The PEL Online Directed Studies site 
provides information about online directed-study courses, independent study courses, internship courses, comprehensive examination courses, 
and senior project/thesis courses in the Program for Experienced Learners at Eckerd College. 
Visit the pages listed on the left rail for more information about each of these areas:

Online directed-study courses can be completed in eight-week and sixteen-week terms. Faculty design the course by selecting readings or films, creating assignments, and choosing the method of evaluation. The courses are equivalent to an in-class course (3.5 credits, regardless of whether the course is eight weeks or sixteen weeks) and students should be prepared to spend as much time as they would in a face-to-face, on-ground course. Most course materials are delivered via Moodle (see link on left rail), the College's digital learning management system. 

Some senior-level courses are offered in online directed-study format, depending on the major. Some senior courses are offered as directed-study tutorials and will require some meeting time, generally on the weekend.

Independent-study courses allow students to explore special topics of interest to them. Students propose texts, assignments, and method of evaluation, and the PEL office locates a faculty member willing to oversee the student's progress. The courses can be completed in eight-week or sixteen-week terms. Contact PEL's Associate Dean of Faculty, Dr. Margret Skaftadottir (, for further information. 

Internship courses that are part of a degree program are processed through the Online Directed Studies office after a student has consulted his/her faculty mentor and academic advisor. 

Most Comphrehensive Examination courses and Senior Project/Thesis courses also are processed through the Online Directed Studies office after a student has consulted his/her faculty mentor and academic advisor.  

Individual study courses are used when a student needs an approved course that is not available as a regularly-scheduled directed study or face-to-face course.  The instructor uses the same syllabus as for a face-to-face course, with some augmentation, and material is delivered in the same way as for an online directed study or for an independent study course. The PEL office arranges such courses only on a case-by-case basis. 

Succeeding in online directed-study and similar courses

Many PEL students have successfully completed online directed-study and similar courses. However, directed-study courses and independent-study courses require that students work without the regular interaction and structure of a face-to-face, on-ground class. Budget your time accordingly, and submit assignments on a regular basis. If you have any questions or issues, be sure to contact the instructor for advice.

Failure to submit assignments in a timely manner can adversely affect financial aid and may jeopardize your ability to complete the course. For this reason, we do not recommend that students begin online directed-study or independent-study PEL courses until they have completed a few in-class PEL courses. Consult with your academic advisor if you have questions about directed-study or independent-study courses as an option.

If you have questions about the logistics of the courses listed above or if you need help using Moodle, contact Margret Skaftadottir, Associate Dean for PEL, at (727)-864-8366 or

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