Frequently Asked Questions
What is a self-paced course like?
In self-paced courses, students work through the lessons independently without regular supervision. You receive feedback from your instructor as you progress through the assignments, and you may ask questions or request additional feedback via Canvas email at any time. The format of each course is different. Some courses have recorded video lectures, some have interactive exercises to be completed online and others require major papers or projects. As you complete each unit or learning module, the next becomes available.
Self-paced courses work well for students who are self-motivated and have the discipline to set their own deadlines, monitor their progress and ask when they need assistance. Independent learning is a great option for many students, but it is not for everyone. We encourage you to call our office or speak with an advisor about your questions and concerns.
I've submitted my registration. How do I get started?
Once our office staff have reviewed and processed your registration request, you will receive an email containing instructions about how to access your course.
How do I contact my instructor?
You can contact your instructor through the Canvas Inbox. If this process is not clear to you, contact University Extension.
How do I get technical help with my course?
For help with technical problems, such as Canvas or course media issues, email UEX Tech Support.
Who do I contact about disability accommodations?
Please contact the Disability and Access (D&A) office for more information.
Completing Your Course
How long do I have to complete a self-paced course?
Five months from the date you enroll. Your completion deadline is provided on your enrollment confirmation receipt.
What kind of grading turnaround time can I expect?
Computer-graded assignments are scored immediately. You can expect to receive feedback on instructor-graded assignments within three business days following submission. This does not include weekends or holidays. Planning for the university's Winter Break is highly recommended and taking exams is not encouraged during this time since instructors may not be grading and staff are not available to address any issues.
During certain times (end of semester, etc.), instructors may experience higher than usual demands on their time and may need additional time for evaluation. Students should reach out to University Extension at email@example.com with any concerns regarding grading turnaround.
How quickly can I complete a self-paced course?
Pretty quickly – especially if you are motivated and consistent in completing your assignments and taking your exams. These are full semester courses, however, and you should expect to spend several weeks or months to work through the material. You also must allow adequate time for your instructor to grade your work.
University Extension strongly advises students to be aware of when they may need a course grade to be recorded on their transcript. It can take up to two weeks after the final exam is complete for a grade to be officially recorded with the Office of the Registrar.
I’m highly motivated to complete this course as quickly as possible. Can I finish it in less than a month?
No. While self-paced courses allow substantial freedom in terms of when you complete the lessons and submit assignments, periodic midpoint assessments are critical to ensuring that students receive adequate support and are able to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Thus, these courses are designed such that the learning modules must be completed in order, and students will not be able to move forward until they have received a grade and feedback on all assessments within a given module. Modules cannot be opened as exceptions for students to work ahead.
What do I do if I need to drop a course?
Please see Drops, Transfers and Refunds for more information.
How do I request a course extension?
A one-time only four-month course extension, without any restrictions, is available for $200. Students who have completed most of the course may qualify for a restricted one-month course extension for $75; restrictions are course-specific and are listed within the course.
To remain active in your course, you must request the extension before the expiration of your original five-month enrollment period. You will not have the option to extend your enrollment or get back into the course once it has expired.
Purchase course extensions using this link.
How long does it take my course grade to be posted to a transcript?
It can take up to two weeks after taking your final exam for the course grade to be officially recorded with the Office of the Registrar. Students needing a grade on their transcript by a specific date should keep this administrative time in mind when making their plans. Once our office has received your course grade from your instructor, you will receive a confirmation email with more information.
How do I request an official transcript?
Please see Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information.
What do I need to know about taking my exams?
Students in self-paced courses are required to use Proctorio, an online proctoring system, to take exams. Exams are taken directly in Canvas. Proctorio monitors your exam-taking remotely. A UT Austin proctor will review each recorded exam session for adherence to following exam requirements. Failure to follow these requirements may result in a failing score for the exam and/or course. More information about taking exams can be found at https://extension.utexas.edu/taking-exams.
Any midterm exams are required to be taken at the designated point in the course syllabus.
To be eligible to take your final exam, you must have submitted all assignments and received a grade on your midterm exam. You must take your final exam by your course completion date.
Can I take my final exam after my course completion date?
You must meet the final exam eligibility requirements and take the final exam by your course completion date.
Requests to take your final exam after your course has expired will not be considered.
How do I review my exam?
Instructors will provide exam feedback in Canvas. You will not receive a copy of your completed exam or of the exam questions and answers.
For certain courses, it may be possible to review your completed exam in a proctored setting. To request a proctored exam review, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The review will be monitored using Proctorio under the same conditions under which you took the exam in terms of time allowed and materials permitted. A $35 administrative fee will be assessed for the exam review and you may only review an exam once.
Other Common Questions
Who teaches self-paced courses?
All courses are taught by UT Austin faculty or instructors approved by the associated UT Austin academic department and college.
How do I get my textbooks?
Please see Course Logistics for more information about ordering required course materials.
Many self-paced courses cannot be started without the required textbook and you have a limited time to complete your course after you register. Therefore, we recommend that you get the textbooks before you register for a course.
Can I take a self-paced course pass/fail?
Yes, but it isn't always wise to do so.
When you enroll in a course, you are allowed to choose whether to take the course for a letter grade or pass/fail. Most courses required for a degree must be taken for a letter grade, so before you choose the pass/fail option, check with your academic advisor if you are concerned about earning credit.
You may change your grading option one time during your enrollment in a self-paced online course by submitting a request in writing.