About Online Learning

We offer several programs entirely online. We also offer a variety of online courses individually, which you may apply to an in-class program later if you choose.

What is it like to learn online at SFU Continuing Studies?

Watch our video series for a peek inside our online courses.

Online courses are structured very much like in-class courses. In an in-class course, you are given new information by lecture, readings, discussions and possibly an assignment. In an online course, you are given new content to read, course readings, online research, discussions and assignments or exams in modules. All work, including exams, is completed online within the time frame of the course. 

We’ve designed the curriculum of our online courses and programs to meet the scheduling needs of working professionals. You’ll access the courses through Canvas, our learning management system, which is available through the SFU website. Canvas is extremely user-friendly—even if you’ve never studied online before. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection.

When do I need to be online?

Occasionally your instructor may schedule a special guest speaker or an interactive presentation at a specific date and time. There may also be optional instructor office-hour chats held on a regular basis. Otherwise, you will set your own coursework hours, following posted assignment and discussion deadlines. 

You do not have to be online at specific times, but you will need to be online regularly. You should prepare to devote between six and 10 hours of course per week to each course and plan to access the course at least once every two days to keep up with your work.

If it's self-paced, can I finish sooner?

It may be possible to work ahead at times, but our courses are not designed to be completed earlier than the specified end date. Each course consists of modules that you work through in a set order. While some courses allow access to all modules on the course start date, you may need to participate in an activity or work on an exercise during certain set weeks. This will restrict your ability to finish the course before the scheduled end date.  

What about classroom interaction?

Studying online doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on interaction with others. You will work through our online courses with peers from different geographical and professional backgrounds who share their experiences, ideas and expertise. Through online forums, you'll have the chance to ask questions and discuss what you learn with your instructor and other students. You can also contact your classmates and instructors individually using the message features on Canvas.

Where can I get technical help? 

Visit our online learning technical support page for password reset instructions or to contact our technical support team.