STUDENT HANDBOOK Trent Online

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1 STUDENT HANDBOOK Trent Online Trent University 1600 West Bank Dr., Bata Library 202 Peterborough ON K9J 7B8 (705) x7880

2 Table of Contents Contact Information Contacting Trent Online Who to Contact Contact Chart Getting Started I am an online student Technical Requirements Textbooks mytrent Accessing the Course Site About the Course Site for your Online Course Assignments Discussions Assessments Final Exams and Proctors Course Completion Course Evaluation Final Grades Policies Late Registrations and Withdrawals Plagiarism 2 P a g e

3 Contact Information Trent University Trent Online Handbook Contacting Trent Online Trent Online staff are available 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. By By phone: (Trent Online) Who to Contact Trent Online x7880 Questions about taking an online course Copies of syllabus for Letter of Permission applications Offsite/remote exams Course Instructor (Faculty Name) Course content Grading issues Personal issues submitting assignments Enquiring about required books or course materials for a course Questions about the final exam Information Technology: Technical issues submitting assignments Difficulties accessing a course Issues accessing parts of a course Blackboard or Learning System issues issues Claiming your TrentID Bookstore Ordering books and course materials Enquiring about required books or course materials for a course Registrar Course registration and withdrawals Course fees Final grade issues General registration enquiries Student Accessibility Services Learning support Students requiring accommodations for assessments 3 P a g e

4 Contact Chart Trent Online Information Technology Bookstore Office of the Registrar Student Accessibility Services Student Accounts Office Office of Student Affairs Academic Skills Centre Career Centre Financial Aid x7880 First Floor of Bata Library (IT) Second Floor of Bata Library Suite 102, Blackburn Hall Suite 132, Blackburn Hall x 7125 Suite 114, Blackburn Hall x 7125 Suite 112, Blackburn Hall Suite 206, Champlain College x 6012 Suite 204, Champlain College Suite 102, Blackburn Hall 4 P a g e

5 Getting Started I am an online student All students registered in an online course at Trent will see a special course site listed on their course list called I am an online student. The site will provide you with the opportunity to learn about online courses, Blackboard, resources that will help you navigate through the process of taking a distance course at Trent, and what you need to do after your online course is complete. This is not a class so there are no grades and no syllabus - this is simply a compilation of information that you will need to be successful in your online course. In other words: Everything on the site is optional! You should expect the completion of the orientation on the site to take approximately two to three hours, but you do not have to complete it all in one sitting. Pace yourself. You may want to complete one section at a time, for example. While you are enrolled in an online course you will have access to the Online Student Orientation so feel free to use it as a resource as you encounter new online learning experiences. Use I need... as a quick guide to some of the services available to you as an online student. Technical Requirements Sufficient technology and Internet access are required to complete online courses at Trent. The following information will help verify that you are adequately equipped. Supported Operating Systems: Windows 8 or Windows 7 (recommended), Windows XP (service pack 3 for 32-bit, service pack 2 for 64-bit), also supported MAC OS X 10 and higher are supported for most online course materials. Computer specifications are reviewed and revised bi-annually to accommodate changes in technology. While every attempt is made to ensure that these specifications satisfy all curricular needs for students completing courses, Trent reserves the right to require upgrades in the event of technology changes. Supported Internet Browsers: 5 P a g e

6 Major releases of browsers are generally supported within days of their public release date. Due to the rapid release cycles of some supported Internet browsers, the two latest releases of each browser are supported. When using older versions of a browser, users risk running into problems with the course software. Windows Users o Microsoft Internet Explorer o Google Chrome o Mozilla Firefox Mac OS Users o Apple Safari o Google Chrome o Mozilla Firefox Internet Browsers not mentioned above are NOT currently supported and may not meet all requirements of your coursework. Internet Browser Settings Please refer to your browser's Help features to check these settings. Pop-Up Blocker should be disabled Java Script should be enabled Java should be enabled Cookies should be enabled Browser Plug-ins The most recent version of the following plug-ins are required for many of the resources available in your online courses: Adobe Flash Player Adobe Acrobat Reader RealPlayer (Basic) Apple QuickTime Player Java v7 or higher Silverlight 5 or higher Productivity Tools Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) NOTE: This software is available to all Trent students free-of-charge through the Microsoft Student Advantage program. Under this program, registered students are able to download and install Office 365 ProPlus on up to 5 devices AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. See this page for more details: 6 P a g e

7 About Tablets, Smartphones and Other Mobile Devices While tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices may allow for some completion of coursework, they are not guaranteed to work in all areas. Please ensure you have a Windows or Mac based computer available to complete coursework in the event your selected mobile device does not meet the needs of the course. Students who need assistive technologies will have different computer and technology requirements. Please check with your Student Accessibility Services counselor to determine the requirements for the specific technologies needed to support your online classes. For questions regarding these requirements, please contact the IT Service Desk using the contact information listed in the chart above. Textbooks It is recommended that students have all required books and resources prior to the start of their online course. A list of required material including books and other resources can be found in your courses syllabus. Many of the course syllabi are available on departmental websites or by contacting the academic department offering the course. A full list of departmental websites can be found here: For textbooks, students can contact the Trent bookstore by phone or consult the online bookstore for a list of course materials. Students can also expect to receive an from their professor prior to the start of their course indicating which books which are required for the course. 7 P a g e

8 mytrent The mytrent portal is a site that links all students with the resources that are available specifically to them. They can add courses, drop courses, view grades, change their major, view news articles and check their Trent . It is also the site that links them to the LearningSystem/Blackboard. The LearningSystem/Blackboard is accessed through mytrent and connects a student to sites for all of their courses. MyTrent and LearningSystem are accessed using a TrentID. All Trent University students and applicants are eligible for a TrentID. Students are not automatically notified of their TrentID -- they must go online to claim it at A TrentID also defines a student s Trent address. Once a student has claimed their TrentID it remains assigned to that student as long as they regularly take courses from Trent University. Accessing the Course Site for your Online Course Courses will appear five days prior to the start of class or within one business day of registration in the course if registration occurs after the course begins. Log into the LearningSystem/Blackboard by clicking on the LearningSystem tab in mytrent. 8 P a g e

9 The initial Blackboard page is called the Student Dashboard. All of the courses which a student is registered in for the current term are listed under My Courses. Students can gain access to any course site by clicking on the link. Students can customize the Student Dashboard by adding and removing modules using the Add Module button on the left or change their personal colour using the Personalize Page button on the right. More details on customizing your Dashboard can be found on the Student Resources How Do I? page. About the Course Site All instructors of online courses will use the LearningSystem/Blackboard. They will customize each course site to meet their class needs, and not all course sites will use the same tools. 9 P a g e

10 Menu options will change based on what your instructor is using in their course. Most online courses contain a Getting Started page which contains information about the instructor, the course learning objectives, the syllabus, and often an introductory video lecture. If a course has an in-person, proctored exam ALL students MUST complete the exam declaration found on this page or on the Exams page. It is recommended that this be completed as soon as possible. More Learning System resources can be found at: Assignments Assignment due dates are always listed on the syllabus, which can be found on the Getting Started or Course Content page of the course. 10 P a g e

11 Unless specific instructions are outlined in the course material, assignments should be submitted as an attachment to the electronic dropbox in the course site that is specifically named for this purpose. Assignments are often graded and returned in the LearningSystem. Grades and professors comments can be seen in My Grades. All grades which have been added and are visible by your instructor will be displayed in My Grades. Comments and/or rubrics can also be accessed from here. Discussions A discussion board is an online space where you can interact and discuss course materials with your instructor and classmates. Every discussion board is organized by forums and by threads. A forum is a space within a discussion board dedicated to a particular topic; discussion boards will often contain multiple forums. Within each forum, users will post and reply to messages or threads on a specific topic. Some instructors will expect students to post threads to existing forums, while others may allow students to create their own forums. Check your syllabus or ask your instructor if you need any clarification on how to use discussion boards within 11 P a g e

12 your course. ACCESSING THE TOOL To access your course discussion board: Click Discussions on your Course Menu, or watch for a link to a particular discussion in your course module. POST A THREAD 1. Click on the forum you want to post to; 2. On the forum page, click on the Create Thread button; 3. On the Create Thread page enter a subject or title for your post under Subject; 4. Enter your thread text in the Message field; 5. If your instructor has enabled the attachment feature you will be able to attach a file to your thread by clicking the Attach a File link; 6. If you are ready to post your message to the Discussion Board, click Submit. If you still want to continue working on your post, click on Save Draft. This will save your thread text and allow you to return to the discussion board at a later date to complete you message. REPLY TO A POST 1. Click on the thread you want to reply to; 2. On the Thread Detail page click the Reply button; 3. On the Reply to Post page, you can choose to either enter a subject or keep the automatically generated subject; 4. Enter your reply text in the Message field; 5. If your instructor has enabled the attachment feature you will be able to attach a file to your reply by clicking the Attach a File link; 6. If you are ready to post your message to the Discussion Board click Submit. If you still want to continue working on your post, click on Save Draft. This will save your thread text and allow you to return to the discussion board at a later date to complete you message. MESSAGES RECEIVED FROM COURSE DISCUSSION BOARDS Your instructor may include the option to Subscribe to a Discussion Board Forum or a specific Thread within a Forum. If you have selected Subscribe in the Discussion Board within a course, you will receive an message when a new post or reply is added to a Forum or thread. Important: DO NOT reply to messages regarding new post or reply notifications from the Discussion Board. To create a new post in a Forum or reply to a Thread, access the Discussion Board within the course. 12 P a g e

13 Assessments/Quizzes Many online courses have quizzes or assessments. These may have a time limit and some may allow multiple attempts. Once a student begins an assessment, the quiz timer will start. If the quiz window needs to be closed and reopened, due to technical issues, the timer will continue to progress during this time. Quizzes must be submitted within the time allotted and may not accept any submissions after the time limit has ended. Assessments are used as a way to assess the student s current knowledge of the course content. Most assessments will not provide students with a correct answer at the end of the quiz. It is a student s responsibility to identify areas for which they require more help. Students should do not need to Save Answer after each question they answer. Answers will be auto-saved. The window at the side of a quiz which is currently being written indicates the time allotted for the test. It s a good idea to use a separate timer like the one on your phone when you are taking a test to ensure that you Final Exams and Proctors A final examination is scheduled for most online courses offered at Trent University. Specific information about the structure of the final examination will provided by the course instructor in the course syllabus. If a course has an in-person proctored final exam, ALL students MUST complete the exam declaration located on the Getting Started and/or Exams page. It is recommended that this be completed as soon as possible in the course. Students residing within 200 km of Trent s Peterborough or Oshawa campus are required to write proctored final exam on campus. Students living more than 200 km from Trent's campuses can request a remote exam. Students are required to write remote exams via a Contact North exam centre if there is one within 100 km of their residence. Students who live more than 100 km away from a Contact North exam centre may write their exams closer to home provided they arrange for a proctor. A proctor is a person authorized by Trent University to oversee the writing of an exam by a Trent student. Trent University has the right to refuse a 13 P a g e

14 requested proctor, and request the student submit an alternative proctor, or request the student write at a Contact North or other post-secondary exam centre. Trent has the right to discontinue the use of any proctor or exam centre at any time. If an exam centre is not available in the student s area they may propose an individual who meets the guidelines below. Before a proctor may be approved, the University must be able to verify the accuracy of the information presented by the student and proctor. A proctor must be a(n): Professor or staff member of a public post-secondary institution Librarian at an academic or public library Staff member of a public or private secondary school Human resources professional who works in a dedicated HR department Ranking officer in the Armed Forces Official at an embassy or consulate office A proctor may not be a: Friend Neighbour Co-worker or supervisor Family member or relative of the student Resident at the same address as the student Current Trent University student Exceptions may be considered for students who live in remote communities and do not have access to one of the listed individuals within a 100 km radius of the student s residence. The University must be confident that the proctor will ensure the exam guidelines will be followed and there is no conflict of interest between the proctor and student. Students are responsible for any expenses incurred when writing a remote exam. Many exam centres request a fee to proctor an exam. There is no fee to write an exam at either of Trent University s campuses or at a Contact North exam centre. Once they are available, exam schedules can be viewed on the mytrent portal. Exam information will be sent by directly to students who are approved to write their exam at an alternate site by Trent Online. 14 P a g e

15 Course Completion Course Evaluation Trent University Trent Online Handbook An online course evaluation will be available on each course homepage for a limited time at the end of each term. All evaluations are 100% anonymous and cannot be associated with a particular student. Faculty will also not have access to the results of the evaluation until after the student marks have been submitted to the Registrar s Office. The course evaluation is open to all students registered in the course. Student comments provide crucial information that assists Trent University to improve its courses and programs. Final Grades At the end of a course, faculty submit grades to the Registrar s Office. These are then posted online for student viewing via Academics, which is accessed through mytrent. Grades are NOT available directly from the professor, via the LearningSystem or by telephone. Policies Registrations and Withdrawals All registration and withdrawal policies are consistent with Trent University policies for on-campus courses. Dates for registration and withdrawals can be found on the academic calendar on mytrent. Late registrations and withdrawal policies can be found under the academic petitions site: Plagiarism and Cheating Plagiarism or any other form of cheating in examinations, term tests, or academic work is subject to serious academic penalties (e.g. suspension or expulsion from the school) Please refer to Trent s Academic integrity policy which provides a detailed description of what constitutes plagiarism and cheating in 1.5 and 1.6 of the policy. This can be found online or in the academic calendar. 15 P a g e

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