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e-Learning FAQ

To ensure that our programs reflect current learning trends we provide secondary students with the opportunity to enroll in online courses through our eLearning program. The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic Virtual Learning Centre (SMCVLC) offers courses that might not be available at all high schools, or a student might need to take because of a timetabling conflict.

Students who take courses through SMCVLC are provided with space in their timetable, access to a computer with Internet connection at the school, and daily support from their eLearning teacher to help them successfully complete the course. Registration for eLearning courses are done through schools’ guidance counsellors. Please see visit your guidance department to discuss if this is a good choice for you.

What is e-Learning?

eLearning takes advantage of technology and the internet to deliver curriculum. You will use SMCDSB’s Learning Management System (Brightspace by D2L via our student portal ‘Student Connect’). It is within this learning environment you will complete your course, receive assignments, work cooperatively with your classmates, communicate with your teacher and submit assignments.

Online courses offer flexibility in terms of when, where and how long you study.  However, online courses are as rigorous as their classroom based counterparts which requires students to be self-disciplined and organized.

What should I expect?

For many, online learning is the ideal solution to a unique learning experience and personal development in a busy schedule balancing family, work and personal interests.  

Here are some things to consider:

Time requirements: You are expected to put in the same amount of time for an online course as you would if the course was face to face - to read course materials, research and clarify your understanding of key concepts, participate in online threaded discussion boards, complete assignments, and study for tests.

 

Time Management: Although you have flexibility in the time that you access your course online, it still takes discipline to stay on top of each day’s readings, assignments and other activities. It’s important to manage your time each day to work on your course.

 

Communication: The online environment relies heavily on text.  This means that you must be comfortable communicating with your instructor by writing your thoughts, questions, experiences, etc. in emails and discussion forums.  You may have the opportunity to interact via web conferencing, audio podcasts, or other tools, but not all courses will utilize these tools. ALL courses will have email capability available to you.

 

Being proactive: You must be comfortable actively seeking out help when needed. Remember that your teacher has no way of knowing if you have questions, concerns, or are having technical difficulties.  Keep in mind that a response to your electronic communication may not happen immediately. Stay on task and don’t wait until the last minute.

 

Attendance: You are required to log-in at least once, between 8 a.m. Monday to 3 p.m. Friday, each week.  To be successful in an online course, you will need to access your course everyday to stay up-to-date on required expectations. You can access your course weekends and evenings, but in order to be marked present, you must log-in between Monday and Friday.  If you are not logging in during these times the Board procedures for non-attendance will be put in place, which includes automatic withdrawal from the course if you do not log in for a period of three consecutive weeks.


What are the technical requirements?

You don’t need to be a “computer expert”, but basic computer skills are required. Technical support is offered if you encounter problems.
  • You must have access to a device (computer/laptop) on a DAILY basis that supports multimedia content.
  • You will need access to the internet to complete class assignments, participate in discussions, review announcements and check email. 
  • You can access your online course from school, home or a public library. 

What are the skills required to be successful?

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. Your teacher will make you aware of course policies and general classroom rules and regulations.
  • You must be comfortable with using online communication tools. 
  • You must be responsible and self-motivated to learn.
  • You must communicate daily with instructor. 
  • You must report any issues to instructor immediately. 
  • You must maintain the suggested pace for the course.