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Digital Learning

Digital Learning

Taking classes online provides students with a more flexible schedule, reduces the time spent commuting and brings the college’s self-guided environment right to your fingertips. Online courses are a good choice for self-directed students who need classes on a flexible schedule.

What is Digital Learning?

An online course is taught using the internet. There are no on-campus instructions and no on-campus classroom time, but classes may use online or proctored testing if required by the instructor. Students access course material online and follow instructions provided by an instructor. Courses may be structured so students can work independently or may involve interaction with other students. Online courses have set schedules and due dates in the Learning Management System (LMS).

Students may access the internet through their personal computers or on computers at the college library branches at Union Avenue,  Macon Cove,  Maxine A. Smith CenterMillington CenterWhitehaven Center and the Somerville site at UT-Martin. The college is not responsible for obtaining or maintaining students' equipment or software for accessing the internet.

Southwest offers different types of online courses: Online (L), TN eCampus (R), hybrid (H), and web-assisted (WA) courses. Online Degrees and Certificates are offered through Southwest (PAWS) and the TN eCampus Degree Program.

Online Programs Defined

  • PAWS – Southwest online courses Learning Management System (LMS)
  • TN eCampus– online courses taught by the collaborative partnership among all Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions
  • Hybrid – courses half on-ground and half online (PAWS)
  • Web-Assisted – on-ground courses that use the LMS PAWS


Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution.

Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html).

For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.

For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.



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