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Online Learning Tips

McMaster’s Studying Online tools and tips

What should I expect when taking courses online for this program?

  • You should expect to allocate approximately eight to ten hours per week, per course to complete your work.
  • Assignments are due on specified days throughout the course duration and all information will be included on your course outline.
  • Teaching methods include weekly readings, facilitated discussion boards, videos, narrated PowerPoint slides, group and individual projects/assignments. You will be interacting with your classmates and your instructors on a weekly basis.
  • Courses use McMaster’s online learning management system called Avenue to Learn (A2L) to access course materials, including course notes, instructional videos and electronic readings, practice exercises/problems, formal hand-in assignments, and other course resources. Courses make use of discussion boards, so as to provide opportunities for peer-to-peer dialogue, group dialogue and instructor-to-group/student communication. A2L is also used for assignment  submission and feedback. A2L is web-based and can be accessed from any internet connection.
  • Courses are made “live” in A2L on the day of the course start date. A pre-course email with information on the course, course materials, etc. will be sent approximately nine days before the course start date.
  • Opportunities for synchronous classes occur through the video conferencing system Zoom

What will help me to be a successful online learner?

  • You are able to work independently.
  • You can keep yourself on task to complete a project.
  • You are able to commit to a minimum of ​8 hours per week per course for course readings, exercises, case studies, assignments, etc.
  • You are able to read the textbook and required reading materials (and the assignments) on your own and work through the concepts.
  • You are comfortable asking for clarification when needed and expressing yourself in written form through email or a discussion board.
  • You have a quiet place to complete your work.
  • You are comfortable using technology.
  • You have access to a computer and the internet.


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