You may have different types of interaction with an instructor, tutor, marker or other students in your distance or online learning course, depending on the format.
The amount of instruction in your course may also depend on the length of the course. Your course may be term-based (typically 12 to 13 weeks in length) or continual-intake, in which you can register and start at any time and are given a specified number of weeks to complete.
Important course or tutor information will be sent to you by email prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.
BCIT correspondence courses are self-directed courses, in which you work at your own pace, interacting occasionally with your instructor. You may be required to submit assignments that are marked and returned and also to complete a mid-term and/or final examination or other form of final student assessment. Self-directed courses can be term-based and therefore last 12 weeks.
The other type is continuous entry, a flexible option that allows you to register and start at any time. All continuous entry courses have a set course duration in weeks, which starts on the registration date, and in which the course must be completed. Some courses have a duration of one year. Many courses allow for re-registration, which provides students additional time to complete their course work.
Guided courses are most commonly used to prepare for a qualifying exam. Learners order sets of course materials and have a term (12 weeks) in which to prepare for their final exam or evaluation. Assignment due dates are also scheduled. Help from an instructor via telephone and e-mail is available during a set time each week. The courses often encourage or require group work that occurs by telephone conferencing or computer technologies.
Learning online (synchronous, asynchronous or blended)
Online and blended courses can provide flexibility for those students who have a variety of commitments during their week, and must schedule their learning for real interaction between you and your instructor and you and other students. Online delivery of courses at BCIT is through our Learning Hub, which provides a rich, multi-media platform for our distance learners.
There are three types of online course delivery: synchronous, asynchronous and hybrid/blended.
Courses that are synchronous require regular attendance to weekly scheduled lectures and provide real-time interaction with your instructor and classmates. Class days and times are as noted on the course registration information. There are scheduled assignment due dates and exams which you will want to make a note of.
Courses that are asynchronous have been specifically developed for distance online delivery. There may be some scheduled activities during the course, but generally you will follow the instructor week by week as you move through the course content, complete course activities, and post questions to the instructor from within your course. There are scheduled assignment due dates and exams which you will want to make a note of.
Hybrid/blended courses have both online and in-class components to the course. You should receive course scheduling information before your course starts. Please familiarize yourself with, and follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines before coming onto campus. You will find this information at https://www.bcit.ca/covid-19/information-for-students/
To compare online learning with traditional classroom activities, see Is Online Learning for Me? [PDF].