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Is Online Learning For Me?

Learning online from a distance is a great way to learn, but it's not for everyone. Discover the factors for success and what you can do to optimize your online learning experience.

Self-assessment checklist

Do you agree with most of the statements in this checklist? If so, you may enjoy learning online and have the conditions in-place to succeed.

Technical requirements

✔ I have access to a reliable computer which meets SAIT's technical requirements.

✔ I am willing to further my knowledge of computers and technology.

Study location, home and work support

✔ I have access to a quiet place to study.

✔ My employer and/or family/roommates support my plans to further my education by taking online courses.

✔ My family/roommates are respectful of my need for the time alone to study.

✔ My family/roommates are willing to help out when I am busy studying by completing household chores, taking care of children, and assisting with other personal obligations.

My learning style

✔ I enjoy learning independently.

✔ I take initiative in my own learning.

✔ I am self-disciplined in my studies.

Organizational skills

✔ I have clearly identified educational goals.

✔ I have good time-management skills and am prepared to balance my online courses with family, work and personal commitments.

✔ I am good at organizing study materials, breaking it up into smaller parts, and multi-tasking.

Communication skills

✔ When I have a question, I am prepared to contact my instructor and other students in the course or to access tutoring services.

✔ I am able to learn through reading.

✔ I have good writing and communication skills.

✔ I enjoy expressing my ideas and opinions through writing.

✔ I am interested in other students' perspectives and feel that I learn from them.

Adapted from: Discover Who You Are as a Learner © Lethbridge College (CC BY 3.0)

How does online learning at SAIT work?

Interested in how Distance Education works? Learn more about what you need to know before you get started.

Plan your learning

An online course has the equivalent workload of an on-campus course but is structured and scheduled around your personal and work life. You are able to register for as many online courses as you would like, but the sequence of online courses you take will depend on the program and any prerequisite courses involved.

Based on demand, we offer multiple intakes for some courses — others may only be offered once or twice a year. If you are new to online learning, we recommend that you do not take more then three courses concurrently.

View our online programs and courses
Know the course requirements and prerequisites

When taking an online course, ensure you understand the technical set-up requirements of your desired online course as well as any course prerequisites. All course-specific requirements and prerequisite information will be detailed on our program and course descriptions and reiterated in the Registration Confirmation document that is emailed to you once you've registered.

Does the course or program you want to take have admission requirements for which you must upgrade? Contact our Academic Upgrading liaisons who can assist.

If you are taking courses to complete and receive a SAIT credential, keep the credential timelines for completion in mind. 


You can register for an online course by phone, online or in-person. Most of our continuing and online courses and programs do not have an official admission process to complete, you simply register for the course and pay at the time of registration.

For some of our programs — 14 in total — there are admission requirements (English language proficiency, requirements in mathematics and science) for which you are required to complete an online application process through ApplyAlberta.

Included in your registration will be access to various supports and resources to ensure you have the best online learning experience possible.

Are you looking for credit towards post-secondary courses based on what you already know and can do? Learn more about our transfer options.

Buy your textbooks and ebooks online

You are able to purchase your textbooks, ebooks and reading materials from the SAIT Bookstore online or in-person. Materials can be shipped by Canada Post or you can pick them in-person directly from the bookstore.

Log on anytime, anywhere

Brightspace (D2L) is a learning management system used at SAIT to provide access to course content and resources, used by both students and faculty. As a student, you'll be able to access your curriculum and upload assignments.

Accessing the Brightspace (D2L) learning platform, you'll be able to complete your coursework and assessments on your own time. A course outline and recommended schedule will be included to help you stay on track and ensure you complete all the required coursework, assignments, discussions and proctored assessments within the allotted course timeframe.

Our online instructors, as well as our customer service team, will be there when you need us to support the successful completion of your online course.

Request an extension

Our online courses vary in length from six weeks to 34 weeks and have defined start and end dates. Some of our courses offer an option to purchase an extension up to two business days before the course end date. An extension provides additional time equal to half the original course duration.

Book and write your proctored exam(s)

If your online course includes exams that must be supervised by a proctor, it is your responsibility to book these assessments and write them at an arranged location.

We offer various proctoring options to meet your personal needs — you can write your exams at our on-campus testing facility in Calgary. You can also take your exam at a SAIT-approved off-campus location near you, or use ProctorU live online proctoring service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Proctoring fees do apply.

Contact Distance Education

Senator Burns

Hours of operation

Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 5 pm

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