In this Section

Online Procedures

RCS PhD Online Procedures

This section includes the Course Policies and Procedures that explain how different aspects of online courses are handled. 

Examination Procedure

Examinations and quizzes will be taken using Exam Soft software that will be provided to you.  Due to the differing time zones, specific time slots will be allocated for each online assessment based on Eastern Standard Time (EST). Each instructor may vary the exam format, e.g., multiple choice questions, short answer, or essay.  Your exams may be timed with a limit of 1-3 hours or take home with a limit of 2-4 days.  You will be notified in advance of the examination dates and format. Please refer to individual course sites for detailed information.

During examinations or quizzes, unless otherwise indicated, you are never allowed to use any lecture materials, online resources, reading materials, the instructor’s notes, or your own personal notes. You are also not allowed to ask anyone for help during an exam unless it is of a technical nature.  Please contact Examsoft technical support at (866) 429-8889 or between 8:30 am until 8:30 pm EST if you have difficulty with your computer, download or upload problems. For clarification of the format or procedural questions of any kind please contact the distance learning office at or (757) 446-5051 during normal business hours.  If you have technical issues during an exam, like your computer shuts down unexpectedly on the weekend or after hours please contact the person on call listed in the exam as it launches.    

Take home exams are given occasionally; you will be given detailed instruction at the time the exam is released about what resources you should use during the take home exam.  Please be aware that you may not ask anyone for help in answering the questions unless it is of a technical nature. In this type of exam you will be asked for a detailed bibliography and the document will be checked for plagiarism electronically. 

Assignment Procedure

The deadlines for submitting assignments will be posted on the website for each course.  The assignments folder must be used for submission of all projects, reports, and papers—never email your assignments.  Always submit your assignments in the format requested by the instructor, most typically MS Word; others will be specified. Also, always include your last name in the file name and put your name on each and every page.


Grades for assignments and exams will be posted in the Blackboard course site within two weeks after the assessment or deadline.  Also, within a two-week period after the end of a course and after the course survey or evaluation has been completed by all students, the course grades will be posted.  If you have not received a grade for an assignment, exam or course within a two week period, please contact the course director to report the problem and to enquire, if you do not get a response contact the Associate Director of the program    

Course Surveys and Evaluations

We require all students to fill out an evaluation or survey for each and every course.  These are anonymous questions that evaluate the course and instructors. They will be posted with every final exam using New Innovations and an email notification will be sent.  New Innovations can be accessed through the link on the email or through the MyEVMS portal.  Please take a few minutes to complete the forms.  As soon as the Course Evaluation Surveys are complete, your grades will be released.

Instructor Response Time

Instructors normally check messages once per day and respond within 24 hours. Feedback on assignments is usually provided within two weeks of receipt.  If there are any concerns about missed emails or no response, please contact the program’s Associate Director:

Class Demeanor

Students are expected to interact in a professional demeanor with classmates, faculty, and staff, be prompt in attending Internet meetings, be patient in online interactions, and follow through on their individual contributions to group assignments. Inappropriate language, dissension, or disruption will be removed from any web posting and disciplinary action may be taken.


The private email within Blackboard and via Outlook Web Mail Access allows you to communicate one-on-one with another person enrolled in the class or the instructor. No one except the person sending and the person receiving can see the email contents. Information that you need to convey to the instructor or requests for an appointment are best sent via email.

Discussion Board

The Discussion Board is a medium where all the students and faculty who have access to the class can communicate with each other. Discussion Boards will be read by everyone else in the class. You will be responding to questions posted by the instructor. This is also an appropriate place to ask for clarification of the reading materials or ask why a treatment was prescribed in the clinical area. If you have a question related to something you read, chances are someone else in the class does also.  If you have posted something and you are not getting a reply, most likely no one is aware that you have posted a question; please report this to the Course Director and appropriate action will be taken to notify others.  Also please be aware of net etiquette when making a post, be respectful of each other and your faculty, not use texting short hand and please behave in a professional manner.


If you cannot log into blackboard, or access your email, contact the Academic Computer Center (ACC), (757)-446-5871,  If you are having difficulty saving or submitting the exam, call the CRS Help Desk (757) 446-5051, during normal business hours or Exam Soft support from 8:30 am until 8:30 pm EST: (866) 429-8889 or  After hours contact the on call contact numbers in the order indicated at the beginning of the exam in the instruction window.