Informal HTML adaptation of the 1999-2000 Calendar      Effective September 1, 1999 - August 31, 2000
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3.5. Detailed Course Icon Descriptions

Delivery Modes

Students may choose to work in a computer environment provided they have the minimum hardware and software configurations required. Computer programs, electronic communications, or interactive exercises supplement some course material but are not required to complete all courses. Students without access to a microcomputer may use the computer lab at an Athabasca University learning centre.

Home Study - This method of instruction is centred around a learning package that usually includes a textbook or selected articles (or both), a study guide and workbook, and may include audio and/or videotapes, computing resources, and project or lab kits. Instructional support is provided by electronic mail and toll-free telephone access to a tutor from anywhere in Canada and the United States.

Paced Study- Paced courses include courses delivered by seminar, classroom, teleconference, videoconference, guided independent study, and some computer assisted or computer mediated courses taken within a designated time period. Paced courses usually begin in September and January (although at some sites there may be spring and summer sessions) and generally last 13 weeks (3-credit course) or 26 weeks (6-credit course). There are no provisions for a course contract extension. Paced courses within the Master of Distance Education program are typically fifteen weeks in length. While courses indicated by this symbol are suitable for paced delivery, availability depends on a variety of factors.

ViTAL Electronic Classroom - The Virtual Teaching and Learning (ViTAL) environment was developed using Lotus Notes, a popular and easy-to-use groupware package. Groupware allows students to communicate electronically by exchanging documents. ViTAL uses the Internet as a communication highway. You can also connect by direct dialing the ViTAL server. (See page 6 for complete description.

Course Components

Home Lab- These courses contain a laboratory component that can be completed at home. Most of the required lab materials are included in the course package.

Paced Lab - These courses have a laboratory component that contains a substantial amount of work. Exercises may include techniques and equipment and sample handling relevant to the course discipline. The lab portion of these courses is usually held at specific sites and times, and is supervised.

Independent Lab - Athabasca University has developed a framework that allows students to access the laboratory component of certain science courses without taking the remaining instructional component, provided each student meets strict prerequisite requirements and has professor approval before registering in a class. If the student is attending another institution, the student must be given approval in writing by his or her home institution to ensure that credit will be granted at that institution. If a student is using this course to update laboratory skills (e.g., teachers, instructors), then evidence of having previously taken an equivalent science course must be provided. Should the student decide to take the instructional portion of the Athabasca University course, the additional credit earned for laboratory modules will not be recognized, thereby maintaining the designation of the 3- or 6-credit course.

See 8.3 for fees.

Course Credit Independent lab
BIOL 325 1 Labb 325
CHEM 217 1 Labc 217
CHEM 218 1 Labc 218
CHEM 350 1 Labc 350
CHEM 360 1 Labc 360
PHYS 200 1 Labp 200
PHYS 201 1 Labp 201
Students should choose the course and seek the relevant course professor for more information on fees and registration. Laboratory schedules may be viewed on the Web site at:

Required Computer Component - To complete these courses, students are expected to have access to computer equipment with minimum configurations including specified hardware (e.g., hard drive, RAM, printer, and modem) and software (e.g., Windows). Please contact the Centre of the course in question before registering to ensure you have access to the required computer equipment and software.

Audio Component - These courses are supplemented by audiocassettes, some of which are required listening to complete the course (and are included in the course package) while others are not required to complete the course but enrich the course content. Audiocassettes not included in the course package may be borrowed from Athabasca University Library.

Video Component- Courses with a video component are called telecourses. Some Athabasca University courses include videotapes that are required viewing to complete the course, while other courses use videotapes to enrich the course content. Some of the University's telecourses required viewing are broadcast throughout Alberta on ACCESS, The Education Station. Students unable to view the television broadcasts in their area may borrow the videotapes from Athabasca University Library.

Internet Component - An increasing number of courses at Athabasca University use the Internet as a method of delivery alongside print-based material.

While some courses are delivered entirely online (a distinction that is noted in the course description), others require access to the World Wide Web to complete the course.

In the case of online courses, print-based material may not be issued and a student downloads self-extracting files stored on the servers at Athabasca University. Other courses requiring access to the World Wide Web are dependent on computer mediated communications. Please contact the Centre of the course in question before registering, to ensure you have access to the required computer equipment and software.

The attached graphic will help clarify the terms found in the course descriptions.

For definitions of terms used throughout the Calendar refer to 18 - Glossary.

In the event of a discrepancy between the informal web site version and the printed 1999-2000 Calendar, the latter alone is to be regarded as the authoritative and legally binding source.

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