eLearning Centre

What to expect in eLearning courses?


What to Expect


Taking a university course online is a blend of learning methods that you are accustomed to; and, it has new methods of collaborating with your professor and your classmates.

In the past, you have been accustomed to studying from a textbook and reviewing your notes from the course lectures. For an online course you will find it essential that you continue to do these activities. Your success in the course depends also upon your active participation and contribution to discussions, emails and group chats, which contribute to an important part of your course.

So even if you feel shy or uncomfortable when sending an email to someone you have never seen, relax and start tapping on your keyboard to say hello and introduce yourself to the rest of the class.

Reaching the Instructor

Within the online course there is an email tool which you can send a private e-mail message to the instructor. If you are interested in taking an online course and wish to contact the instructor before the start of class, browse through the help section.

It is your responsibility to:

  • Login to your course regularly
  • Participate in discussion boards and chat rooms
  • Prepare term papers and assignments offline, then upload them to the course
  • Read online content modules and textbook
  • Complete quizzes, self-tests and surveys online
  • Participate in work groups in chat rooms and on discussion boards
  • Read and report on required and reference readings
  • Watch videos or listen to audio clips online
  • Introduce yourself to classmates
  • Ask your instructor lots of questions

During a typical week you will:

  • Read an online module and read the corresponding chapter in the textbook
  • Complete the end of module activities or assignments online
  • Read and comment on required and resource readings
  • Answer discussion questions
  • Take a quiz or self-test
  • Watch videos or listen to audio clips online
  • Correspond with the instructor in a chat room
  • Communicate with others during group sessions

Also included in a semester are:

  • Term papers
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Case work
  • Individual presentations
  • Group presentation
  • Midterms
  • Final exam

Organizing your time

You need to make a regular commitment to logging on to your course every two to three days - every day is often the best. There's a lot happening so be sure to check the Bulletins as well as the e-mail and the chat. Remember to pace yourself and your learning since it's only too easy to let a week or two go by and then hastily scroll through the course notes. This may be tempting - but it's not learning!

Scheduling activities

Some of your class activities may be synchronous, meaning that everyone participates on the same real time. Your professor will advise you of the scope and schedule for these activities.

Other course activities are less time sensitive and you are able to participate and contribute at the times that are convenient for you. These are considered to be asynchronous as they are less time dependent.