Delivering Excellence in Lifelong Learning
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Health and Social Service

Skill Development

The skills you need to make a difference.

Format (Online)


The ​Health and Social Service program offers courses in an online format. It is important that you consider the learning format and its suitability for you in order to ensure that you have a successful learning experience. Continuing Education uses the Learning Management System (LMS), Brightspace (Desire to Learn), to deliver its online courses. McMaster uses the term “Avenue to Learn (A2L)” for the LMS.  

Online Learning

  • Teaching methods may include several evaluation components. The evaluations will consist of assignments, case studies, presentations, laboratory application activities, individual or group projects, class participation, or a combination thereof.
  • Where appropriate, evaluations will be structured to evaluate participants' level of competency in achieving overall learning objectives.
  • You will be interacting with your classmates and your instructor each week.
  • You should expect to allocate approximately six to eight hours per week to complete your work but you don’t need to log on at a specific time.
  • Courses are activated in Avenue to Learn 3 days prior to the course start date. Once your course is active your will see the course details, including a complete course syllabus.
  • For each course, students will complete an evaluation to assess content, delivery, materials, method of evaluation and instruction.

Considerations for Taking an Online Class

How do I know if an online class is for me? 

  • You have good time management skills. 
  • You are comfortable asking for clarification when needed and expressing yourself in written form through email or a discussion board.
  • You are able to read the textbook (and the assignments) on your own and understand the concepts.
  • You are able to work independently.
  • You have a quiet place to complete your work.
  • You are comfortable using technology. 

What equipment do I need to use the online course software and tools?

The following equipment is required for taking a course online: 

  • Windows or Mac computer
  • Internet connection (high speed broadband is best)