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Prospective Students

Course Expectations

Students can expect the same learning requirements in a distance education course as in a traditional, on-campus course. Often the online course started out as an on-campus course and has been optimized for the online learning environment. This means that much of the readings and assignments will be identical to what is being done in the on-campus class.

Full-time Trent University students are recommended to take five 0.5-credit courses each term, so most students would be expected to spend 35 hours per week working on their school work. This includes in-class time and the time spent studying and working on assignments. Of course this can vary based on the subject matter and the student. The guideline is the same for an online course - Students can expect to spend at least 7-10 hours per week per course.

Anyone considering taking an online course should be sure to have the necessary time to complete all components of the course – just as it would not be wise to sign up for an on- campus class without having the time to actually go to class.

For information on how to become a Trent Online student, see How do I Apply?.

Course Format

Online courses are hosted by Trent's Blackboard Learning System. Trent offers Learning System Resources and Technical Support to all students.

Recommended Skills

There are a few skills which will contribute to your success as an online student.

  • Reading – much of the course content in an online course is delivered as reading material
  • Internet Access – this does not have to at home - it can be a friend’s house, local library or a Trent computer lab - but it does need to be regular access
  • Self-direction and time management– since you will not be in the same room as the teacher you must be independent enough to know when ask for help and able to organize your schedule appropriately to get all of your work done on time.
  • Computer literacy -- while online students do not need to be computer professionals, communication with instructors and other students requires email skills, word-processing skills, and the ability to navigate the Blackboard Learning System. Some courses may require additional computer literacy specific to the area of study.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review our Online Learning FAQs for Prospective Students for more information.