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Key Terms for ODUOnline Students

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When you start your online degree program with ODU, one of the first things you'll have to learn are the terms and acronyms that refer to the ODU experience, your classes, and more.

It can seem overwhelming at first, but don't worry. The coaches and advisors who help you along the way will be happy to clarify any questions you have, and in the mean time, the following list should help you get started.
 

Academic Calendar
An academic calendar outlines key university-wide dates during an academic term period including semester start and end dates, exam periods, add/drop deadlines, tuition due dates, and more.
 

Asynchronous
Typically known as a "self-paced" class, asynchronous classes have no regularly scheduled meeting times. The course still occurs within a specific semester, so there is a specific start date and end date. Course material and assignments may have specific completion deadlines during the semester, but students should generally be able to work through the course following their own schedules.
 

Blackboard
A web-based course management tool that is used by a majority of ODU faculty to administer course content. In order to access courses in Blackboard, students must:

  • have a MIDAS account ID and password,
  • verify that the Blackboard service in MIDAS is active,
  • have an active student email account, and
  • be registered in a course for at least 24 hours.
     

Certificate
A non-degree academic credential awarded for completing a collection of specialized courses and training programs designed to enhance knowledge in a particular area. Certificate credits can sometimes be applied toward a degree program in the same subject area.
 

Course Catalog
A comprehensive list of degree programs and courses offered by a college or university. It includes graduation requirements and the courses offered in each academic program. Students often work with their advisors to select classes using a course catalog.
 

Degree
A qualification awarded to a university student upon successful completion and mastery of a subject in higher education, or college.
 

LEO Online
LEO Online is ODU's student/employee information system. It contains your official record, including personal information, grades, transcripts, financial aid disbursements, and more.
 

FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a form completed by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.
 

Message Board
When it comes to online college classes, a message board is a tool where students post comments about an issue, reading, or lecture within a program like Blackboard. Message board posts are common participation assignments for both synchronous and asynchronous courses to encourage discussion among classmates.
 

MIDAS
MIDAS (Monarch Identification and Authorization System) is ODU's log-in and password management system. Use your MIDAS ID and password to log in to most University applications and services, such as student email, Blackboard, myODU, LEO Online, Microsoft Office 365, and many other important resources.
 

Module
A learning module is a collection of material, often a combination of presentations, videos, documents, and quizzes, that connect a concept or theme. Many online classes are organized into modules, which can be compared to class sessions, for students to navigate through. Sometimes, students are expected to complete modules by a certain date to stay on track.
 

myODU
MyODU is a web-based, personal gateway for official ODU information, with direct access to many university services. The myODU portal pulls together the ODU online resources you need most, providing easy and centralized access to:

  • Student email
  • Blackboard
  • LEO Online (class registration, schedule, and more)
  • University publications, event listings & announcements
  • Academic resources like the library catalog
  • Financial aid
  • And more!

You can customize the layout for the things you access most, and it's mobile-friendly. Log into the myODU portal with your MIDAS ID and password.
 

Portable Media
Refers to distance learning educational tools that are not necessarily accessed through an internet connection, such as DVD. ODUOnline offers a limited number of degree programs by portable media for Navy personnel on deployment.
 

Proctor
proctor is a person who monitors students while they complete an exam. In both online and face-to-face exams, a proctor verifies that you are the student scheduled to take the exam and will make sure that the professor's instructions are followed during the exam.
 

Support Services
Refers to programs, assistance, and technology available to aid online students through their academic journey. Examples of support services available to ODU students include: academic support like tutoring, academic services like library loans, technical support, career services, free software, and more.
 

Syllabus
An outline or plan of a particular course provided by an instructor at the beginning of the semester. A syllabus usually includes important due dates, exam dates, discussion topics, the instructor's contact information, and an explanation of how grades are calculated.
 

Synchronous
An online class occurring in real time, as opposed to self-paced modules. Synchronous online classes typically have set meeting times to log in for real time lectures or discussion.
 

Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to online accounts by requiring you to verify that you are who you say you are. After logging in to an ODU system with your MIDAS ID and password, you'll be prompted to confirm your identity a second time using a physical device in your possession (like a smartphone or token) that's been attached to your account.
 

UIN
Your UIN (University Identification Number) is a unique 8-digit number that you'll use to identify your student record. Save it and be sure to use it in all university-related correspondence. You can find it in LEO Online in the personal information section. 


There's a lot more to being an ODUOnline student! Visit online.odu.edu or fill out the form below to find out more about our 120+ online programs. 

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