Online courses (FAQ)

WHAT IS AN ONLINE COURSE?

An online course will provide candidates with opportunities for...

  • Collaborative learning and knowledge building
  • Participate in teaching/learning relationships within a virtual environment
  • Ongoing professional dialogue with instructor and other course candidates
  • Job-related, relevant and practical activities
  • Reading, researching, reflecting upon, discussing and responding to educational documents, policies, practices and issues
  • Presentations and/or demonstrations in areas of interest and expertise
  • Small-group cooperative learning and problem-solving
  • Ongoing formative and summative feedback from the course instructor and peers
  • Exploring technological tools such as Power Point presentations, videoconference (Adobe Connect), etc.

HOW IS AN ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURED?

Our online courses are module-based. For each module, the course candidate is provided with:

  • Specific learning expectations
  • Content-related notes from the instructor
  • A Demonstration of Learning (assignment, task) as well as the process to follow in order to successfully complete the Demonstration of Learning
  • Required and recommended readings
  • Assessment and evaluation criteria and achievement descriptors

WHAT DOES THE COURSE ENVIRONMENT INCLUDE?

The course environment could include:

  • Course outline (general course learning expectations)
  • Instructor biography
  • Introductory orientation activities
  • Downloadable tools and resources for the course candidates
  • Course tools
  • Course content
  • Learning Modules
  • Assessments and Assignments
  • Tasks
  • Course calendar
  • Chat boards
  • Discussion boards
  • Mail and Messages
  • Web links
  • Evaluation results

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHAT AND A DISCUSSION?

Chats are synchronous (real time) and take place in chat rooms where the group's interaction is live. The chat may or may not be recorded. Candidates are expected to attend and participate in scheduled chats. Candidates who cannot be present for a mandatory chat must inform the course instructor. They may include their comments and responses after the chat if it is recorded.

Discussions are an integral part of the course. They are asynchronous, which means that all candidates do not need to participate at the same time. They may contribute a response over an extended period of time. Discussion input is recorded for the duration of the course. Each candidate is expected to participate in discussions. The candidate's participation is tracked by the course instructor and may be marked.

WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER TAKING A COURSE ONLINE?

Convenience
Candidates may access their course at any time, from anywhere without the challenge and costs of commuting.
Collaboration
Online courses are based on the principles of shared learning through discussion-driven interaction.
Accountability
Online courses require that the candidate assume responsibility for learning through sound self-management skills.
Reflection
Asynchronous discussions allow extended time for a more meaningful reflection and for providing more thorough responses.
Access to Resources
Online resources are often provided within the course content and are a click away.
Focus
Online courses minimize visual and auditory distractions thereby encouraging the candidate to focus on course content and hence result in meaningful learning.

WHAT ARE THE BASIC COMPETENCIES REQUIRED TO SUCESSFULLY COMPLETE AN ONLINE COURSE?

  • Send and receive emails (with attachment).
  • Research on a given subject by using a search engine such as Google.
  • Ability to participate in discussion forums.

WHAT IS THE REQUIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT?

  • Screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or better
  • Internet connection
  • Supported operating systems and web browsers
  • Sound card
  • Headset with microphone
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word
  • Power Point software or a Google account that includes all the basic tools

DO I HAVE TO SIT AT THE COMPUTER DURING SPECIFICALLY SCHEDULED HOURS?

Online courses are listed as taking place at specific days and predetermined times.
Example: PDP 1210 – Visual Arts Part I – Monday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This means:

  1. The course instructor will be online and available for immediate interaction with course candidates during the scheduled day/hours.
  2. Real-time course interaction (chats) scheduled by the professor will take place only during the listed day/hours. Online course candidates are required to be online when scheduled and posted in the course calendar.
  3. Course candidates have unrestricted access (day/time) to work on their course.

HOW DO I ACCESS MY ONLINE COURSE?

Go to the Virtual campus. Log in to Brightspace with your User ID (student number) and password (same as uoZone) and then click on the appropriate course.
Please note that professors teaching AQ courses at the Faculty of Education must give access to their students at least 48 hours prior to beginning of classes.

WHAT DO I DO IF I RUN INTO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS?

Course candidates who need assistance with situations related to the technical aspects of an online course are invited to fill the Computing Assistance Request online.
For assistance related to the course content, candidates should contact the course instructor. If further assistance is needed, candidates should contact the Faculty of Education Academic Secretariat at educprog@uottawa.ca.

HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I ALLOW FOR MY COURSE?

The Ontario College of Teachers requires course candidates to complete 125 hours of work (online interaction time, reading/researching, small-group work, completion of assignments) for all additional qualifications courses (AQ, ABQ and Honour Specialist (HS) courses).

DO I NEED TO ATTEND A FACE-TO-FACE MEETING OR COME IN TO WRITE AN EXAM?

There are no face-to-face meetings. The course is fully online. Course candidates achieve marks by completing a demonstration of learning for each of the course's modules; therefore there is no final exam.
Exception:
Demonstrating French competency is a pre-requisite for certain courses (see the course prerequisites for details). Should this be required, candidates must take the test on campus.

ARE ONLINE COURSES AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH AND IN FRENCH?

Online courses are available in both French and English. Search for courses.

WHAT IS THE COST OF AN ONLINE COURSE?

The cost for both online and face-to-face AQ, ABQ or Honour Specialist courses is the same regardless of the method of delivery. View tuition fees.

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR AN ONLINE COURSE?

View Registration for all the details. The registration procedures for online courses are identical to the procedures for face-to-face courses.
If needed contact the Faculty of Education Academic Secretariat at 613-562-5804 or by email at educprog@uOttawa.ca.

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