Distance courses, while covering the same content as an in-person or virtual class, are very different in terms of delivery, content and other features. You will still have a course supervisor who you can speak with throughout the course, and you may interact with other students, however areas like assessment, delivery and content may vary.
Distance classes vary in terms of content, however all are conducted via the college’s learning management software, Canvas, which can be accessed here: www.canvas.alexandercollege.ca/. Through this platform, you will access all of your course materials, including your syllabus, class modules, discussion forums, grades and more. You will also be able to communicate with your instructor through Canvas.
Your Distance course’s content will appear in a variety of forms depending on the discipline. Please be advised that you may encounter pre-recorded lectures from your instructor, video clips and links to external content, long passages and text delivered through course modules, external readings in the form of academic articles among other presentation of materials. These may also include open access textbooks for which your instructor will provide an internal link. There may also be an external text that you must purchase as part of the course – to see if your specific course has a required textbook, please visit:
Your course will be supervised by an Alexander College instructor who will oversee the course content, discussions and progress. Your instructor will provide you with weekly office hours which will be conducted over zoom or by phone at particular times of the day. For those of you who cannot reach your instructor, you can contact them by the email they provide in the course syllabus as well as through Canvas messaging. Response times will be anywhere between 24-48 hours.
Depending on the course, you will have different expectations regarding classroom interaction. Although Distance courses are asynchronous, most contain some form of discussion forum for student interaction. All courses maintain an FAQ page monitored by your instructor where you may pose questions for the class. Consult your syllabus for each individual Distance course, however please be advised that you may encounter some or all of the following:
Assessments for your Distance education course are similarly varied and depend upon your instructor, the content and the nature of the course. While most assessments are conducted asynchronously, for example in the form of deliverable essays and canvas quizzes that may be completed at various times throughout the semester, others will require you to be present during specified times – this is especially applicable for Final Examination periods.
If you cannot be present during a synchronous exam, please make sure to contact the Office of Student Affairs to arrange an exam deferral (contact information below).
Types of assessments you can expect from your Distance course include but are not limited to:
It is important to note that while all Distance courses operate asynchronously, your assessments and submissions will have very specific due dates that must be adhered to over the course of the semester. If for some extenuating circumstance you cannot make these deadlines, please contact your instructor immediately.
Grades for your assignments will be posted by your instructor in your Canvas grade book in each Distance class.