Getting Connected - Finding and navigating your course materials

Open Online (you're here now!) is your starting point for your online learning experience. You'll be using a browser to link to your online course (we recommend Netscape Navigator 4.7 or Internet Explorer 5.0 or better). Click on Login at the top of the screen to access your course.

Here's a screen shot of a sample course home page. Each home page has a title page screen, and set of navigational links or symbols. The navigational links are in a frame - that is, they'll always be at the top of your screen?so you can use them to find your way around no matter where you end up in the course.

Screenshot of Sample Course Homepage

Many students taking their first online course are worried that they might miss something important, or not find everything in the course site. We have several techniques to help you find your way. For example, Updates lets your course instructor post important messages - like assignment reminders or changes. Updates are like the announcements a professor might give at the beginning of a class, before getting down to the lecture. In Updates, these important announcements are dated and kept in one place, making it easy for you to find them.

Screenshot of Updates screen

Each course also has an Outline section. This is where you'll find all the details on your assignments, how you'll be graded, what resources you'll be using, and how to contact your instructor and our technical help team.

Screenshot of Course Outline screen

Then, when you're ready to start your course, the Coursework link will take you to a week by week schedule, with links to all the units, the learning activities and the instructions you need to participate in and successfully complete your course. We'll guide you each step of the way.

Screenshot of coursework

You'll see the course navigation menu (at the top of the screen) when you log into the course web site. Here's an explanation of each of the links.

The Updates section offers your instructor a quick way of communicating with the entire class. Look here for updated course information, group feedback, and other "just-in time" information you need to know about.

The course Outline provides you with details on objectives, learning strategies, resources, and submitting assignments. This is where you'll find all the details on how you'll be graded, what resources you'll be using, and how to contact your instructor and our technical help team.

Coursework gives you an overview of the unit activities and assignments for this course. The Coursework link will link you to all of your course activities and assignments. In the column on the left-hand side of the page are list of Units, activities and resources for the unit. The middle column shows the week and corresponding dates of the course. Finally, on the right-hand column you will find the assignments and activities for which you are responsible as well as the required due dates.

Computer Conferences offer you a way to communicate with your classmates in this course. The Help conference is monitored regularly by the technical support staff, and will last for the duration of your course. It's available to anyone taking an online course during the semester. It's a great place to have your conferencing questions answered!

The Resources section provides you with links to various web sites that are related to course content. This section is also your link to an assortment of resources designed to help you become a successful online learner. You can find everything from how to write better essays to the proper way to cite online research.

The Grades link displays your marks for the tests and assignments you'll have during the semester.

Click on the Help link and you'll find answers to many of the technical questions you might have - such as how to use Netscape mail, or how to bookmark a web site. You can also access forms to contact your instructor, teaching assistant, or Open Learning and Educational Support.