How Online Courses Work

Watch the course trailer

Start each course with a preview of what you can expect to learn and a dose of inspiration. Course “trailer” videos range from interviews with experts to entertaining sketches and animations.

Course Cover page

Gauge your existing knowledge

Take a brief initial assessment to find out how much you already know. This assessment helps you plan in consultation with your instructor your study plan for the course.

Initial assessment to test your knowledge

View course materials

Courses feature a variety of learning materials such as ebooks, videos and up-to-date resources curated from around the web by the course instructor.

Different types of learning material

Get ready for your final exam

Courses are filled with practice and self-assessment tools such as flashcards, quizzes and self-graded exercises. Completion of three unit exercise opens your access to a pre-final. You can think of the pre-final as a practice exam. Its purpose is to acclimate you to the online test-taking environment, and to set you up for success on the final exam.

Course readiness meter

Assess your readiness

How do you know when you’re ready to take the final exam? Your pre-final performance, along with the self-assessment tools and unit exercises, is one indicator, and it flags course units to review. Your instructor is also ready to help to provide feedback on your readiness for the final exam.

Passing the final exam


You schedule the time to take the final exam.

Passing the final exam

When you’re ready to take your final exam, you can schedule it for a time that’s convenient for you. Patten University uses an online proctoring service that enables you to take your exam at home. Take the final exam with the confidence that you can pass the course and be one step closer to your degree. Once completed, you will be registered for the next course in your term. You can also take a peek at the courses coming up and refer to all your work from past courses.

Take the final