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Toronto Catholic District School Board

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About Online Courses
 
 
What Are Online Courses?
 
Taking an online class can be a very rewarding way to learn, but it is a much different experience than the regular face-to-face classroom. Before considering enrolling in an online class, we suggest that you explore the links on the side in order to learn more about the experience.
 
What is eLearning?
 
E-Learning takes advantage of the internet to deliver curriculum. You will use the TCDSB's eClass learning platform to receive assignments, work cooperatively with your classmates, communicate with your teacher and submit assignments. Taking an ecourse will give you the opportunity to attend class at anytime from anywhere that has a connection to the internet. Since classes are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, YOU have to decide when to “go to class.”
 
It is important that you realize that all ecourses are not independent study courses. Although you may never actually meet your classmates, you will not be working alone. Classes are asynchronous, which means there are no scheduled times to be online. However, students are required to do many of the same kinds of assignments as you would in a regular classroom. You have readings, projects, papers, quizzes, etc. And, you often have group projects which require you to work with other students in a “virtual” environment. Communication and interaction is very important in ecourses. We use an announcement center, threaded discussions, email, and other online communication tools. Your teacher may often communicate with you or your parents via the telephone and email. Although most students never actually see each other, or the teacher, the level of interaction in online classes is actually often higher than in a regular classroom. You will be in constant contact with other members of your class and your teacher. Although you will decide when during the day to join the class, daily participation is required.
 
What do I need to enroll? / What skills do I need to have?
 
What are the technical requirements for eClass?
  • You must be able to access a multi-media computer on a DAILY basis (a Pentium level machine that supports basic video and sound)
  • You must be able to access the Internet DAILY to complete class assignments, participate in discussions, review announcements and check email.
  • Computer and Internet access can be from home, school or a public library.
  • You must have an email address (any type will do).
  • You may need to access the computer for extended periods of time throughout the course.
  • Keep this in mind when you are booking computer time at your school or public library.

What computer skills do I need? 

Taking a course online is not something that requires that you be a "computer expert" and technical help will be offered if you encounter any problems. However there are certain computer skills that we suggest you have to help you better concentrate on the class, rather than struggle with the technology.  

Basic Skills

  • Familiar with the operating system of the computer being used to access the Internet course
  • Understand terms such as mouse, drag, open, select, file, choose, double-click, download, upload, send, etc
  • Save, copy and find files/folders on floppy and hard drives
  • Navigate between two or more applications without closing and re-opening (multitasking)
  • Minimize/maximize Windows
Email Skills
  • Send, open, reply to, and forward a message
  • Enter a message subject
  • Send an attachment
  • Open and/or save an attachment
Web Browser Skills
  • Go to a specific URL
  • Print a page
  • Follow a hypertext link
  • Conduct a basic search using a search engine
  • Download and install plug-ins
Word Processor Skills
  • Open a new file
  • Open an existing file
  • Save a file
  • Rename a file (Save As)
  • Cut, paste, format text
  • Print a document

Why take a class online?

The Internet is quickly becoming a valuable part of all of our lives. Studying and communicating over the web is a skill that everyone now needs. Today, many businesses regularly use the web to communicate with customers and their employees and more and more post-secondary institutions require students to conduct research and access course materials over the internet. Studying on line is a different kind of experience and requires a personal commitment to learning. Many adults are taking advantage of online education for personal and professional growth, and our pursuit of online education at the TCDSB will hopefully provide students with the skills needed to be successful life-long learners.

Taking a ecourse offers great flexibility and freedom. You can go to class anytime, anywhere you have a connection to the internet. E-Learning is not an “easy way” to get your credit , however, you have to do just as much work as you would in a regular classroom, but you also must have good time management skills and be self-motivated.

Is eLearning for me?

Ecourses can provide opportunities for students to attend classes anytime from anywhere; however, studies show that often students are unprepared for the challenges inherent with this style of delivery. Students need to be self-motivated and be able to direct their own learning to fulfill course requirements and achieve individual academic success. In order to help you know if you will be successful in using this medium, please carefully consider the questions below prior to registering for ecourses.

Take a brief questionnaire. Go

What will be expected of me in an online class?
 
The same rules and regulations that govern a regular class also apply in an online class. You must participate in class discussions, take part in group activities, complete all assignments and adhere to deadlines for the submission of work. When you first logon to your online class, your teacher will make you aware of course policies and general classroom rules and regulations. Read all of these carefully. In particular, you should be aware of the following:
  • You must logon to receive teacher instructions and participate in class discussion for the length of the course.
  • You must submit you home telephone number to your teacher. If you fail to participate in the class for a stretch of three consecutive classes your teacher will contact your parents. If you are going to be unable to participate in the class for more than three classes, you must inform your teacher in advance.
  • You must always keep in mind the values of our Catholic faith when dealing with your classmates and teacher. This includes the use of appropriate language and tone and the awareness of the feeling of others.
  • The TCDSB has an acceptable internet use policy to which all students must adhere. This policy is included in the "Surf Right" contract that TCDSB students and their parents must sign before students are granted computer and internet access at our schools. The policy will be posted in your online classroom, and any abuse of the policy may result in removal from your online class.
We strongly suggest that you also ask your parents to visit this website and that you discuss your decision to enroll before completing the Registration Process.