction to Online Learning

(05:09 mins, Online Learning Orientation Transcript)

Overview of GE 103: Online University Skills

Each week, students will be asked to do some preparatory coursework online and then attend a remote gathering to participate in other activities with their classmates. After learning from and teaching each other, students will need to finish some final assignments by the end of each week. This course has a virtual gathering that requires students to be available every Thursday night throughout the semester for a live-virtual synchronous meeting.

If Students Completed PathwayConnect

Students who completed PathwayConnect do not need to take this course.

Course Description

In this course, learners will discover and strengthen the skills they need for success as an online student. Through activities, students practice important university success skills, online tools, and group work. Students also receive support as they plan their online certificate and degree paths. This support comes from their instructor, and from their online peers who meet synchronously in a weekly gathering. Above all, students learn how to balance the demands of their home and work lives with the demands of online courses. This culminates in the creation of a persistence plan, a customized document that can guide and help each student persist in their studies and complete their academic goals.

GE 103 is a 1 credit course.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to help you achieve the following objectives:

  1. Demonstrate self-management skills related to academic success.
  2. Learn to communicate and collaborate in an online environment.
  3. Access online resources important for online university success.
  4. Practice selected reading comprehension strategies.
  5. Plan how to achieve certificates and a degree.
  6. Develop personal strategies for persistence in pursuing online education.

Course Materials

Students must have consistent access to a computer with a reliable internet connection, and a device that records video in order to be successful in this online course. If the student has not already done so, they will also need to download and install Microsoft Office and Zoom. All learning materials are contained within this course; no additional textbooks are required.

Course Architecture

This course will run in 14 one-week lessons. The learning model, especially the Teach One Another process step, is important to each lesson. This course is not an independent study course. There are consistent assignment due dates and accountability reports due each week. Failure to complete assignments and activities by their due date will significantly affect the student's final grade.

In order to meet the outcomes, this course is divided up into four, 3–4 week units centered on helping the student develop skills and discover tools to help them succeed as an online student.

University Skills. Discover and strengthen the skills I need for success as an online student.

Unit 1: Self-Management

    Week 1: Children of Promise

    Week 2: Time Management for Academic Success

    Week 3: Healthy Habits for Academic Success

    Week 4: Planning with a Purpose

Unit 2: Interdependence

    Week 5: Online Communities for Academic Success

    Week 6: Communication for Success

    Week 7: Collaboration for Academic Success

Unit 3: Resourcefulness

    Week 8: Accessing Help & Self-Advocacy

    Week 9: Discover Resources

    Week 10: Electronic Resources and Information Literacy

Unit 4: Persistence

    Week 11: Relying on Faith

    Week 12: Growing Through Experience

    Week 13: Endurance in Spite of Unforeseen Obstacles

    Week 14: Capstone


Activity Descriptions

Grad Plan: Throughout the course, students will continue planning the next steps in their educational journey. In this semester-long work, they will create a grad plan which will chart a course for their education from certificates to a bachelor’s degree.

Student Skills: This activity has the bulk of the course material which students will need to read and study each week in order to be successful in this course and with their assignments. All the activities in the course rely heavily on this content.

Gathering: Students are required to attend a weekly gathering where they will reinforce concepts from this course and have a chance to talk about their experience with their certificate courses. They will then be required to report their attendance by the Saturday due date. The gathering uses Zoom, a remote video conferencing technology.

Application Activity: In this activity, students use the things they have learned in all of the weekly activities and apply it to real-life skills and situations.

Courtesy Expectations

This online course follows the Learning Model. It includes collaborative learning activities designed to give students the opportunity to teach one another. Most lessons involve interaction with the instructor and with other students in both large and small groups. As the student interacts with others in various assignments, please remember to be kind, considerate, and respectful of differing viewpoints. The student can differ in opinions (sometimes, the best learning comes when others challenge their thinking) but still be civil and loving. Respect one another’s opinions and avoid using racist, bigoted, homophobic, sexist, or aggressive language in class discussions, writing assignments, or in reporting problems or concerns. Any violation of basic common courtesy—including interaction with peers, the instructor, or others monitoring the course—will negatively impact the student's grade.

(01:07 mins, True at All Times Transcript)


The workload is 3 hours per credit. The standard for the student workload in courses is about 3–4 hours per week per credit hour (for example, a 3-credit course would require approximately 9–12 hours of work per week). That means this course should take the student about 3–4 hours per week to complete. It is recommended students set time aside in their daily schedule to work on the course.


Grading Categories: Students are expected to be active learners. This means completing assignments on time, being prepared for the weekly gathering, and actively participating in the course.

Final Grade Breakdown

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 100%–94%
A- 93%–90%
B+ 89%–87%
B 86%–83%
B- 82%–80%
C+ 79%–77%
C 76%–73%
C- 72%–70%
D+ 69%–67%
D 66%–63%
D- 62%–60%
F 59%–00%


Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all gatherings with their designated group during the semester. Viewing a recording of a gathering does not count.

If students do not attend the weekly gatherings, they will not be able to meet with peers, build critical teach one another skills, or earn a full grade for attendance.

If students experience rare, extenuating circumstances, they may contact their instructor for guidance about whether or not to attend the gathering that week. These circumstances include death in the family, medical emergency, the birth of a child, or other serious or unsafe situations.

A gathering assistant (GA) facilitates the gathering functionality in the course. This course also generally follows the BYU-Idaho and Ensign College academic calendars, which include the observance of certain U.S. national and local holidays. Some of these holidays may fall on a Thursday on a permanent or occasional basis. If they do, the gathering for that week will be cancelled by the GA. If such a situation occurs, students should still complete the Attendance Report for the week by marking the gathering is cancelled. All other assignments should be completed by normal due dates.

Participation Expectations

The Learning Model emphasizes "teaching one another." Teaching and learning from each other helps students to understand the content more effectively. It also fosters unselfish service. Students will teach one another in the gathering and during the online discussion boards. This can be effectively done by the following practices:

  • Arrive early to the gathering and stay until the end
  • Participate early and often during the online discussions

Late Work

Turning work in on time is a sign of professionalism and respect for the instructor as well as the other students in the class. Students are expected to submit all work on time.

If you do not submit an assignment or graded quiz by the due date, that assignment or quiz will automatically be given a score of zero. If you choose to submit work late, you may still receive points for that late work. To prevent falling behind, it is best to submit your work on time or early.

Accommodations will be made for those who have difficulties submitting assignments on time. Contact your instructor if you need help.

Feedback on Assignments

Students will receive two types of feedback on the work they do for this course. Some assignments, such as quizzes, are automatically graded by the system and allow them to know immediately how well they have done. The Application Activities require an instructor to carefully read and evaluate student responses, which take longer to grade. Remember, the instructor is required to grade not only an individual student's assignments but all of their classmates' work as well. Students can expect to receive a grade and any accompanying feedback for these types of assignments within seven days of their due dates.

Course Support

If students have questions, problems, or concerns about the course, they can receive help in a few different ways. The instructor will inform students of the method he/she wishes to use.

A certified instructor will facilitate the course and work closely with the student and their peers. Be sure to reach out to the instructor with ideas, questions, or concerns prompted by the course. A trained and qualified gathering assistant (GA) is also assigned to the course. The GA's responsibility is to help students with the weekly gatherings.

A primary means of contact for an instructor will always be through email. If a student’s question or concern is personal, they are encouraged to send a personal email to their instructor. Start by stating the question clearly and include details. It could take up to 24 hours to receive a response (excluding Sundays and holidays).

If that line of communication fails for some reason or if you need assistance, visit the Course Help link, located in the course navigation menu, to contact the appropriate support center. You can also use this to find help with tutoring, disability services, enrollment, tuition, registration, etc.

Course Helps

Welcome Module

There are many additional resources available within the Welcome module. These resources include computer tutorials and free websites to help students improve their typing skills.


It is a great practice for students to write down notes in each lesson to remember the things learned and the revelation received. This is one way to learn by study and by faith (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:118). Students are also encouraged to spend time each week to review their notes.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course includes required synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due