First Day of Online Class: What to Expect
Whether you’re taking your first post-secondary degree or you’re returning to school after spending a few years in the workforce, the modern university experience may not be exactly as film and TV would have you believe. Thousands of Wilfrid Laurier University students still attend traditional lectures in campus classrooms, live in dorms, print out their essays to hand in to their instructors, and write their exams sitting in orderly rows of desks, watched over by attentive proctors. As important as these experiences can be to many students’ educations, the fact remains that not everyone has the time or flexibility to commit to these schedules. That’s why online university classes in Canada are growing in popularity, including several of Laurier’s top programs:
- Honours Bachelor of Arts in Policing
- Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing
- Public Safety Graduate Diplomas
- Master of Public Safety
- Master of Social Work
Laurier online students sacrifice none of the advantages that make us a first-class university for on-campus enrollees—you have full access to your professors, instructors, and classmates through video lectures, email, and discussion boards, while other resources are made available digitally. Plus, each Laurier online university student is assigned a dedicated Student Success Advisor whose job is to help you make use of all of the resources at your disposal.
How Online University Classes Work
So, it’s your first day. You probably know that you don’t need to bring an apple to put on the teacher’s desk, and the dress code will be pretty casual. (Or not: you can wear a tuxedo if you like, although no one will see it.) But how do you actually “attend” an online university class? At Laurier, the online student experience is oriented around MyLearningSpace, or MyLS for short - a web portal which is compatible with laptops, smartphones, and tablets. All of your courses are housed on MyLS, and you also have access to an inbox, event calendar, discussion boards, notifications, and more.
Once you’ve received your MyLS login, select the course you wish to “attend” and you’ll find course materials broken down week by week right in the system. These might include video lectures, course readings, and/or assignments. Some teachers choose to augment their courses with podcasts, virtual whiteboard sessions, and other modern learning tools. Once you’ve watched the lecture or read the weekly notes, and read the assigned text, you can visit the discussion board to talk over what you’ve learned with other students, or message your instructor directly if you have any questions.
If your instructor’s course syllabus includes quizzes, you’ll also be able to complete them right in MyLS, and you can check your grades on past assignments and tests. Our teachers recognize that part of the reason you may be choosing to do your course online is because you don’t have the time or flexibility to attend classes at a set hour, so all of these materials are available 24/7, while you will be provided significant advance notice and a wide window to complete your quizzes (rather than having to drop everything to answer questions when you should be at work!). After all, our online classes can be attended from anywhere with an internet connection, and from any device, including smartphones, meaning you might not even share the same time zone as the rest of your class. If you’re curious about seeing MyLS in action, click here to watch a brief video tour.
In addition, Laurier creates a sense of community by providing a program community page in MyLS, that allows for students to virtually gather, share ideas and interact with one another, so that you feel engaged with your classmates.
Our goal is to make sure that not only can students attend our classes from anywhere, they genuinely feel like they are receiving the full Laurier experience no matter how far away they may be physically. We’re regularly ranked as one of the top online universities in Canada—we invite you to learn why.