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Athabasca University

5.1 Undergraduate Courses

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Athabasca University students take courses for credit, for transfer credit towards a program at another institution, or for general knowledge with or without credit.

At Athabasca University you will set your own study schedule using the learning resources provided by the University. Each course is unique, prepared by a team of authors, editors, designers, and print production specialists. Most courses and programs at Athabasca University are offered through a combination of print-based and online material, with many courses being offered almost entirely online.

The type and amount of online activity varies among courses from participating in computer conferencing to developing student website projects and accessing learning materials in electronic format. Most courses use texts and student manuals, and a variety of online components—streamed audio or video components, online quizzes and exams, chatrooms, asynchronous and synchronous learning activities—all designed to help meet the learning objectives of each course.

Note that courses are opened on an on-going basis. For the most up-to-date list of courses and for more detailed information on each course, review the course syllabus.

Start Dates

At Athabasca University, courses begin the first day of each month provided you register by the 10th day of the previous month. You will have six months to complete zero-, one-, three-, or four-credit courses and 12 months to complete six-credit courses. Course extensions are available for a fee per extension.
Course Extensions


Tutor

In most individualized study courses, you will be assigned a tutor who will assist you throughout the period of active registration in your course.

Faculty of Business – Student Support Centre

When you take courses from the Faculty of Business, your first point of contact for academic-related assistance will be the Faculty of Business, Student Support Centre. Your academic-related questions will be escalated to an Academic Expert for assistance.

5.1.1 Online Conferencing

An increasing number of Athabasca University courses use the Internet and online conferencing. Students are advised that online conferences may be retained and may be made available for research purposes.

5.1.2 Taking a University-Level Course

Many of our students are taking Athabasca University courses for transfer to another institution. Others are enrolled in AU programs. And others are returning to school after a long absence.

For many students, taking an AU course is a unique experience that will challenge their computer savvy, research capabilities, and essay-writing skills. While some apprehension is normal, students soon feel comfortable in a learning environment that is defined by interesting courses, knowledgeable tutors, extensive student services, and active student organizations.

First, select a junior-level course that is of particular interest. Be prepared to spend approximately 11 to 15 hours a week reading and reviewing course and supplementary material. You also need to set aside additional essay-writing time.
Once you have registered in a course, you will receive a comprehensive student manual in print format or online. Student manuals are carefully designed by course authors and editors familiar with both first-time and more experienced university-level students. The manual acts as a key instructional guide, providing answers to most of your questions. If the student manual can’t answer your questions, contact the University by using the online resources, visit our website, or contact us by phone. Information is at your fingertips.

Be consistent. Set and meet your study goals by incorporating a reasonable study schedule into your work and home life. Inconsistent study patterns cause many students to lose the “rhythm” of the course material, requiring repetitious reading to catch up.

Work at a pace that suits you, keeping in mind the course contract end date and course extension requirements explained in the Registration section.

If you feel overwhelmed by your course material; talk to your tutor, ask questions, or contact a counsellor. In short, if you have any difficulty, allow us to help you achieve success in your course or program of study. Just ask—Ask AU, email, our websites, or by phone.

5.1.3 Course Load

You may be actively registered in one to six courses at a time. To ensure that you don’t overburden yourself, Athabasca University limits your course load to a maximum of six courses. Students with full-time jobs or those new to distance learning should start with one course.

5.1.4 Computer Requirements

Athabasca University has developed standard computer requirements for students. It is assumed that students have access to a computer, printer, and the Internet. Upon graduation, students should have a specific level of computer skills, many of which are acquired while completing distance learning courses.

Many Athabasca University courses require students to have access to certain computer hardware and software. Athabasca University’s standard computing platform is a computer running Microsoft Windows with MS Office. The minimum requirements for students using a Mac or PC are access to a web browser, email, and the software capability to submit assignments as Word documents. Some courses support other hardware and software platforms and may have more specific requirements noted in the online syllabus. PCs are the primary equipment supported by AU’s Help Desk. Only limited assistance for other hardware and software platforms is offered. Refer to the IT Help Desk website for minimum and optimal computer requirements.

 

Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated June 28 2016 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.