In terms of Ashford's online program, grading is based on two discussion forums, at least two responses to other classmates' posts, quizzes, and an 8- to 10-page research paper due at the end of the five-week course. A typical course begins on Tuesday and ends on Monday for the week. A typical class is five weeks long, with the first day of class consisting of an introductory post to describe yourself and educational goals to your instructor and classmates, with at least three responses to your classmates' posts. On the third day (Thursday), the two discussion posts are due; day six (Sunday) is the assessment quiz, and day seven (Monday) consists of your responses to your classmates posts and any research prep (usually due the second or third week) or papers (at the end of the five weeks).
The classroom environment is a little different because of it being an online program. The general class size is about eighteen students, with very lively online discussions and reviews brought up between the students and instructor. Even though students don't necessarily talk to the teachers in person, the instructor is generally very accessible, providing knowledge, communication with students, and genuine interest in the subject he or she is teaching. When it comes to real world practicability, taking classes online is especially helpful to those with full-time jobs, families, or other commitments. An online Ashford education is valuable, with its ability to accommodate the real world, as well as its deftness in helping students attain skills that they can apply to life outside of the online classroom.