Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I register for individual courses if I am not interested in obtaining a certificate at this time?
- How are these courses conducted?
- How does distance education work?
- Where do I take the courses?
- When can I start?
- How much time will I need to devote to my distance course each week?
- Can the courses be taken in any order?
- Could you send me an OpenEd Course Guide?
- How should I prepare my distance education assignment?
- What happens if I can't get my assignment submitted on time?
- I'm going to be on vacation during the course, will this be a problem?
- Is each course led by an instructor?
- I'm interested in becoming a Master Gardener. Are your courses applicable?
Technical & Material Requirements
Policies and Procedures
- How do I register for a course?
- When should I register?
- Are there restrictions on who is eligible to take courses through OpenEd?
- Is English proficiency required to take these courses?
- How many distance education assignments will I have to complete?
- What happens if I can't get my assignment in on time?
- What if I am unable to complete a course?
- What is the course withdrawal policy?
- What is the course cancellation policy?
- What is the requirement for granting of certificates?
- I completed similar courses before joining this program. Can I receive advanced standing for these courses?
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.
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. It is recommended that you log onto the course web site several times per week to study the course material, connect with classmates and instructors through the course discussions, submit assignments and check grades. Courses are divided into units or modules that are to be completed each week. Courses have a paced study schedule that ensures you progress through the course at the same time as everyone else with the support of classmates and instructor. You have flexibility within each week to determine when you will participate in the course.
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, and quizzes, as well as access to your classmates and instructor. Distance education provides a contemporary means through which the University of Guelph continues its tradition of outreach and open learning opportunities. For more information about our online distance education programs, visit the OpenEd website.
Where do I take the courses?
You can take courses 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.
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 6 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.
Can the courses be taken in any order?
Most certificate courses can be taken in any order. The only exception is Landscape Design I , which must be taken before Landscape Design II. For diploma courses, you must successfully complete the associated certificate courses before taking the proposed diploma courses; for example, you must complete all seven courses required in the Horticulturalist Certificate before proceeding with the three proposed courses required for the Horticulturalist Diploma.
Could you send me an OpenEd Course Guide?
An interactive version of our course guide is available on our website. If you require a printed copy, please email our main office or phone us at 519-767-5000.
How should I prepare my distance education assignment?
Your course will contain specific directions about how to prepare each assignment for submission. A course outline and assignment instructions will be provided. Assignments are easily submitted as a file attachment inside the learning management system.
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.
I'm going to be on vacation during the course, will this be a problem?
If you have a device (computer, laptop, iPad) and access to the Internet you can continue to participate in your course from 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. 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.
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 you through the discussion board and email. Instructors will keep the course on schedule and will also provide information and assistance to support your success. Instructors will answer all of your questions and they will actively participate with you in the course.
I'm interested in becoming a Master Gardener. Are your courses applicable?
The University of Guelph offers three courses that are associated with the Master Gardener certification:
- Cultural Practices for Plants;
- Introduction to Plant Identification;
- Growing Plants.
Please refer to your provinces Master Gardeners association website or guide books for more details on educational requirements and how to establish your qualifications for certification.
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.
When should I register?
Many of our courses fill up quickly so early registration is recommended. Registrations will be accepted until the first Friday of class, depending on available space.
Note: Some courses have materials and these 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.
Are there restrictions on who is eligible to take courses through OpenEd?
There are no restrictions for continuing education and professional development courses, workshops, conferences, and distance education courses. We recommend that you read the course description carefully, including the information on the intended target audience, to ensure that you are choosing the right course.
Is English proficiency required to take these courses?
The horticulture, landscape and turf courses are facilitated in English. In order to fully understand the course materials, we strongly suggest that you we strongly suggest that you meet the English Proficiency Requirements outlined by the University of Guelph. To better assist you, OpenEd has developed the English Language Certificate Program (ELCP), an intensive academic English language program designed to prepare students for academic success.
How many distance education assignments will I have to complete?
Distance education courses typically have anywhere from two to ten assignments, in addition to quizzes, research papers, graded discussions, and case studies, depending on the course. Each course has a schedule of study and specific requirements for assignments that will be made available to you. You can see how each course is typically evaluated before you register on the course description page.
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.
What if I am unable to complete a course?
If you are unable to complete a course, you must complete an Online Drop Request Form by the 40th class day to avoid academic penalty. Drop forms are not accepted after the 40th class day (the Friday of Week 8 in each course). Drop forms are available on the Open Learning Student Portal.
Failure to participate in a course does not constitute notification of withdrawal. Please note that refunds will not be issued after the second week of the course.
What is the course withdrawal policy?
A full refund will be issued provided you complete an Online Drop Request Form at least 30 calendar days prior to the course start date. Online drop requests can be done through the OpenEd Student Portal. From the Student Home menu, 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 Form at least 29 calendar days or less prior to the course start date and up to the Friday of the second week of the course. Your course materials and original receipt must be returned to OpenEd in order for the refund to be issued.
No refunds will be issued after the second week of the course.
Failure to participate 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 by the 40th class day in order to avoid academic penalty. Drop forms are not accepted after the 40th class day (the Friday of Week 8 in each course).
What is the course cancellation policy?
OpenEd reserves the right to change or cancel a course at any time. When it is necessary to cancel or postpone a course, OpenEd 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 a course is cancelled or postponed, the paid course fee(s) will be refunded. OpenEd’s liability is limited to the reimbursement of paid course fee(s) and will not be responsible for travel or other related expenses incurred by the registrant.
What is the requirement for granting of certificates?
A certificate will be issued to those who successfully complete the program requirements. You may request a certificate or diploma by filling out the form found in the Forms and Policies section in the Student Home menu in the OpenEd Student Portal.
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 (including the learning outcomes and grading scheme) for each of the courses for which you are requesting an assessment. If advanced standing is granted, your 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.
What is the cost of each course?
- The Early Bird tuition fee is $545.00 CAD for registrations received 30 days before the course start date.
- The regular tuition fee is $595.00 CAD for registrations received less than 30 days up to the first Friday of class
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 OpenEd Student Portal. From the Student Home menu in the OpenEd Student Portal, select Tax Receipt.
To print a receipt of payment, choose My Account History, then Basket ID.