How It Works (FAQs)

How It Works (FAQs)

Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding online learning at Penn State World Campus. Some of those taking the exam are questioning the move online and worry about glitches and tracking software. The Smithsonian guide catalogued “aspects and assumptions” of “white culture” that “are now considered standard practices in the United States.” Digital multimedia software solution developer CyberLink saw second-quarter 2020 revenues from its U series and FaceMe hike by 29 times on year, according to company chairman and CEO Jau Huang.

These are a few of the common questions that prospective students ask. If you don’t find an answer to your question, contact us.

Our online courses are presented through Canvas, a centralized learning management system. After logging in with your Penn State user credentials, you can access syllabi, assignments, course content, grades, discussion forums, and announcements. Canvas Email, Groups, and Discussion Forums provide a means to interact directly with faculty and peers within the platform. You also have access to live chat support and a support hotline.

The courses are created in partnership with our faculty and our instructional designers to ensure a learning experience that is tailored to the subject matter and the expected learning outcomes. We develop our online courses so that they mirror the same quality content you would expect on campus, with the following features:

  • fully online
  • academically equal to campus courses
  • interactive and dynamic
  • adult learner–centric
  • We make sure students know what to expect before classes start and offer easy to navigate courses so you can dive in and start learning.

    To help you prepare for online course work, we offer a Student Orientation course hosted in Canvas, the same system you’ll use in your courses. We also have a readiness-assessment tool that can measure how prepared you are for online learning and provides valuable resources to help you meet your academic goals.

    Through the Canvas Dashboard, you’ll have access to numerous methods to interact with your peers and instructors. Each tool provides its own unique vehicle for communication. Communicate through Canvas by using:

  • Email: Send direct messages to your classmates and instructors. While this works similar to regular email, it’s an internal feature.
  • Groups: Work in collaboration with your classmates on group projects and assignments.
  • Announcements: Stay up-to-date with important information that the instructor shares with the entire class.
  • Discussion boards: Share ideas and feedback with the class. Instructors and students have the ability to create discussions within a course. Sometimes these are graded and other times they are used as a means for brainstorming and sharing feedback.
  • Penn State World Campus courses are designed with your busy schedule in mind, providing the flexibility you need to study at the times most convenient to you.

    Most of the courses are structured for asynchronous learning, meaning the classes are facilitated so students are not required to attend courses at scheduled times.

    All of your course assignments, discussions, quizzes, and exams, however, must be completed by their assigned due dates. Some courses may also require online group work that you need to take into consideration when allocating your time.

    “While I was completing my Master’s in HRER, I was a track maintainer, working 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the exception of overtime twice per week. I studied on the subway train rides to my inspection location and during my lunch breaks. I didn’t study on days I worked overtime because I was too beat. If it weren’t for my wife tending to our two young sons, I would not have made it. I felt bad when I could not attend a lot of their weekend activities, but my weekends were committed to writing papers and studying. That was my life for two years, including vacations. Having a great support system made it worthwhile.”

    –John Johnson Jr., Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER), summer 2018

    Students enrolled in Penn State World Campus undergraduate courses have reported spending approximately 8 to 12 hours per week on readings and assignments for a 3-credit course. Plan to spend extra time when you have papers, projects, or exams. Graduate-level courses will likely require more time per week.

    This answer varies for each student. There are many factors (e.g., transfer credits, course load per semester) that influence how long it will take. Depending on the program, some students are able to complete 12 credits every year — others more than 20 credits. To find out more, contact an admissions counselor.

    Your assignments and exams are submitted through Canvas. Your instructor will create assignments, exams, and quizzes, and then you will submit your work electronically through the system.

    We try to make our courses as easy as possible to access technically while still maintaining a quality online experience. View the basic technical requirements for Penn State World Campus. You should also review any additional requirements that your program may have.

    Being a Penn State student is more than simply taking courses. Whether you’re located around the world or around the corner, you will have the opportunity to participate in some of Penn State’s most popular traditions, develop your leadership skills, and connect with fellow Penn Staters outside the classroom.

    In addition, you can get to know fellow Penn Staters by connecting with us through the following social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. And, of course, in the fall you can tune in to a Penn State football game and cheer along with thousands of your closest Penn State friends.

    When you earn a degree through World Campus, you earn a Penn State degree, so this is a special time for celebration with family and friends. Because we also want to applaud your hard-earned success, we will invite you and your family to a special graduation celebration the night before the commencement ceremony on campus. And as a World Campus graduate, you are invited to attend the same commencement ceremony as those on campus. All Penn State undergraduate and master’s degree candidates receive their diplomas in the mail after commencement; doctoral candidates receive their diplomas in person.

    This is often the first time that our students set foot on campus as well as meet their classmates, faculty, and academic advisers in person. It is truly an exciting and emotional experience, and we are honored to be able to share in this joyous occasion with you.

    Once you’ve become a Penn State graduate, you become part of a worldwide network of more than 692,000 alumni and can choose to join the Penn State Alumni Association, the largest alumni association in the world.

    As a member of the Alumni Association, you will gain access to professional development as well as volunteer and friendship-building opportunities with Penn Staters around the world. Members can also take advantage of LionLink, a professional networking program designed to assist Penn State students and alumni in exploring various career fields through information interviews with alumni career coaches.


    Author: Lauren Fillebrown, Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management

    Michigan’s online bar exam testers worry software tracks eye movements, noises

    Michigan’s online bar exam testers worry software tracks eye movements, noises


    After a short stint as a journalist didn’t work out, Casey Cheney found himself doing manual labor, wondering whether there was something else he could be doing.

    A conversation with a friend who was a lawyer ended up sparking his interest and Cheney found himself enrolled in Wayne State University’s Law School.

    Skip forward a few years and Cheney has his degree but now must pass the the state’s bar exam — a challenge in normal times, but exacerbated now by how the exam will be given.

    Instead of two days of in-person testing including a multiple-choice test and an essay test, potential attorneys will report to their computers Tuesday morning for a one-day, 15 essay-question exam.

    Some of those taking the exam are questioning the move online and worrying whether the computer software will work and if test-takers will manage to stay exactly centered in their computer’s camera eye for the entire exam

    The goal of this is to stop cheating. The company itself tells those taking the exam in bright red letters, all capitalized, in the instruction sheet sent to exam takers: “Make sure you are centered in the frame and do not change the camera angle during the exam.”

    The company, ExamSoft, couldn’t be reached for comment.

    More: Want to be a doctor? A lawyer? COVID-19 cases are rising, but these high-stakes exams are in-person only

    Students have to download software prior to the exam. At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, they have to open the download. The software will then disconnect the internet on the laptop and turn on the computer’s camera and microphone. Students must be in alone in the room — any noise, from children to a pet, could flag the video for cheating. When they log into the system, students must remain still in front of the camera so it can take a picture of them and compare it with a previously uploaded photo, according to the directions issued to test takers.

    “Don’t get me wrong — I’d rather be in my position than one of the 23 states still scheduled for in-person exams tomorrow. But it’s made things really difficult,” said Tyler Silvestri, 25, of Jackson, who graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in May and is taking the exam Tuesday. “We’ve been told that artificial intelligence is tracking our eye movements through our camera to spot irregularities, so we’re discouraged from doing things like looking at the ceiling or to the side while we’re thinking. If you were to look at any given law school exam administration, you’d see dozens of students leaned back in their chairs looking at the ceiling trying to remember information. But here, if we look anywhere other than directly at the screen, we’re risking being accused of cheating with no way to prove we weren’t.” 

    Cheney is also worried about the software working.

    “The exam has five modules,” he said. “You have to log into each one with a distinct password and check in via facial recognition. This means there are five distinct opportunities for the software to malfunction in every way listed above. We only have one hour per module, which has three essays. That means we have 20 minutes per essay. If we encounter a technical error, we do not get any extra time.”

    Exam takers are wondering what will happen if their exams don’t upload correctly or there are other computer malfunctions. They worry they will have to wait until the exam is offered again in February, costing them months of salary they could have earned as a lawyer.

    On July 20, a lawyer in Florida named Edwin Prado filed a federal lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against ExamSoft, claiming he took an exam in 2017 on its software, only to have it say he had been online too long. According to the lawsuit, Prado spent $25,000 to fight that determination, including hiring a forensic scientist who said there were glitches in the software that caused Prado’s exam not to upload in the proper amount of time.

    Cheney and a number of other exam takers pushed for the Michigan exam to be pulled and instead asked for students to receive a diploma privilege, which admits potential attorneys to the bar upon graduation with a probationary period supervised by an experienced attorney.

    There are also issues of racial and economic privilege, with exam takers worried that some candidates won’t have the needed equipment, high-speed internet access or even simply the quiet space to take the exam.

    “All in all, there’s a real sense of hopelessness among test-takers,” Silvestri said.

    In-person bar exams are moving ahead in nearly half of states, despite concerns from law school students, who said the planned administration is uncertain and unsafe givensome states’ rapid increases in COVID-19 cases.

    One such state is Arizona, whose highest court denied a petition July 1 to allow first-time test takers to skip the exam. It will proceed as scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday  at the Phoenix Convention Center.

    Alexis Boumstein, one of three law school graduates who petitioned the court to amend its rules, told the Arizona Republic some graduates worry about catching the virus during the state’s exam. Typically, more than 500 people take the Arizona bar over two days. 

    Others fear that weeks of intensive study could be ruined if they get sick andaren’t permitted to take the high-stakes test.

    “Applicants should not be asked to choose between their health or sitting for the exam to receive their licensure,” the petition said.

    Other states changed their testing structures. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners canceled the state’s bar exam at the end of July, replacing it with an online test set for Aug. 18.

    Michigan kept its original testing date, but went online.

    “The board conducted extensive research and consultations to make this decision, including outreach to Michigan public health officials and law school deans, while monitoring developments in the pandemic and approaches of other states,” said Justice Brian Zahra, the Michigan Supreme Court’s liaison to the Board of Law Examiners in a statement in May when the switch was made. “I am confident the Michigan essay examination will adequately test the applicants’ legal knowledge and skill. The public can be confident that those who pass this exam will have requisite knowledge of state law to become a member of the Michigan bar. Likewise, law school graduates can sit for the exam without risking public health.” 

    Reporters at USA Today and the USA Today Network contributed to this report.

    Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or Follow him on Twitter: @reporterdavidj

    The Free Press asked candidates up and down the ballot for their positions on a host of issues. Enter your address to see what the candidates on your Aug. 4 ballot had to say. Because the districts that these candidates run in can be very specific, you will only see an accurate ballot if you enter your full address. Your information, address and e-mail address if you enter one, will not be shared.

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    Author: David Jesse, Detroit Free Press

    Memo to 'Anti-Racists': Hard Work Not White Supremacy Product

    Memo to ‘Anti-Racists’: Hard Work Not White Supremacy Product

    In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests over police brutality, interest in “anti-racist” education has exploded among educators and advocates.

    The case that educators should seek to combat racism seems self-evident. What’s less clear is how the admirable cause of “anti-racism” is fueling, in some corners, the inclination to denounce universal virtues and useful skills as the product of “white culture.”

    Witness the recent contretemps at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, which bills itself as “the only national museum devoted exclusively” to educating the public on these topics, recently debuted the online guide “Talking About Race.”

    The guide included a chart cataloging the “aspects and assumptions” of “white culture” that “have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States.”

    What are these sinister aspects of “white culture,” you ask?

    Well, according to the Smithsonian, values such as “hard work,” “self-reliance,” “be[ing] polite,” and timeliness are all a product of the “white dominant culture.” Indeed, it turns out that conventional grammar, Christianity, the notion that “intent counts” in courts of law, and the scientific method and its emphasis on “objective, rational linear thinking” are all proprietary to “white culture.”

    Several things might be said about all this. But the place to start may be by observing just how insidious it is to teach black children to reject intellectual and personal traits that promote personal and civic success—in the U.S. or anywhere else.

    After all, in what land are students well served when they’re encouraged not to work hard, make decisions, think rationally, or be polite and on time?

    Among the extraordinarily accomplished people honored by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, those such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, John Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Condoleezza Rice, and Barack Obama might be surprised to learn that hard work and rational thinking are somehow alien to black culture.

    A poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 4 out of 5 employers expected job applicants to exhibit a strong work ethic, the ability to work in a team, and analytical thinking skills.

    If one asks parents—of any race—what values they want their kids to learn, more than 4 out of 5 will similarly name concepts such as “hard work,” “being well-mannered,” and “being responsible.” In fact, black parents are 1 to 3 percentage points more likely than white parents to think traits such as “hard work,” “being well-mannered,” and “persistence” are “important to teach children.”

    This all makes obvious sense. These are the traits that make for good neighbors and colleagues, and support strong communities. Perhaps we’ve got blinkered vision, but we’re still looking for the culture, anywhere, where parents say that they’d like their children to slack off, be rude, and shirk responsibility.

    After an online outcry, the Smithsonian removed the chart July 16—but not with any denunciation of the chart’s content, only the bland understatement that the chart turned out to “not contribute to the productive discussion” museum officials had wished for.

    Of course, the lack of “productive discussion” shouldn’t have surprised, given the shoddy scholarship it reflected. The original chart contained a single footnote linking to a one-page PDF asserting, sans evidence, that traits such as “hard work,” “self-reliance,” and politeness “are common characteristics of most U.S. white people most of the time.”

    Not surprisingly given this foundation, the Smithsonian’s chart was rife with dubious claims and questionable assumptions. The idea that Christianity belongs to white culture could come as a surprise to the 72% of black Americans who identify as Christian, especially when a lower percentage, 65%, of white Americans do so.

    The idea that timeliness and objectivity are the province of white culture would probably come as a surprise to air traffic controllers or cardiovascular surgeons in Cambodia and Cameroon, as it turns out that these traits are crucial to their professional competence and success—whatever the practitioner’s race or culture.  

    While it might be tempting to laugh off the Smithsonian’s chart as political correctness run amok, that would be a mistake.

    The troubling conviction that admirable, useful, universal values such as hard work and politeness are somehow the product of “white supremacy” has been gaining increasing currency in education circles.

    Just this month, the influential KIPP charter network announced it was abolishing its motto “Work Hard. Be Nice.” as part of its push to “dismantle systemic racism.” As educators rush to act upon the admirable impulse captured by “anti-racism,” the lesson is that they need to be extraordinarily deliberate about what that means in practice.

    When all is said and done, in 2020, the Smithsonian’s caretakers chose to tell our children that values such as hard work and rationality are part of the “white” inheritance—and don’t come naturally to those raised in other cultures.

    If this demeaning caricature was offered up by drawling good ol’ boys defending Jim Crow in some grainy newsreel footage, we’d spot it for the unapologetic racism that it is. The question of the hour, though, is what we call it when educators offer it up in the name of “anti-racism.”

    This article first appeared at Real Clear Policy.


    Author: Authors

    CyberLink sees staggering 2Q20 sales growth from remote work solutions

    CyberLink sees staggering 2Q20 sales growth from remote work solutions

    CyberLink sees staggering 2Q20 sales growth from remote work solutions

    Wednesday 29 July 2020

    Digital multimedia software solution developer CyberLink saw second-quarter 2020 revenues from its U series and FaceMe hike by 29 times on year, according to company chairman and CEO Jau Huang.

    The U series offers video conferencing, distant online presentation and team communication solutions, while FaceMe is a facial recognition engine.

    The staggering growth resulted from strong demand for remote business operation and work from home amind the conronavirus pandemic, Huang explained.

    CyberLink has cooperated with Taiwan-based IP camera and video recorder maker Merit Lilin Ent using FaceMe in IP surveillance solutions at factories, residential buildings and retail stores, Huang noted.

    To cope with the pandemic, CyberLink has developed FaceMe Health, an upgraded version of FaceMe that can recognize masked faces, Huang said, adding US-based eco-parking solution provider Municipal Parking Service has adopted FaceMe Health.

    CyberLink will keep cooperating with Taiwan-based IoT hardware maker to develop AI+IoT devices equipped with FaceMe, Huang indicated.

    Of second-quarter 2020 consolidated revenues of NT$414.9 million (US$14.0 million), OEM shipments to PC and ODD vendors for bundled sale accounted for 51.8%; retail sale of PC-based Create series, 27.4%; mobile app, 14.7%; and new business including U series and FaceMe, 6.1%.

    CyberLink began to shift B2C focus from retail sale to subscriptions at the end of 2018. As of the end of second-quarter 2020, the number of subscribers rose to 98,566, 93.58% of them on an annual basis.

    CyberLink: Financial results, 2Q20 (NT$m)






    Consolidated revenues






    Gross margin






    Net operating profit






    Net profit






    Net EPS (NT$)



    Source: Company, compiled by Digitimes, July 2020

    CyberLink chairman and CEO Jau Huang

    CyberLink chairman and CEO Jau Huang
    Photo: Digitimes file


    Author: Annie Chen, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES

    How It Works (FAQs)

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