Distance Education Learning Resources

From UBC Wiki

These are learning resources that may be helpful to participants registered in distance learning courses. These links are all available through UBC's Learning Commons.

Academic Support

UBC's Learning Commons is your online resource for academic support. Here you will find what you need to help develop your academic skills – everything from tutoring to online librarians. The Learning Commons has resources and opportunities for students all across the spectrum of learning. Whether you’re looking for skill development or a unique academic challenge, you’ll find it here. You may also need to talk to an academic advisor about your studies. The following resource may help:

Academic Integrity

Academic misconduct is a serious issue and cause for harsh academic discipline – including expulsion from the University. Here are some resources to familiarize yourself with policies and processes around plagiarism as well as how to avoid it.

Exam Preparation and Support

Anyone who has ever taken an important test or exam knows how stressful it can be. One way you can alleviate some of the stress is to be prepared and plan enough time in your schedule for study. The following resources offer some practical and usable suggestions for exam preparation.

Distance Learning

Distance learning is a rewarding and challenging experience for many. It is different from most other distance learning modes of instruction in that you become part of a community of learners in a particular subject. Different from the traditional “independent study”, you will be logging on to your course website with fellow learners and your instructor, participating in asynchronous online discussion, and perhaps working in collaboration with others on group assignments.

If you haven’t tried an online course yet, you may want to browse through some of the resources below to help you get a feel for it.

All courses take place on UBC’s Learning Management System, Canvas.

If you have questions about Canvas, check out this list of helpful Canvas resources or the Canvas FAQ.

To learn more about how to be successful in an online course, view the resource link below.

Communicating Online

Netiquette is all about the code of behaviour established for communicating online. The rules for netiquette will vary, depending on the context (formal/informal); the people (known/unknown to each other) and the activity. The following resource will help you be aware and communicate effectively online.


For information about accessing library materials, as a distance education student, please visit the Distance Education Students section of the UBC Library website.

You can access research help, library databases, and distance library services all from home simply by logging in using the Library's EZproxy Login. All you need is a valid Campus-Wide Login (CWL) or UBC Card.

Research Help

Start your research by using the Library’s new search tool: Summon. Summon is a one-stop search tool that allows you to search for print and e-books, journal articles, statistical data, government documents, theses/dissertations, and much more all at once.

  • Every branch of the Library has staff members who can help you find what you need. Can’t find an article for your term paper? Don’t hesitate to Ask Us for assistance via email, online chat, or by phone.
  • The library also has tailor-made research guides designed to help you find the best sources for your research. You can find a guide for every discipline taught at UBC as well as multidisciplinary topics like Grey Literature, Sustainability, and Portfolio creation.

Borrowing Books

As a registered Distance Education student your loan period for UBC books is 28 days (undergraduate) or 56 days (graduate). Both are subject to recall by another borrower. You can renew library materials online through My Library Account except for items recalled by another borrower. Books and other materials are delivered by mail free of charge within Canada and the US and take from 10 days to 2 weeks for processing and delivery. Please allow adequate time.

To register for home delivery of library materials, please complete the Library’s online registration form.

Keys to Success

Learning by distance can be a great way to accomplish your educational goals. There are a few things you need to know before you get started. We’re sure that this will help you to get things off to a smooth start.

Time Management

Time management begins to take on a somewhat mythical quality with learners at university. There never seems to be enough time and what there is seems to become unmanageable quickly! Following are some resources which may serve as useful reminders about planning and managing your life so that you have some time to enjoy.


You are more likely to achieve your academic goals if you are clear about what those goals are. For some people, a university degree is a goal in itself. For others, completing courses, degrees or programs of study will help them to reach career goals or acquire knowledge needed in their current jobs. Preparing yourself for learning often begins with a process of reflection. Here is a resource to get you stared:

Reading & Writing


Reading for university requires you to move beyond reading for information towards reading for understanding. In order to do your own research and synthesize ideas from several sources, you will need to read critically – asking questions and checking your understanding as you go.

The following resources may be useful to you in developing and refining your reading skills:


The UBC Writing Centre offers non-credit courses designed to help UBC students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the general public, improve their command of English for general interest as well as academic, technical, or research purposes. There are additional resources that can help as well: