Guidelines for Online Classes


All Nicholls State University students are responsible for reading and adhering to the policies outlined in the Student Handbook.  In addition, all students taking an online course through the University should read and follow the policies defined within this document.

Minimal Technical Skills

The majority of the work in an online class, if not all, will be done asynchronously with the student working alone and on their own time. A student taking an online/hybrid course must have basic computer knowledge, including how to access a given website. Students must be able to use different components of the Moodle learning management system (LMS) (see Moodle tutorial at and Nicholls e-mail. In addition, the individual course instructors may expect additional computer and technical requirements. With the absence of a physical teacher and a set meeting time, an online course requires self-discipline and self-motivation. Additional information on how to be an effective distant learner can be found at

Students e-mail

All Nicholls State University students are assigned a university email address; official university email is only sent to this address. Some online instructors only correspond with students through their Nicholls e-mail account and not personal ones due to privacy issues. Do not share your e-mail or your password with anyone else. It is against the law to use electronic mail or other communication facilities to transmit statements of an obscene, libelous, or threatening nature as defined under current judicial definitions.

Refund Policy

All policies dealing with refunds for dropping an online class are identical to those for the traditional face-to-face classes. Check out the dates for your current semester and the guidelines at

Class Attendance

Because there is no face-to-face class time in a Nicholls online class, regular virtual attendance is expected of all students. Studentsare responsible for completing all class work on time. Students should contact instructors if a due date is missed and/or follow directions outlined on course syllabus.

 Academic Dishonesty

As members of the Nicholls State University community, students are expected to uphold the highest standards of academic and personal conduct. Academic dishonesty violates these standards as well as the trust and commitment among students and faculty to instill and to maintain the principles of integrity, responsibility, and respect for others.

Academic dishonesty results in severe consequences. All proven or suspected cases of cheating, plagiarism, purchased papers, borrowed papers, work copied from the Internet, and any other act deemed dishonest are reported to and recorded in the office of Academic Affairs and disciplinary action for multiple offenses will follow, as per Section Five of the Student Code of Conduct.


Cheating during examinations refers to use of resources, information or materials not specifically approved by the professor. Examples of cheating include but are not limited to:

  • Use of unauthorized materials during an exam
  • Giving aid to or receiving aid from another student during an exam
  • Taking an exam for another student
  • Stealing, buying, selling or transmitting a copy of any examination or papers
  • Stealing, distributing, or having any unauthorized access to a copy of an exam or revising one’s answer on a graded exam for the purpose of claiming a grading error
  • Use of unauthorized materials in preparation of an assignment representation of the work and ideas of others as one’s own (see definition of plagiarism below)


Plagiarism is the presentation of the works, words, or ideas of others as one’s own, or the use of others’ works, words, and ideas without giving proper acknowledgment through appropriate others to present one’s work as their own. Individual faculty members may restrict, extend, or modify the university’s general definition of plagiarism to accommodate specific course learning out­comes. All students should carefully review course syllabi and talk with their instructors to ensure understanding of each instructor’s plagiarism policy. Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Omitting quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any printed source
  • Paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source without properly referencing the source
  • Replicating another student’s work or parts thereof and submitting it as an original
  • Purchasing a paper and (mass) representing it as your own work
  • Resubmitting a work that was prepared by the student for another class
  • Use of falsified data and/or references



Students guilty of academic cheating and/or plagiarism are in violation of the NSU Code of Student Conduct and can be reprimanded with a variety of disciplinary sanctions. One of these sanctions is a zero on the project and a failing grade. The faculty member is required to file a charge complaint statement with the Dean (who will then forward it to Office of Academic Affairs). The Office of Academic Affairs will maintain these records, and any student confronted and/or disciplined for multiple offenses of academic dishonesty will be brought before the Academic Affairs Integrity Committee (AAIC) for further review and/or sanctions. Repeat offenses will be treated severely with possible expulsion from the University.


Off-Campus Examinations

Some online/hybrid instructors will require testing to be performed on campus or at a testing center. The Office of Distance Learning provides several documents to online faculty members regarding the proctoring of exams. The Nicholls State University Distance Learning Test Administration Proctor Approval Form is the agreement the remote student completes that details the selection of the testing site and proctor in order to get approval from the course instructor. The Nicholls State University Distance Learning Test Administration Procedure Form is filled out prior to any off-campus proctored exam and is the contract between the course instructor and the remote test administrator. These two documents ensure that off-campus tests are proctored securely and effectively and that the identity of the student taking the exams is verified by a qualified test administrator. These documents can be found at


Copyright Infringements

All students should recognize that information obtained through electronic methods may be protected by copyright laws of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (H.R. 2281), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  As such, any student in violation may be prosecuted under the terms of the law.  It is the student’s responsibility to understand the laws pertaining to copyright infringement.  A guide of how the law affects a student will be made available in the Library and in the Office of Academic Affairs.


Account Privacy

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her account password is kept confidential. If abuse or threatening messages occur due to allowing other students to access the account, the student who owns the account will be held accountable. Furthermore, any damage to or infringement of copyrighted material or confidential data resulting from negligence may additionally subject the student to disciplinary action commensurate with the loss including dismissal or legal prosecution in accordance with University policies and local, state and federal laws. Students are encouraged to change their passwords frequently.


Nicholls State University has established policies concerning the confidentiality of student records based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) Public Law 93-390. The educational record of each student is considered confidential. These rights can be found at