What is a self-directed learning (SDL) course?

Self-directed distance learning courses allow students to acquire credits toward a degree in a flexible, self-paced manner. These courses are conducted online through the Moodle learning platform.


What is Moodle?

Moodle is an online platform that connects students to their professors. Professors post relevant items like the course syllabus, assignments, course readings, and so on. It can be accessed through the MtA homepage, or diretly at https://moodle.mta.ca/


Who can take self-directed learning courses?

Any Mount Allison student (Canadian and international) may take courses by self-directed learning. This includes students who are currently in Grade 12 and will be joining Mount Allison in Fall 2020.

International students enrolled or planning to enrol in the English Academic Bridging (EAB) Program in Fall 2020 are not eligible to register for a course in the Spring/Summer Term.


What courses are offered?  

Course offerings for self-directed learning courses are posted on the Registrar’s Office web page. See this year's list, see 2020 Spring/Summer Term course list.


How long do I have to complete the course?  

Course materials or access to Moodle will be available starting Monday, May 4, 2020. If your course has a final exam, exams for SDL courses are scheduled for Saturday, September 5, 2020. Please note that not all courses have final exams.


How do I know what the course is like? Is there an exam?

As with on-campus courses, course instructors decide on the course syllabus, including course material, textbooks, marking schemes, and whether or not there is an exam. If students are curious about the format of a self-directed learning course, they should contact the professor directly via e-mail. E-mail addresses for course instructors can be found on the 2020 Spring/Summer Term course list.


How do I register for self-directed learning courses?

Students may register for self-directed study courses via Connect. Students can view which courses are offered by self-directed learning on Connect, which may be helpful when planning course selections. For more information, see 2020 Spring/Summer Term.

Grade 12 students must e-mail admissions@mta.ca with the subject line '2020 Spring/Summer SDL course activation' indicating the course you would like to take.


When do I register for self-directed learning courses?

Students will be notified via e-mail to let them know when registration is available. Self-directed learning courses are subject to the same registration (add/drop) and withdrawal deadlines as any other course.

  • May 4 ― Spring/Summer Term courses begin
  • May 22 ― Last day for changes in registration (add/drop)
  • May 25 ― Last day to make fee payment
  • July 17 ― End of withdrawal period
  • Sept. 5 ― SDL exams (only for courses with final exams)

When/how will I receive the course syllabus?

Your course syllabus and initial course materials will be available either on the course Moodle page or will be forwarded to you via email from the course instructor on the first day of classes in the term you are registered. If you do not receive your course syllabus within the first few days of classes please contact your instructor immediately. If you do not receive a reply, contact regoffice@mta.ca for assistance.


How do I pay fees? What's the deadline to pay?

For information on how to pay your course fees, visit mta.ca/feepayment. Course payment is due by May 25, 2020.


What is the cost of a self-directed learning course for the 2020 Spring/Summer Term?

ALL STUDENTS: $877 (CDN) per course
Including Canadian and international students, incoming and current students 

  • For incoming first-year students, a $300 credit will be applied to your student account towards fall term fees
  • For international students, $877 is a reduced rate. Regular SDL course rate for international students is $1,800.
  • For current students: bursary support is available up to $250 per course for students with demonstrated financial need. Apply for the Spring/Summer 2020 academic term, deadline: June 30, 2020.

How many self-directed learning courses can I take in a term? Can I overload?  

  • Once activated by Admissions, Grade 12 students can register for one 1000-level or 2000-level course with no pre-requisite course in Connect.
  • Current students can take up to 12 credits per term by self-directed learning as part of a full course load. In the Spring/Summer term, for current students, a full course load is 12 credits.

Will Spring/Summer SDL courses count towards my degree?

Yes, SDL courses will count as credit towards your degree. It will be factored into your GPA and will remain on your transcript unless you drop it by the course withdrawal deadline, July 17, 2020.


This course is not for me. Can I drop it? How?

Yes, this means that if you drop the course by the deadline it will no show up on your transcript at all. Students may choose to do this if they are considerably behind on course content or are not doing well in the course and do not want a poor mark on their transcript, for example.

Students must withdraw from a self-directed study course via Connect by July 17, 2020.


Will my mark from a SDL course affect my entrance scholarship eligibility?

No. Spring/Summer courses are excluded from the GPA calculation for scholarship renewal eligibility. You will still be required to meet the scholarship renewal criteria of 30 credits over the fall and winter terms, with a cumulative GPA of 3.7.


Do I need to be in Sackville to take a self-directed study course?

No, you do not need to be located in Sackville, NB in order to take a self-directed learning course. Many students take self-directed study courses during the spring/summer term while there are away from campus. Courses are completed either online via Moodle and/or via e-mail communication with the professor. If there is a midterm or a final exam in the course, students can arrange to write the exam remotely, near their homes.


Who can I talk to if I have concerns about whether a course is a good option for me?

You can speak to an academic advisor by e-mail advisor@mta.ca or book a virtual advising appointment at mta.ca/advising


My course has a mid-term and/or a final exam – how, when, and where do I write it?

Course instructors decide whether or not there is an exam. If there is a final exam in your self-directed course, exams take place in Sackville typically on the last Saturday before the start of the fall term. For the 2020 Spring/Summer Term, exams will happen on September 5, 2020.

Students located on campus are expected to write their final exams on the scheduled day. During the spring/summer term, there is some flexibility and students may be able to arrange writing the final exam at an earlier date. For students not located in Sackville, final exams can be written remotely. Likewise, mid-term exams for correspondence courses can be written either on campus in Sackville, NB or remotely, near a student's place of residence. 

Exam invigilation on campus in Sackville is free for students taking Mount Allison self-directed study courses. To arrange to write a Mount Allison self-directed study course mid-term or final exam on campus, please contact regoffice@mta.ca at least 10 business days before the date you wish to write your exam. Exams are written in the Wallace McCain Student Centre. Students should arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled exam time and report to the service counter at the Registrar's Office (2nd floor of the Wallace McCain Student Centre).

To arrange to write a Mount Allison self-directed study course exam remotely, please contact regoffice@mta.ca at least 10 business days before the date you wish to write your exam. To write an exam remotely, students must arrange for the exam to be invigilated at a post-secondary institution or testing centre. The invigilator must not be a relative or friend of the student. In the e-mail to regoffice@mta.ca, students wishing to arrange remote invigilation should include the name of the prospective invigilator, their  occupation and place of employment, the mailing address AND telephone number of the invigilator, as well as the date and time for each exam to be written.