Online learning, also referred to as eLearning, offers new and exciting ways for Western Continuing Studies to deliver high-quality learning experiences for students beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. Just like face-to-face learning, eLearning provides opportunities for you to interact with your instructor, peers, and with course content, all through a variety of learning activities. Western's learning management system, OWL, provides a user-friendly platform with plenty of tools to keep you engaged and active in the online classroom.

One of the key advantages reported by online learners is the ability to plan your studies according to your personal schedule. We know that WCS students lead busy lives, and our online courses provide you with the flexibility to learn while still attending to work, family, and social commitments. Just a few of the other benefits to eLearning include opportunities to use technology in new ways leading to the acquisition of new skills; resources are available 24 hours a day, both within the virtual classroom and beyond; and, you are provided the chance to hone teamwork and collaboration skills.

What can you expect in an online course? Just like traditional learning, no two classes are quite the same so don't hesitate to check in with your instructor if you have any questions. However, here are a few general tips on how to prepare and to be successful online:

Orient Yourself

As soon the course begins, log in and review your new classroom. Two great places to start are the Getting Started tab and the course outline.

Organize Yourself

Once you've checked out the course expectations, make a plan that suits your needs. Mark important dates and deadlines in your calendar and stay on top of your readings. It's true that online learning can require more discipline and self-direction than some traditional courses. Most of our courses work on a weekly schedule, so you may want to set aside specific days/times each week to engage with your course material.

Ask For Help

Even the most experienced online learners can find themselves looking for assistance from time to time. Embrace the technology and resources available to you and consult the Help tool, ask your peers, or contact your instructor. Our WCS customer service team can also provide assistance in a jam. Remember, we're all in this together!

Build Relationships

While it may sound counter-intuitive, eLearning thrives on creating a community with your peers and your instructor. Just because you can't see each other doesn't mean that you're alone. Be open to sharing your expertise through various activities and craft a social presence that feels comfortable for you.

Western Continuing Studies is committed to providing you with lifelong learning opportunities that match your personal and professional development goals, and we look forward to 'seeing' you soon in our online classrooms.