Online learning offers you the opportunity—and the challenge—to learn independently. Regardless of whether your course is self-paced or follows a set schedule, to be successful in this type of environment, you should be a self-motivated, proactive learner who is comfortable using your computer and internet resources.
This page outlines general guidelines and technical requirements you'll want to consider when making the decision to enrol in an online course.
Follow the steps below to enrol in a course.
- Browse our Course listing to find the courses right for you.
- Learn about your responsibilities and technical requirements in the information below.
- Visit our Registration page, learn about our fees, and either apply to Acadia University (new students) or register for your course (current students).
- Order your textbooks from Acadia's bookstore.
- Begin your courses, studying the way you want to.
Keys to Success
Online learning can offer a convenient and flexible way to pursue your educational goals, but some students may find it challenging to be successful outside of a traditional classroom setting. In a sense, online courses require more self-discipline, and many students have reported investing significantly more time studying online in comparison to an on-campus course.
- Continuous-intake or "open-entry" courses are often able to fit around an already busy schedule, which is one of the most appealing qualities in many online programs. However, it can sometimes create additional challenges for students who are likely to procrastinate or not stick to a regular study routine.
Time management is especially important in ensuring your success, and it is suggested that you establish a regular study schedule, as you will be expected to complete tasks and assignments without daily reminders from your teacher.
- Whether for assistance with course material or for technical support, you should promptly ask for help whenever necessary. Most courses offer several ways to communicate with instructors and staff. These methods may include email, telephone, discussion forums, chat rooms, or instant messaging. Our instructors and staff want to help you succeed, but it is your responsibility to voice questions or concerns as they arise.
- Ensure you have a quiet place to study, away from outside distractions like television, family, or roommates. Your study environment should be well lit, quiet, and comfortable. Additionally, you should make every effort to avoid activities such as text messaging, chatting, or video games, as they can quickly throw you off-track and negatively impact your quality of learning.
Internet and Email
- You will be expected to have access to a personal computer with a broadband internet connection. This is especially important in courses which use audio and video elements as part of their activities. Dialup connections may not be able to deliver such material in a timely manner.
It is expected that you are comfortable using a web browser and internet search engine without assistance. You will need to perform online research and answer questions as needed. You should have your own email account and be comfortable sending and receiving messages with file attachments.
- You will require a word processing application installed on your system, and you are expected to be comfortable with creating, opening, modifying, saving, and printing documents. We recommend that you have some experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for working with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. There are a number of software options available that will do this, and a few of the more popular choices are listed in our System Requirements section.
- You should have an understanding of how documents are stored on your computer, and how to browse the basic file/folder structure to save or open files. It is strongly recommended that you keep backup copies of your work, in the event of user or system errors.
Prior to taking part in online courses, please ensure that you meet the minimum user, software, and hardware recommendations. Not meeting these requirements may negatively impact your course experience.
- Up-to-date version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer (IE7 or later). Click here to check what browser you are using and what plugins you have enabled.
- Word processing software such as Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office, or Google Docs. Full-time Acadia University students have free access to Microsoft Office applications.
- Internet access via smartphone, tablet, or personal computer.
- Broadband connection with 1Mbps download speed (5Mbps recommended) and 256Kbps upload. Click here to test your internet connection speed. Dialup users are likely to experience less than optimal website performance and may not be able to access the multimedia content offered by some courses, such as videos and photos.
- Screen resolution of 800x600 or larger.
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