FAQs About Online Courses
FAQs about Online Course Portals
- COTROnline provides courses for online, in-person, and hy-flex or blended courses offered through the College of the Rockies.
- COTROnline Moodle and other learning management platforms offer instructors a secondary way to organize their courses and handle assessments and grading via digital submissions. They also provide means for testing and setting up individual student reflection and engagement. All of these are valuable tools for both fully online courses and courses where students physically attend in a classroom setting.
- Your course title should clarify for you that it is an "Online" delivery. If the word "online" is not displayed in your course title, you are still attending an in-person course.
FAQs about Online Learning
- Programs such as Business Administration, Child, Youth and Family Studies (CYFS), Kinesiology, Tourism, Recreation Management, University Studies, and some adult upgrading courses are semesterized, with specified start and finish dates.
- Office Administration (OFAD) courses have monthly start dates, space permitting. OFAD courses are self paced, but courses must be completed within the specific number of course hours.
- Nursing, Dental, and Trades have program specific start dates. To find out what these are, please email Student Services: email@example.com.
- Many adult upgrading courses are self-paced with continuous intake between September and June. For details about specific adult upgrading courses, please email Student Services: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The average three-credit course will take 10 - 12 hours per week depending on how quickly you read and absorb the information provided.
Participation and evaluation requirements for online courses are structured and set out in writing at the beginning of each course.
Most online courses have a required weekly workload, including weekly readings and postings to their respective forums. Please check your individual online course materials for more information or speak with the course instructor.
Communications between students and instructors are generally online via COTROnline messages or course Discussion Forums. Regular communication is critical to your success!
Testing for your course may be completed online, submitted by e-mail, or supervised at a predetermined time and location. If invigilated tests are required, extra costs may be added for this service. Please visit Exam Services & Schedules for more information.
Most courses have an assigned, required textbook. The cost of textbooks is extra and not included in tuition fees. Textbooks may be purchased in person or online from the college bookstore. Please visit the PeAks Campus Store for information on your course textbook(s).
Credits acquired by passing a particular online course are equivalent to credits received for face-to-face courses and are equally transferable. Please refer to the British Columbia Council on Admission & Transfer for specifics on transfer credit for individual courses.
Online study is not well-suited to everyone. Online study requires a great deal of self-determination, self-discipline, delayed gratification, and independence. You also need basic computer skills (eg. how to use a word processing program and how to access websites on the Internet), plus a personal computer and internet connection.
- Your computer and your internet connection are the two most important components of a rewarding online experience.
- Computer models and capabilities change quickly and the more current your equipment, the more you will enjoy participating in your online course. We recommend you use a Windows computer that is no more than two years old.
- While older computers, tablets, smartphones, and slower internet connections can work for most components of your courses, there will be components of some courses that you won't be able to access. You will also need to prepare to allow extra time to make connections and access/download information if you are on a slow internet connection, or have a dial-up or satellite connection.
- Visit Student Services for Student Computer Recommendations and Requirements.
Note: you should check your course outline(s) for course specific computer requirements
You may need a headset with a microphone and a webcam. Check the course outline to determine what textbooks and other resources are required or contact the course instructor.
Succeeding in Online Learning - Some Tips
- Ask for help when you encounter problems - your time is valuable, so don't spend a lot of time getting frustrated.
- Ask in class discussion forums – most online courses have a place for you to ask questions.
- Offer help when you can.
- Sometimes a classmate can help you before the instructor is able to respond.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Some of your classmates probably have the same problem and need to see the solution as well.
- Make use of the COTROnline Directions/Help to find out how to do things online
(also found at the top of the Student drop-down menu).
- Contact the COTROnline Help Desk email@example.com if you encounter technical problems or need help completing an activity (example: uploading a file for an assignment; copying text into a discussion forum; etc.).
- Use the resources available. Here is a list of help options with contact information.
- It requires a lot of self-discipline to make the time for online learning - the average 3 credit course will take 10 - 12 hours a week depending on how quickly you read and absorb the information provided
- Communicate as much as possible with your instructor, particularly if you don't understand what is required or when life (example: major illness) interferes with your learning and you need to be away for an extended time, need a deadline extensions, or help catching up.
Note, your instructor won't help if you haven't already read the directions provided or accommodate you for minor life events (example: work changes your schedule).
- Let your classmates know when you cannot be online, so they don’t wonder if you are there or gone for good. This is particularly important if you are participating in group activities.
- When responding to discussion posts, try not to respond to the same people all the time; try select someone who hasn’t had a response. Doing this helps everyone feel included and valued.
- This will vary depending on your personal circumstances, but try pick a place and time with minimal distractions.
- Remember, some activities (e.g. readings, discussion posts, papers, etc.) can be completed off-line, then uploaded or copied into your course.
- Try be consistent in terms of workspace and time because your brain, and family, will develop expectations and behaviours that will support your learning.
- Connect formally in discussion forums.
- Develop a support network of classmates to communicate with privately and informally (this can be within a course or it can be elsewhere – it’s up to you); most online courses have a student discussion and/or chat area.
- This is your time to develop a network of peers and friends – take advantage of the opportunity.
- Check the site often to avoid missing an update from your instructor – this doesn’t have to be every day, but a couple of times a week will help you keep on top of things.
- Use the built-in notification system, so you know when someone posts to a discussion forum. Remember, this doesn’t mean you have to respond immediately.
- Checking in does not require you to read and respond to every discussion post; use the guidelines provided by your instructor to determine how many posts you read and respond to.
Remember, your best learning opportunities often aren’t planned or scheduled, so be prepared to recognize and embrace them when they occur.