Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between ASL and Signed Exact English?

This is often asked by new signers. ASL is a language that has a unique grammar and vocabulary that is different from English or any other spoken language. Signing Exact English is a sign communication system that uses signs and fingerspelling to code English. When you sign in Signing Exact English you are signing in English word order. Most of the signs used in Signing Exact English are the same as the signs used in ASL. When you sign in ASL you are using a grammar that is different from English. For example,

English:The sunset was beautiful yesterday.
(you have a sign for each of the above words)
(The English sentence is translated to ASL then signed.)

There are other differences between ASL and Signing Exact English. The big question for people is, "Which should they learn first, ASL or Signing Exact English?" ASL is far more widely used than Signing Exact English. ASL is used in schools and in the Deaf community. Signing Exact English is used only in some schools and a few homes (usually hearing parents of deaf children who are enrolled in a program that uses Signing Exact English). There are people who know Signing Exact English but cannot understand ASL. However, anyone who learns to sign ASL can easily learn Signing Exact English if they already know the English language. Therefore, it is highly recommended that people who want to learn Signing Exact English first learn to sign ASL, so they develop fluency in the use of signing. They can then use this skill to help learn Signing Exact English. The Signing Online ASL courses will help you understand ASL and allow you to sign with a wide range of people in a far wider spectrum or educational and social settings. If you already know English then the transition to Signing Exact English can be made.

What is the CASE and how does it differ from ASL?

CASE stands for Conceptually Accurate Signed English. As stated above, with Signed English ASL signs are used in English word order. The "Conceptually Accurate" phrase refers to the use of signs that are conceptually in line with the meaning of the word. For example in the sentence "I can't afford to go to the movie because I don't have any bread." The ASL sign for BREAD is not used, instead the ASL sign MONEY will be used since it reflects the meaning of the English word.

Do other countries have their own sign language, just as with spoken languages?

Yes. American Sign Language is used primarily in the United States and parts of Canada. There is a British Sign Language (BSL), French Sign Language, Korean Sign Language, and so forth. So how do Deaf people from different countries communicate with one another? Because all sign languages are visual-gestural, Deaf people are quite proficient at creating images in the air. When they meet someone who doesn't know their sign language but does know how to sign, they rely on this skill to create images about what they are trying to say. But it is not all pantomime. As the two Deaf people communicate, they will teach each other signs that will then be used in their communication.


I am looking to interpret and or teach sign language. Will these courses prepare me to do so? How do I get started?

The field of interpreting is an expanding and very broad field. Interpreting requires that you interact with people in order to learn how to effectively interpret ASL to English and English to ASL. After taking our courses you will have the foundational ASL skills that will enable you to consider if you might enjoy using ASL and English in a career as an interpreter. If you enjoy what you have learned in all four courses and feel that you have the interest in learning more ASL then you may decide to pursue options that will help you develop interpreting skills. Once you have decided to become an interpreter then you are highly advised to enroll in a sign language "interpreter training program" which will help prepare you for certification as an interpreter. I would suggest checking into your local Community College or the closest University to see what kind of programs are offered. Most programs can be completed in 2-3 years. Certification is then gained by taking a national test that is administered by the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf.

I would like to work with children in this area but I do not know how to get started!

If you think you want to work with children, Educational interpreting would be something to check into. Check with your local school district or intermediate school district to see how many interpreters they presently employ and what you need to do to get in and observe their program. This will give you a better idea of whether or not this is really something you want to pursue.

Should I take the Learning ASL courses sequentially?

Yes. Vocabulary, grammar, and topics build from lesson-to-lesson, course-to-course. You can stop along the way once you get as much knowledge as you want

Do the courses come with a textbook or any other materials?

Everything you need to learn and complete the four online courses is available online. If you desire a textbook to supplement your online learning, we recommend E-Z American Sign Language published by Barrons Educational Series.

Download the Free Suggested Curriculum Guide

Guided Reading Plan Answer Keys are available to the administrator of Organizations upon written request.

Is Signing Online accredited?

Signing Online is not a school and is not required to be accredited.  Signing Online is a provider of online classes to teach students American Sign Language (ASL).

Each level of the program constitutes 15 hours of online instruction.  All four are about 60 hours.  The time you spend away from your computer practicing must be decided by yourself.  Our program will record your quiz scores, final exam grade, and log the time online.

Hundreds of accredited high schools, college and universities in the United States and Canada award academic credits to students who successfully complete Signing Online classes because these accredited institutions have reviewed and approved Signing Online classes.

Before you register for these classes, be sure to obtain written permission to take them and establish the amount of credit you will receive.

Questions concerning academic credits and accreditation should be directed to your high school or college  

Can I earn college credit?

Signing Online doesn't guarantee the courses will count for credit, but high schools, universities and colleges have been using Signing Online as curriculum for course credit. Please check with your academic institution for permission to use Signing Online for the type and amount of credit you require.

Can I earn high school credit?

Any High School or College may grant permission to use our curriculum for credit. Many high schools, across the United States and Canada are now accepting our online ASL courses for credit. We offer a free-to-follow, 60-lesson curriculum guide and a Guided Reading manual to help teachers or administrators enhance learning opportunities and fulfill requirements of a foreign or world language.

Excellent blended learning option- online courses with class/group activity.

For individuals: The four ASL levels make a sufficiently challenging full year program (approximately 60 hours). Schools may choose our individualized program for a one-year foreign language credit, or a one-year online directed study credit (online). For either option, students have access to each level for 6 months, or 2 years if all four levels are enrolled at one time.

For groups: Schools, home schools, or other organizations that enroll 10 or more students into the program will have an "Organizational" page created to allow a course administrator of their choosing to access those student's 'time on line' and quiz and exam grades. The course administrator may reset the final exam if they wish any individual students to re-take exams to achieve a certain competency level before moving on to the next level.

Will I get a certificate upon completion?

Yes. Upon successful completion of all 10 lessons in a Signing Online ASL course and a final exam, you will be presented with an official Signing Online Certificate of Completion. You can print this certificate for your records. Completion of the course is based on successfully completing all ten quizzes and passing the final exam (>60%). Please note that you are able to repeat the exam until you have reached this rate. Request to reset a final exam must be made by email to and include the student's user name (email address), level to be reset, and name of authorized instructor. No phone or text messages please. 

Course Pricing

How much does it cost?

The regular course enrollment price is $75.00 for 6 months access to each course.  SCECH OR CNE courses cost $95.00 each (choose from drop-down menu at registration).

Please contact Elizabeth Stewart for information on License Agreements.

Are all prices in US currency?

Yes. All prices on the web site are listed in US currency. If you pay with credit card or PayPal, you will be charged in US currency. If you are international, PayPal or your credit card company will automatically make the exchange at the current rate. If you pay with a check, you must remit a registered check in US currency for the amount indicated, drawn from a US or Canadian bank. Do not send a check drawn from another bank for an amount in US $. We will not be able to cash it.

Do you accept purchase orders?


Send a complete purchase order to:

   Signing Online, LLC
   P.O. Box 86
   Mason, MI 48854


Be sure to include a contact name and email address with the students name (for certificate of completion), email address, and course levels required.

Upon request all student information will be discarded after 2 years.

Block Enrollments

Do you offer block enrollments?

Yes. Schools, businesses, government, and non-government organizations can purchase blocks of course enrollments.

Please contact Elizabeth Stewart at:    


Signing Online, LLC
P.O. Box 86
Mason, MI 48854
517-980-5662- Please note that voice mail is checked only occasionally by hearing staff. Text messages and email should always include students USER NAME for verification.purposes.

Our block rates apply to prepaid packages only. (One course seat=one course level.  There are 4 course levels available in our program). Negotiated time for the contract.

-For 200 course seats....$13,000.00   ($65/course) 

-For 500 course seats…. $30,000.00  ($60/course)

Perpetual License purchases are available - please contact

Add-ons will be charged at the regular rate.

How does an organization sign up individual students within their block?

The standard method is that Signing Online provides the organization with a promotion code. The organization can then use that promotion code when enrolling students OR the organization can give the promotion code to the students and they can enroll themselves. Enrollment is done online on the Signing Online web site. 
 Organizations consist of 10 or more registered students and one administrator.

How much access time do students receive in the courses?

Access works similar to multi-course enrollments. If an organization signs up students for a single course, they receive 6 months access to that course. If an organization signs up students for multiple courses at one time, their access time to the set of courses increases. For example, if an organization signs up students to all four courses at one time, the students will receive access to those courses for 24 months. Note, access time begins once the student is enrolled in the course, not when the block order is placed. Therefore an organization can purchase a block of courses and distribute them within two years without penalty.

Does the organization need to purchase seats in each course?

The block enrollments can be divided between any of the courses. For example, if an organization purchases 100 course enrollments, they can apply all 100 for seats in ASL101 or they can use 100 spread across the four courses, which would equate to 25 seats of the four-course sequence. By default, the promotion code given to the organization for their block can be applied to any of the courses. 

How can an organization track their students' progress?

Each organization can assign a course administrator. This administrator has access to an organization report on the Signing Online web site. The report lists all students that have signed up using the organizations promotion code and includes details on how long they have spent on each course and what scores they have received. The administrator can re-set their final exam and authorize re-taking of the final exam. Organizations consist of one administrator and at least 10 or more registered students. 

Have further questions about block enrollments?

If you have further questions or wish to purchase an enrollment block, please contact Elizabeth Stewart at:

Signing Online, LLC
P.O. Box 86
Mason, MI 48854

Can I drop the course and receive a refund?

We do not offer refunds on enrollments. However, we do stand behind our work. We believe we are offering very high-quality content at a very reasonable price and our current students agree (based on feedback from course evaluations.)  You may send a written request (with user name) to change the level of your course if you have spent less than one hour and less than 3 lessons.

Course Duration

How much time does it take to complete the course?

The time it takes to complete the course will vary depending on your previous experience with sign language, ASL, and your own learning style. The site will pace you so you can take at most one lesson per day if you wish. Each lesson should take you about 1-2 hours of online time. Therefore, a complete course would take 10 days, taking on average around 15-20 hours total to complete.

Why are the courses 6 months in duration?

This duration was chosen to give you ample time to progress through the course at your own pace. It is expected that many will be able to complete the course in less amount of time. However, any additional time you have you can use to review the content and use the various course tools, such as the ASL Dictionary. The 6 month duration also gives you a finite time limit to complete the material. This will hopefully give you focus and motivation to move through the material at a reasonable pace. We recommend that you try to set a pace of one lesson every week.

What if I can't finish a course in the duration given?

You can renew the access on any course that you have taken in the past. The cost of renewal is $20.00 for 6 months for each course. There is no multi-course discount for renewals. NOTE: When you renew, you also get access to all the course tools, including the ASL Dictionary. Please email for payment information. 

System Requirements

What type of computer do I need to access the course materials?

The courses were designed for Windows, Apple OS X, Apple iOS for iPhone and iPad, and Android tablets and phones. If you can view our demonstration videos, then you will be able to use that same device to take the courses.

What Web Browser do I need to access the course materials?

The course materials have been tested on Android devices, iOS devices, iPad, iPhone and Apple and Windows browsers: Safari, Internet Explorer 6 and above, Chrome, Firefox.

Signing online uses a javascript based html5 video player, which is the current standard for web video.

Be sure that your network firewall is not blocking the video content.

Do I need any other software installed to access the course materials?

No, the courses are completely web-based and require no additional software to operate.

What type of Internet connection do I need to access the courses?

A high speed broad band connection is highly recommended.

Continuing Education

I am an Educator, can I earn State Board Approved State Continuing Education Clock Hours SCECHs (formerly SB-CEUs)?

Yes, the ASL Learning series of courses are State Board Approved for Continuing Education Clock hours from the Michigan Department of Education. You can earn 15 SCECHs per course. This is an excellent option for educators, social workers, or anyone requiring SCECHs. These SCECHs are issued and approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and sponsored by Michigan State University. To receive SCECHs you must log 15 hours online and fill out a completion form to submit to Signing Online. To take a course with SCECHs , make sure you enroll in the Educator SCECHs version of the course. The Educator SCECHs courses costs $95.00 each.

How are the SCECH courses different from the standard courses?

The courses are identical, however in the SCECH version your time online is tracked. You are required to spend at least 15 hours on the course. You will not be able to take the final exam until you have accumulated 15 hours of online time for that course level. Your Signing Online approved application is sent via Michigan State University to the Michigan Department of Education.

The Signing Online processed forms will be sent to MSU once a month.

You must complete your personal account with MDE (Access the Professional Development Websitte at: (copy and paste this address into your browser address bar) using the SAME email address AND fill in their evaluation in order to have the program be listed on your MDE transcript. 

Who can take the courses for SCECHs?

The SCECHs are primarily for educators (teachers and administrators), social workers, counselors, and other disciplines that require SCECH for certification.

Are the SCECHs approved in all 50 states?

The SCECHs are approved and issued by the Michigan Department of Education. Most, if not all states will accept SCECHs approved by the Michigan Department of Education.  However, you may want to check with your certifying body to be certain.

How long does it take to receive SCECHs once I complete the course?

When you complete a course for SCECHs, you will be provided with a completion form that you will fill out and mail to Signing Online. Forms are processed once a month. Processing takes approximately two weeks. If we do not receive the forms by the beginning of the month, they will not be processed until the following month, so total time may take 4-6 weeks. Please plan accordingly. (We can only process forms once a month based on restrictions set by our continuing education sponsor, Michigan State University.)

Continuing Education Contact Hours for Nurses

I am a nurse, can I earn Continuing Education Contact Hours -CNE (formerly CE's)?

Yes,  Nursing CNE (contact hours) - If you are a nurse, you can take the above courses for Continuing Nursing Education Contact Hours (CNEs). The Nursing CNE courses costs $95.00. The CNEs are issued by Michigan State University College of Nursing (OH-294,08/01/15) an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurses Association (OBN-)001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. You earn 15 contact hours per course. To be eligable to recieve your continuing education CONTACT hours you must complete the attendence record (signature required) and the survey evaluation and send them to: Signing Online,LLC, P.O.Box 86, Mason MI 48854.   A CNE certificate for the contact hours earned will be mailed electronically to the email on file for you. 

You can earn Nursing CNEs for the ASL Learning series of courses. You earn 15 contact hours per course.

 To take a course with Nursing CNEs, make sure you enroll in the Nursing Continuing Education version of the course (check CE's on drop-down menu at enrollment). 

How are the CNE courses different from the standard courses?

The courses are identical, however in the CE version your time online is tracked. You are required to spend at least 15 hours on the course. You will not be able to take the final exam until you have accumulated 15 hours of online time for each course level.

Who can take the courses for Continuing Education for Nurses?

The CNEs are primarily for nurses.

How long does it take to receive CNEs once I complete the course?

When you complete a course for CNEs, you will be provided with a continuing education approval form that you will fill out for MSU. The forms are processed monthly. If they do not receive the forms by the beginning of the month, they will not be processed until the following month, so total time may take 4-6 weeks. Please plan accordingly.

Continuing Education for other professionals

Are the courses approved for other types of SCECHs?

Some continuing education granting organizations will pre-approve our SCECHs to count for their credits, as well. For example, "Missouri Interpreters Certification System" has preapproved our SCECHs for equivalent MICS CEUs.

We are unable to become Providers for all disciplines that would benefit from learning Sign Language. Please ask your professional agency if you may use Signing Online for a directed study Continuing Education Credit.

To learn more about ASL visit the Wikipedia page