Online Learning

With Sandburg Online, learning is exciting, accessible and convenient. If you have a busy schedule, you 'attend' class at times that best fit your schedule.

High quality, instructor-led courses are delivered through any personal computer via an online course management system. Sandburg Online offers you the convenience of classroom flexibility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since online courses have maximum seat capacities of 20 to 30 students — and often less — you can count on being able to receive personal attention, just as you would in a traditional lecture class. While the courses begin and end within the specific semester dates, you can work at your own pace within the assignment deadlines.

Carl Sandburg College online classes

Currently, Sandburg offers a completely online option for a few of our degrees and certificates.

Associate in Arts
Sandburg offers the majority of the courses in this degree online. For courses Sandburg doesn't offer online, students can complete their degree by taking online courses through Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO). Students may speak with their academic advisors about this option.

CISCO network security

Computer technician

Search for online classes being offered at Sandburg. Use Online for the location to receive a listing of only online courses. 

What personal skills do I need to succeed in an online course?

  • You must enjoy working independently and be self-motivated. Self-discipline and motivation to succeed are a large part of the online learning success equation. Students who procrastinate have trouble succeeding in online learning.
  • Strong time management and organizational skills are fundamental.
  • Writing is the primary mode of communication. Comfort with written expression is important.
  • You are expected to be able to read, interpret material, and complete coursework with minimal supervision and direction.
  • You must be comfortable with asking questions or expressing difficulties. If not, instructors will assume you are progressing without difficulty.
  • Online instructors do not teach technology skills. Students MUST have moderate computer experience, including and not limited to the ability to:
    • Submit and retrieve assignments and other course materials.
    • Send and receive an email with or without attachments.
    • Download files.
    • Work in a Windows environment.
    • Create rich text formatting (RTF) and PDF (portable document format) documents.
    • Effectively navigate the internet/web.


How are online courses taught?

All Sandburg online courses are taught through a course-management system. Prior to the course start date, all students must complete the learning-management system orientation, located in the student mySANDBURG portal. Lack of familiarity with the online system will impede learning.
Once logged into the learning management system, you have access to the course syllabus, which outlines the course expectations. In addition to textbook readings, instructors may also use a wide variety of technology tools to supplement learning, such as video recordings of class lectures, informational video clips, web links, social networking programs, etc.

In regards to technology, what do I need to succeed in an online course?

Students need regular and consistent access to a computer and the internet.

What if I need help with the course content?

  • Students taking online courses can request assistance from their instructor or request tutoring services through the Tutoring Center. For more information about tutoring or to schedule an appointment, contact the coordinator of academic support services, Stefani Gillen, at 309.341.5262.
  • Students can access Brainfuse, a 24/7 online tutoring service, available free of charge to all Sandburg students. Brainfuse is accessible through a link in mySandburg.

When does my class meet?

Online classes begin on the first day of each semester. You must log in to your online class and complete an attendance assignment by the deadline, which usually falls within the first three days of class.

If you fail to complete the attendance assignment by the deadline, you may be withdrawn from the course. Online courses are generally conducted asynchronously, which means students and instructors take turns discussing class material in a back-and-forth manner.

Most instructors require frequent participation online. You can log into the system whenever it is convenient for you, any time — day or night — to complete assignments and retrieve and/or send course information.


Will I be able to communicate sufficiently with the instructor or other students?

Many people mistakenly assume they will feel isolated in an online course. To their surprise, most students find online courses provide a high degree of personal contact. You will not only be in contact with your instructor but everyone in the class will be involved in many group and individual discussions. The online format facilitates and enhances communication in ways that would be impossible in other situations. If need be, you can schedule a face-to-face or phone appointment with your instructor.


How do I take my exams for the course?

Some courses are completely online, while some courses require exams to be proctored at pre-approved test-proctoring sites. Proctored exams may be scheduled by contacting the designated test proctor at your local campus:

  • Galesburg campus: Kirk Watson | 309.341.5323
  • Carthage campus: Deb Wilson | 217.357.3129
  • Out-of-district students should contact your local community college testing center to make test-proctoring arrangements.

What happens if the internet is down, or if I have computer problems?

Technology is great when it's running smoothly, but you should plan and prepare for technology glitches. If your computer is not working, try:

  • Logging off and on again.
  • Rebooting your computer.
  • Accessing the class by using any computer that is online, including the computers at Sandburg and the public library.
If you do not have computer or internet access at a critical time, call your instructor to let them know your situation. Never wait until the last minute to complete assignments to avoid missing critical deadlines.

Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO)

Sandburg also belongs to the Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO) consortium, which allows students to enroll in online courses at other Illinois community colleges while maintaining their Sandburg enrollment status. Students will participate in another college's online course but will receive billing, financial aid and transcripts from Sandburg. To enroll in an ILCCO course, students need to contact their counselor as early as possible prior to the beginning of a semester as the enrollment process takes time and is not guaranteed.

Franklin University

Through a unique educational alliance with Carl Sandburg College, you have the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree online from Franklin University. Sandburg and Franklin work together to provide all the resources you need to reach your educational goals.

Hardware and software requirements

You must have an active broadband (high-speed) account with an internet service provider (ISP) before starting the program. 

Most personal computers and operating systems are supported, including mobile devices. Standard browsers are supported (e.g., Edge, Firefox, Safari, Chrome); however, Edge is not supported for Moodle courses.

Suggested: Check with course instructors for specific software requirements, particularly for AOP and ICT courses. For most courses, the current Microsoft Office products (PC and Mac) will be needed. If you use other Office-type programs, please note that some professors may require you to convert your files to an Office-compatible format, rich text format (.rtf) or PDF for online submission.

Technical assistance

Technical staff is available to assist current students who are experiencing technical problems with the Sandburg website, student portal or online courses between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday during the spring and fall semesters, and between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. when summer school is in session.

You can submit a Tech Help Desk ticket, which results in a personal call and/or email from the Tech Help Desk staff about your issue.

To submit a Tech Help Desk ticket:

  • Go to
  • If submitting a ticket, click on My Sandburg Issues. Click on Next.
  • Fill out all the fields. Include your personal email address. Include a phone number. Describe your question or concern, including any error codes you receive. Click Submit.
  • You can call the Help Desk at 309.341.5446, if you have difficulty submitting a ticket.
Students can check out laptops and Chromebooks from the library for the entire semester. To reserve a laptop or Chromebook follow the link to the library lending program page.

Pre-semester preparations

Sign up, and attend New Student Orientation.

Access the mySandburg student portal, Sandburg email and online course links

  • Click on the mySandburg link in the upper right corner.
  • Login to mySandburg portal on the portal login page.
  • Once logged in, on the left side of the portal under the My Classes heading, click Moodle Home Page, where links to your online courses and Moodle, the course-management system, are located.
  • Complete the Moodle system orientation by clicking on the links.
  • Regularly check your Sandburg email, located left-top of the mySandburg portal.

If you experience problems, submit a Help Desk ticket.

To create a Help Desk ticket, email, or call 309.341.5446.

Basic skills for online courses

  • Online instructors do not teach technology.
  • Technology skills are a prerequisite for online learning.
  • You must know how to send emails and attachments, search the internet, insert delivery and read receipts when sending emails through Microsoft Outlook, format Microsoft Word documents, and send PDF and RTF files.

Planning and organizing

  • Online courses are available for access at midnight, the night before the semester officially begins.
  • Sign in and start your coursework on the first day of class, just as if you were attending a lecture course.
  • Read the course syllabus in its entirety. Note assignment, quiz, and test location and times. Some exams may need to be proctored.
  • Create a calendar of important deadlines.
  • Print a copy of the course syllabus and note the instructor’s phone number and email for future reference.
  • Schedule your time; keeping up with assignments is critical. Procrastination and falling behind on assignments are some of the biggest reasons for failure in an online learning environment.
  • In an online course, plan for three to four hours of study time per credit hour, per week. For a 3-credit-hour online course, plan for nine to 12 hours a week for reading and assignments. Some weeks may require more time depending on the course expectations and tests required during any given week. Plan accordingly.
  • If you are having difficulty, ask for help immediately. Communication is vital to success.

Technology and assignments

  • Plan for glitches in technology; you never know when tech problems will occur.
  • Avoid missing deadlines by not waiting until the last minute to hand in assignments. Sandburg, as well as public libraries, have computers available for student use.
  • If you have computer problems, contact your instructor immediately.
  • Student assignments have been known to get 'lost in cyberspace,' either as a result of student or instructor technology issues. As a precaution, when you get a confirmation message that your work has been submitted, save this message for your records.
  • If using the Sandburg email system through mySandburg to send e-mails and assignments, insert delivery and read receipts, and save the receipts for your records. This will leave no question as to whether assignments were sent or received.