Online, redefined: SFU takes online learning to a new level of engagement

July 31, 2019

By Ash Tanasiychuk

Students asked, the university listened, and C900 is the answer.

Simon Fraser University has completely re-imagined its online course offerings for this fall. C900 is the new designation for courses that are online, interactive and instructor-led, taking online learning to a new level of engagement.

In the previous version of online courses (Centre for Online and Distance Education, or CODE), tutor markers handled most of the interaction with students.

SFU’s new C900 courses switch this up. While C900 continues what students like about online courses—learning on their own schedule—the courses also address what students want—direct engagement with their instructor.

Criminology lecturer Danielle Murdoch is one of the first to teach a C900 course this fall (CRIM 241). “Students have indicated they want more instructor involvement,” she says, “so I'll be taking a very active role in their learning.”

She’ll hold online office hours, deliver current news stories related to the course material, post volunteer and job opportunities, and even incorporate an optional, in-person tour of a correctional facility. Students can expect that all SFU instructors teaching C900 courses will feature a similar range of engaging activities and availability.

SFU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) is proud to be among the first to offer re-developed online courses that involve expert faculty in students’ learning.

Students can enroll now in four FASS courses: CRIM 131: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System, CRIM 241: Introduction to Corrections, HUM 130: Introduction to Religious Studies, and SA 150: Introduction to Sociology.

Over the next year C900 courses will replace approximately 80 CODE courses.

“It all amounts to a dramatically improved experience for SFU’s students,” says Catherine Murray, associate dean, undergraduate academic programs and enrolment management, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

With just over one month until registration closes, sign up now for a new, cool C900 course. Tell your friends and classmates.

“Share the message,” says Murdoch. “With C900, our students are engaging with us, the instructors, instead of the tutor markers. We’re answering their questions and preparing them for their success in the course.”