Frequently Asked Questions

 

Certificate

Technical & Material Requirements

Policies and Procedures

Financial

Certificate

 

Can I register for individual courses if I am not interested in obtaining a certificate at this time?

Absolutely! Courses can be taken as part of a certificate program or individually and applied towards a certificate at a future date.

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How are these courses conducted?

All courses are offered through interactive and innovative online instruction.  Each course is facilitated by a qualified instructor and is 12 weeks in length. Students log onto the course web site several times per week to study the course material, talk with classmates and instructors in the course discussions, submit assignments and check grades. Courses are divided into units or modules that are completed each week. Courses have a paced study schedule which ensures everyone progresses through the course at the same time with the support of classmates and the instructor. You have flexibility within each week to determine when you will participate in the course. 

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How does distance education work?

Distance education allows you to study at home or in your office, according to your own schedule...there are no classes to attend. Each course has a web site where you will find course content, assignments, quizzes as well as access to classmates and the instructor. Course may include a manual, CD-ROMs, DVDs etc., depending on the nature of the course. Distance education provides a contemporary means through which the University of Guelph continues its tradition of outreach and open learning opportunities. For more information on our online distance education programs, see the Open Learning and Educational Support website www.OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

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Where do I take the courses?

You can take the course from wherever you have a computer linked to the Internet! The benefit of the online format is that you can work around your busy schedule at a time convenient to you. There are no classes to attend. All that is required is a computer, an Internet connection, and a desire to learn.

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When can I start?

Courses start in January, May and September each year. For specific start dates or the schedule of offerings, visit each certificate page. Sign up to the Join Info List to receive important updates and advance notices through email, as courses are scheduled and become available.

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How much time will I need to devote to my distance course each week?

A general rule of thumb is that you should expect to spend six to 12 hours per week for each course taken. However, there is some variation in the nature of assignments and instructor requirements, as well as individual study habits. We recommend that you establish a study routine and schedule early in the semester.

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Can the courses be taken in any order?

Most certificate courses can be taken in any order. The exception is Landscape Design I must be taken before Landscape Design II.  For diploma courses, students must successfully complete the associated certificate courses before taking the proposed diploma courses.  For example, a student must complete all 7 courses required in The Horticulturalist Certificate before proceeding with the 3 proposed courses required for The Horticulturalist Diploma.   

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Could you send me an Open Learning and Educational Support catalogue? 

Continuing Education 
Open Learning and Educational Support offers a wide range of specialized non-degree learning opportunities that range from one, two, and three-day short courses and conferences to 12-week online or face-to-face certificate and diploma program courses. These offerings are designed to meet the specific learning and professional development needs of adult learners.

Distance Education
A catalogue of degree-credit and professional development distance education courses is available.

For more information on the Continuing and Distance Education programs, visit the Open Learning and Educational Support website www.OpenEd.uoguelph.ca or contact us at info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca or call 519-767-5000.

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How should I prepare my distance education assignment (certificate)?

Your course will contain specific directions about how to prepare each assignment for submission.  Your instructor will provide you with detailed information on all of the course requirements through a course outline and assignment instructions.  Assignments are easily submitted as a file attachment inside the learning management system.  If your course requires you to submit a written essay and you feel you need additional guidance, you may find the following free online resource helpful - http://writeonline.ca/.  

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What happens if I can't get my assignment submitted on time?

It is important for you to be aware of due dates so that you can complete and submit your assignments in a timely fashion.  If you are unable to complete your assignment on time, contact your instructor in advance of the due date, if possible.   Instructors may use their discretion to deduct marks for late assignments.  Medical documentation may be requested if illness has prevented you from completing assignments or readings and or participating in your course.

 

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I'm going to be on vacation during the course, will this be a problem? 

That is a complicated question.  You can access the course anywhere you have access to the internet.  If you have a device (computer, laptop, IPad) and access to the internet you can continue to participate in your course anywhere in the world.  While you are planning your vacation remember there are weekly discussions and activities you will need to complete.  You will be responsible for keeping up with your coursework and submitting assignments as they are scheduled.  If you are planning a vacation we recommend you review the course schedule to ensure you are able to complete your coursework. You will not be granted any extensions because you are on vacation. On the other hand online courses offer the flexibility that allows you to travel and participate anywhere you are.

 

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Is each course led by an instructor?

Yes each course is facilitated by an instructor.  The instructor facilitates your learning, provides feedback on your progress, and interacts with students through the discussion board and email.  Instructors will keep the class stay on schedule and will also provide information and assistance to support students' success.  Instructors answer all student questions and they actively participate with you in the course.

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I'm interested in becoming a Master Gardener. Are your courses applicable?

Yes.  The University of Guelph offers three courses that are currently, as of Spring 2016, associated with the Master Gardener certification.  The courses are (1) Cultural Practices for Plants;  (2) Introduction to Plant Identification;  (3) Growing Plants.    Please reference your provinces’ Master Gardeners association website or guide books for more details on educational requirements and how to establish your qualifications for certification. 

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Technical & Material Requirements

 

What are my technical requirements?

Check the CourseLink System Requirements page to ensure you can access the course website: http://spaces.uoguelph.ca/ed/system-requirements/

Technical Check – Check your computer system compatibility at: 
https://courselink.uoguelph.ca/d2l/tools/system_check/systemcheck.asp?ou=6605

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Are textbooks required for my distance education course?

Textbooks are not required. If you wish to supplement your personal library, each instructor has provided a list of suitable references on the Resources page in each course.

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Policies and Procedures

 

How do I register for a course?

You can register online using the online registration form at the top and bottom of each course description. A print/fax registration form is available from the Register link.

To register by fax, complete the print registration form and fax it to 519-824-1114.

To register by mail, complete the print registration form and mail it to:

Open Learning and Educational Support
University of Guelph
160 Johnston Hall
Guelph Ontario Canada N1G 2W1

Please let us know the course(s) in which you are interested.

To register by phone, call 519-767-5000.

 

Need Help? Email info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca.

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When should I register?

Many of our courses fill up quickly so you should register early. Registrations will be accepted until the first Friday of class, if there is space in the class, but course materials are not shipped until course payment is received. It can take a week or more for course materials to arrive depending on where you live. International students should allow at least a week for course package delivery. If you register when the course starts you may not receive course materials until the first week of the course is over. Register early.

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What are the registration deadlines?

Please see the individual course descriptions for start dates or contact us for more information. Registration is open until the first Friday of class, if there is space. We will do everything we can to get you registered for a course. However, it is advisable to register early, as courses have space limits and fill up early.

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Are there restrictions on who is eligible to take courses through Open Learning and Educational Support?

There are generally no restrictions for individuals wishing to register in Continuing Education and professional development courses, workshops, conferences, distance education courses etc. However, it is best that you read the course description carefully, including the information on the intended target audience, to ensure that the course is right for you.

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Is English proficiency required to take these courses?

The horticulture, landscape and turf courses are facilitated in English. In order to understand fully the course materials and increase your chance of success, we strongly suggest that you have an English proficiency equivalent to a score of 89 iBT (Internet-based TOEFL) with no band less than 21 or successful completion of the advanced level of the English Language Certificate Program at the University of Guelph. Should you have any questions or concerns about your English proficiency, please contact the Open Learning and Educational Support at info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca or call 519-767-5000.

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How should I prepare my distance education assignment (policies and procedures)?

The horticulture Handbook and course web site contain specific instructions about assignment format.

Here are some helpful hints:

  • double space your assignment and allow for margins along the top, bottom and sides of the page
  • use one side of the paper only and number the pages
  • we strongly urge you to use a word-processor or typewriter; however, if this is not possible check with your instructor to see if he or she will accept neatly handwritten assignments
  • proofread your assignment for content, spelling and grammatical errors
  • always retain a disk or hard copy of your assignments
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How many distance education assignments will I have to complete?

Distance education courses typically have anywhere from two to ten assignments, quizzes, research papers, graded discussions, case studies etc. Each course has a schedule of study and specific requirements for assignments, quizzes, etc. Information on the course requirements and due dates are located in the Outline on each course website.

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What happens if I can't get my assignment in on time?

It is important for you to be aware of due dates so that you can complete and submit your assignments in a timely fashion. Instructors may use their discretion to deduct marks for late assignments. If you are unable to complete your assignment on time, contact your instructor in advance of the due date, if possible. Medical documentation may be requested if illness has prevented you from keeping up with your course.

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What if I am unable to complete a course?

If you are unable to complete a course,  you have to complete an Online Drop Request form in the Open Learning Student Portal  by the 40th class day to avoid academic penalty (receiving a grade of "F” on your academic record). Drop Forms are not accepted after the 40th class day (the Friday of week 8 in each course). 

 Failure to take part in a class does not constitute notification of withdrawal and will result in forfeiture of the entire course fee. No refunds are issued after the second week of the course.

 

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What is the course withdrawal policy?

A full refund will be issued provided you complete an Online Drop Request 30 calendar days or more prior to the course start date. Online Drop Requests can be done in the Open Learning Student Portal. From "Student Home" select your "Current Course" and select “Drop Course”

A refund less a $75.00 administration fee will be issued provided you complete an Online Drop Request at least 29 calendar days or less prior to the course start date or up to the Friday of the second week of the course. Your course materials and original receipt must be returned to Open Learning and Educational Support for the refund to be issued.

No refunds will be issued after the second week of the course.

Failure to take part in a course does not constitute notification of withdrawal and will result in forfeiture of the entire course fee.

Should you decide not to continue after the course drop date, you still have to complete an Online Drop Request Form in the Open Learning Student Portal  by the 40th class day to avoid academic penalty (receiving a grade of "F” on your academic record). Drop Forms are not accepted after the 40th class day (the Friday of week 8 in each course).

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What is the course cancellation policy?

Open Learning and Educational Support reserves the right to change or cancel a course at any time.  When it is necessary to cancel or postpone a course, Open Learning and Educational Support will make every effort to notify all participants.  It is important that you provide your home and business telephone numbers and email address when registering.  When Open Learning and Educational Support cancels or postpones a course, the paid course fee(s) will be refunded.  Open Learning and Educational Support’s liability is limited to the reimbursement of paid course fee(s).  Open Learning and Educational Support will not be responsible for travel or other related expenses incurred by the registrant.

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What is the requirement for granting of certificates?

A certificate will be issued to those who successfully complete all the courses listed within a certificate program. Select the Documents link to obtain a Certificate Request Form.

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I completed similar courses before joining this program. Can I receive advanced standing for these courses?

You can request advanced standing for a maximum of two courses that have been successfully completed at a post-secondary institution (i.e. college or university).   You must submit your official transcripts in a sealed envelope directly from your post-secondary institution as well as the course outline (include the learning outcomes and grading scheme) for each of the courses for which you are requesting an assessment.  If advanced standing is granted, these transfer credits can be used towards a GuelphHORT Certificate or Diploma.  The remaining core and elective courses within a GuelphHORT Certificate or Diploma must be completed through the University of Guelph's Continuing Education program.  

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Financial

 

What is the cost of each course?

  • Early Bird tuition fee: $545.00 CAD for registrations received 30 days before the course start date.
  • Regular tuition fee: $595.00 CAD for registrations received less than 30 days up to the first Friday of class
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Are Open Learning courses tax deductible?

In Canada, the tuition portion of your course fee is income tax deductible.  For the 2016 school year, T2202’s will be mailed as in previous years. For 2017 and onwards you can print your own receipt from the Student Portal. From the “Student Home” in the Open Learning Student Portal, select “Tax Receipt”.

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Is there any form of financial assistance available for these courses?

You may be eligible to receive a bursary award towards an Open Learning and Educational Support continuing education activity and/or Open Learning program. Visit http://opened.uoguelph.ca/en/students/financial-assistance.asp?_mid_=123 for more information.

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Do you have any other questions not covered above?

Contact us at 519-767-5000 or send us your questions by writing to info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca.

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