Online Learning

Since 2006, the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies has been offering online courses designed to meet the needs of busy professionals around the world. We develop and execute high quality, student-centered online education. We offer a robust catalog of online courses, and students receive exceptional support from our experienced Online Learning support team.

The Online Learning support team at the Glasscock School designs, produces, implements and manages electronically supported education within the school. We believe that effective learning depends on high-quality instructional design. The Glasscock School’s online instructors are content experts who are enthusiastic about online teaching and learning. They work closely with the school’s Online Learning team to develop and facilitate courses that exemplify best practices of student-centered design and inquiry-based learning. Our courses foster a dynamic learning environment that encourages interaction and networking.

browse all online courses

Online - These courses are live sessions conducted by correspondence over the Internet and occur at a fixed time. The courses involve educational instruction with collaborative interactions among instructors-learners and learners –learners. These courses are primarily delivered through Blackboard Collaborate.

Blended - Blended courses combine online educational instruction with live learning experiences, either at Rice University or in a digital space. Our blended learning courses have three primary components:

+ Self-paced online learning - includes digital content and materials with collaborative activities to complement in-person learning

+ In-person learning - occurs at fixed times and includes direct application and activities as well as interaction with master teachers

+ Independent learning - the synthesis and integration of in-person interactions and self-paced learning into a personal learning experience

On Demand - Online courses are self-contained and conducted entirely via the Internet within the course platform. The learning process is exclusively self-directed with interactions between student and content. 

You can expect to see similar content as a face-to face course; however, online courses offer flexibility, a more personalized learning environment, and access to the latest educational technology.

The rich online learning environment features many different kinds of activities that vary by subject and instructor. Courses may include learning modules with audio and video components, applied learning projects, quizzes, collaborative assignments, discussions and reflections.

Yes. Meeting deadlines, a skill valued by employers, is emphasized in our online courses. A typical online class will require you to complete weekly assignments, and course content builds from one week to the next. You may also have quizzes, assignments, projects or exams with specific deadlines. Please review your course syllabus to determine specific assignments and deadlines as they obviously vary by course.

Our online classes provide the same content as our face-to-face classes. They differ in the method of delivering that content and the means of communication between instructors and students.

Course sizes vary, but are always kept to an appropriate size to foster interaction and instructor attention. At GSCS, we strive to keep class sizes manageable for optimizing learner-to-learner and learner-to-instructor interactions.

No, most are not. Depending on the instructor, you will have assignments that require you to communicate with other students just as you would in a face-to-face course. Most online courses require you to adhere to due dates for assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. Only courses that are clearly labeled as “on demand” are 100 percent self-paced.

Depending on the course, you may need to login at designated times. Check individual course information to determine the course schedule and synchronous requirements.

Members of our online faculty have industry experience as well as academic degrees. Their real-world credentials enrich course materials, class discussions and one-on-one interaction. Additionally, they have completed special training in online education and receive extensive support from the Glasscock School’s Online Learning support team.

Yes. Your instructors will be active within the course and be available during online office hours and via email and phone.

Many of the Glasscock School courses offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Please check the individual course information page for details.

Computer, headset with microphone, updated web browser, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software are all necessary equipment for the successful completion of an online course. A webcam is optional. See “Technical Specifications” for additional information. For maximum performance, we recommend these system requirements for the Canvas platform. Additionally, the synchronous sessions in Blackboard Collaborate require a headset with a microphone.

Yes, we recommend high speed wired and /or wireless Internet access, so you can access all course materials, including videos and webcasts. We do NOT recommend less than 56kps download speed.

For security reasons, many workplaces have firewalls that block outside content. Check with your IT specialist prior to the course start date to ensure you are able to access the learning management system.

You will be contacted by the Glasscock School with your login credentials and link to the learning management system.

Call or text the GSCS online help desk at 713-485-9801. Support is available from 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Thursday. For general questions and non-emergency support you can also email gscsonlinehelp@rice.edu.

Is Online Learning Right For You?

Learning online requires a different set of skills than in a face-to-face class. There are many elements that contribute to one’s success. You can get an idea of your online learning readiness by answering a few short questions.