Back in the late 1980s when I studied Business at Algonquin College in Ottawa, online courses were not offered to students. When I took a few in-room classes in the evening back in the 90’s to study in Nonprofit Management, I have to admit that being able to study at home would have been much more ideal for me. I found it really difficult to keep up with deadlines at work, my family life, and having to commit to studying in the classroom on a set evening 45 minutes away from home. So, I eventually stopped taking evening classes.
Luckily nowadays, students have the opportunity to enjoy distance learning in the comfort of their own home and to study at their own pace. Ideally, this would be helpful for working students/mothers trying to acquire a post-secondary education, achieve higher education, or wanting a career change. Once I had children, I stopped signing up for classes all together, but I am definitely thinking about registering for a program or just some classes in Communications once both my children are in a post-secondary institution in about 2 years. Since creating the Ottawa Mommy Club over 3 years ago and the BConnected Conference this spring, I found a new passion in social media and in event planning, therefore I would like to improve my knowledge in these fields through online courses. I find them so convenient to study just about any time of the day, and anywhere that you can bring a laptop and have wireless Internet.
Finding a reputable university to register for online courses is a top priority for me. It’s important to make sure they are fully accredited and recognized by other post-secondary institutions such as the Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL), so you can take a single course and transfer the credits to another institution or complete an entire program.
Thompson Rivers University,Open Learning offers over 57 programs and 590 courses in a variety of flexible formats, including print-based and web-based formats. You can register for trades to traditional academics, certificates to bachelor and graduate degrees, academic as well as professional career paths. They offer such flexibility in studying that you don’t have any excuses not to achieve a higher education any more. Talk about redefining what a “university” means and breaking through traditional boundaries of a post-secondary education. Whether taking a single course for work, personal knowledge, or for a full degree, the Thompson Rivers University has the learning option for you. You can also receive academic credit for past learning that means you spend less time and money on your degree. You’ve worked hard so why should you have to start from scratch?
Online classes do not mean that you study just on your own. You actually have the full support of your course Open Learning Faculty Member to help with your questions and to provide some guidance. You may also collaborate with other students in your course.
I really had no idea how easy it was to register until I went on their website. First of all, any adult can register for open admission for Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning, so you don’t have to supply high school transcripts or hold a particular GPA. Thompson Rivers University is an accredited public post-secondary institution with membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Programs offered through Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning include adult secondary school completion, certificates, and diplomas (including advanced and post-baccalaureate), associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees. You can enroll in open learning courses at any time because of the flexible course options, so no need to wait for fall, winter or spring to sign up anymore.
To register for an open learning course:
- Select a course and read the course description to ensure you have the tools and prerequisites necessary to complete the course
- Confirm course availability
- Review the course fees
- Proceed to Register
- Enter your info
I was given a hands-on opportunity to register for an online course with Thompson Rivers University, BBUS 3611 – Open Thinking. I was emailed a URL of the course blackboard to sign in with my username and password and enter my profile. Afterwards, I was able to view my course guidelines:
Welcome to the Open Thinking course! This course is designed to provide you with the understanding, knowledge, and skills to apply creative strategies and to embrace open thinking.
Open Thinking involves the integrated use of good creative and strategic thinking. This course will lead you through the concepts and techniques that encourage effective Open Thinking.
And I also looked at the key concepts covered in this course, the summary of activities, and the assessment strategies. The navigation page is easy to understand and to maneuver, and the home page features the modules you will use to successfully complete your course. The dashboard offers a discussion/forum page, my assignments, a calendar, a chat room for collaboration sessions, course messages, my grades, and even my own internal email service.
Shortly after I registered, I received a welcoming message from my instructor, Anne, in the course messages. She mentioned that “the BBUS 3611- Open Thinking course actually won a major international award for its design, content, and teaching. Plus the course has a very high completion rates – 95 to 100%. “It unfolds slowly, but the majority of students when they reach the end of the course take the time to let me know they really enjoyed it and that the experience was very positive for them.”
I emailed her back and asked a few questions. These were her answers, “The actual course runs for 14 weeks – so regular students work through it over the 14 weeks. It is a paced course which means students work in particular modules, all together, and then move on to the next module. It helps to form a supportive and strong cohort group that acts as a resource to each other and it enhances deeper learning, as we dialogue about the study material in the discussion areas. I can say that I have had many mothers as students in my courses (both working and not) and they have used them to ladder up to degrees. It has worked very well for students with additional demands on their time, as you can choose to work in the course over the hours of the days that suit you.”
As you can see, Thompson Rivers University takes great pride in supporting students to achieve their individual academic needs in order to fulfill their dreams of completing a degree or a certificate, or just helping them acquire job advancement in their field.
Have You Considered Registering for Online University Classes? Why?
Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning Twitter Party
SheBlogs Canada is hosting the #TRUOpen Twitter Party
on October 9th, 2014 at 7-7:30p.m. EST
and follow @sheblogsmedia
Join the upcoming #Open2Learn Retweet to Win contest from October 9, 2014 to October 16, 2014!
For more info on the Twitter Party and the Contest, chick HERE!
Disclaimer: Although this post has been generously sponsored by Thompson Rivers University, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do reflect Thompson Rivers University.