Review Averages: 5.9 out of 10
Accreditation: Province of Alberta
Athabasca University Reviews:
Bachelor of Science - April 12, 2016
I wanted to take a BSc POST DIPLOMA only to be told I could NOT unless I got a letter from my supervisor stating I was CURRENT in my field (LIKE HE WOULD KNOW!) I have been a CERTIFIED ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIST since 1983 and have helped to write an entrance exam for new applicants. Is IT MY fault I am CURRENTLY not working in my FIELD/ Have these IDIOTS ever heard of having to take a job because you have to SUPPORT a FAMILY?!?! DO YOU NOT THINK I WOULD RATHER WORK IN MY FIELD?? Part of the reason for my taking this course was because I wanted to get a LEG UP. What a JOKE. I wish I had enrolled elsewhere.
Not worth the Headache
Athabasca University - March 31, 2016
I understand all of the negative reviews here. I took one course from Athabasca University and that was one course too many. I was surprised by how terrible this institution actually is. People here aren't exaggerating! Students receive ZERO support from the faculty. The Tutor assigned to my course was so terrible that I I filed a formal complaint. The Director of the department contacted me to apologize, then proceeded to make excuses as to why the Tutor wasn't doing his job, a job that I was paid over $700 for him to do, I might add. In the end nothing was done to resolve the issues. I've completed a degree from U of A, then years later after making a career change, took a 2 year diploma from NAIT. I would highly recommend both of these schools over Athabasca University, if for no other reason than the quality of education that I received there was far greater than the quality of education Athabasca University was willing to offer me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
worst university in Canada
Athabasca University - March 8, 2016
DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR MONEY OVER AN OPEN FLAME! HOW DOES ONE FAIL A COURSE WITH A 75% AVERAGE IN EVERYTHING ELSE ON 1 ASSIGNMENT??? REALLY???? I HAVE JUST WASTED (AND LOST THOUSANDS) TO THIS SCHOOL TO BE VICTIMIZED REPEATEDLY i.e. ignorant and condescending instructors and underserved ignorant remarks on final assignments! There is NO support from the so-called "faculty" and they help only a select few get through the program! It's pretty sad when no one will stop such insanity therefore jeopardizing this place's reputation. This joke of a school is not even ranked for crying out loud! Word to the wise: ALWAYS select a post secondary university which is classified in Canada's ranking system, otherwise, you may pay a heavenly price like the many of us who are left with double standards, a maxed out credit card and no degree! Select your university wisely that's all I say!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A little shady in my opinion
Undeclared - March 8, 2016
I am attending the University of Calgary and I decided to take an extra class through correspondence in my last semester to fulfill a requirement. I took BIOL 235 (Human Anatomy and Physiology), which was just okay. I had some issues with the grading on my assignments. I emailed the prof for unnecessary marked taken off. The exams and quizzes were all very fair though. Just a word of caution when writing written assignments. ALWAYS be critical of your marker.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Terrible Excuse for an Educational Institution
Athabasca University - February 24, 2016
I am in the process of taking courses needed to get into a graduate program and am extremely dissatisfied with Athabasca University. I have already completed a university degree and did not anticipate having any issues completing online courses, however, this has not been my experience. Not only are there no course lectures provided (where is the $800 per course going?), but your TAs are terrible at responding to questions, so you are essentially teaching yourself all of the material. It takes weeks to get your marked assignments back, and the feedback provided is unhelpful. When you call the help line, you are given generic responses and transferred from department to department. Each time you write an exam or a midterm through an invigilator you pay $50 so the course ends up costing well over $800, which is ridiculous. I am beyond disappointed in Athabasca University not just because of the awful experience that I had, but because they are overcharging for a service that they are not even providing.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good So Far
Bachelor of Human Science-Post Diploma - February 21, 2016
I am currently in the process of completing the post diploma Bachelor of Human Science degree. I started my first course while I was pregnant with my first child and working full time. I was credited for my college diplomas and must complete a total of 45 credits (15-3 credit courses) in order to finish my degree. So far I have completed 4 courses and i will be finished my fifth course in two weeks. I was a little nervous about distance education, but between my job, one little one, another on the way and a household to take care of, physically attending school at this time is just not possible. My first course was a 200 level course. I registered early and was sent the course materials right away. I was also given access to the online materials with the exception of the assignments; this was nice because i was able to learn how to use moodle before the course started. The workload was high and I had to work hard and put in a lot of hours. There was some group work involved and I was nervous about posting my work for others to see, but I quickly realized that some people just weren't putting in any effort. I was really surprised at how lazy some people were and I was also a little angry. We were meant to post our work so others could comment on it and I was to comment on theirs and then i was evaluated on my responses. The deadlines were strict for posting so that everyone would have a chance to reply to the posts and some people didn't even bother posting on time. This was really frustrating as I kept checking back to see if it was posted knowing that I had less and less time to come up with a good response. We weren't penalized for others not doing the work, but it was nerve wracking none the less. I was given 6 months to complete the course and it took me the full 6 months to complete it. For my next three courses, each one also took the full 6 months. It is probably fair to say if I wasn't working full time and taking care of my family I could probably finish each course more quickly. In each course so far, the course objectives are clearly outlined in the syllabus and course handbook and this is where the assignment and exam questions come right from. So far there have been no tricks and no surprises on any of my exams, but I have also followed all the study schedules and carefully learned all of the objectives. I have never attended any other universities, so I have no other point of reference, but I would say that the marking and grading has been more than fair so far. I am currently taking an introductory stats course and it's a tough one for me. I have had to take an extension because i'm slow with the material, but am doing very well so far by following the study schedule and course outline. I check the course forum daily and I am again surprised by the questions that people post. It is very obvious that some people haven't read any of the course material and think that they can just wing it. This is definitely not the case for these courses. You just have to sit down with the material knowing that you have to learn all of the material and the exams and assignments are actually fair, at least they have been for me so far. I am really enjoying my program and courses so far. I will write another review once I have completed my degree in a few more years.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Terrible Distance Learning Staff, Ridiculous Curriculum
Undeclared - February 4, 2016
I just wanted my grade 12 math so I could complete my psychology degree as a mature student 45 yrs old. I had an Alberta High School Teacher as my tutor with 30 years under his belt. He cannot believe how much more difficult the curriculum was than the public school system. The tutors that are supplied from Athabasca are incompetent and inflexible, they are no use to you at all, be prepared to be talked down to. I 100% agree with another review, this place designs its program around making as much money as possible through extension payments and re-writes. The tests are extremely difficult, and the curriculum is so out of line with the real world its ridiculous. Run away, there is easier and cheaper ways to get your grade 12 math.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
MBA - December 29, 2015
After reading some of the negative reviews here I felt compelled to respond with my personal experience regarding Athabasca University. Usually with most things in life, you only get out what you put in, and distance learning requires you to exhibit dedication, perseverance and commitment to the task at hand. I was in the cohort of 1998 for the MBA and found that the courses, instructors and administrators were top notch, equal to the “bricks and mortar” of my previous experience. Textbooks and software for each course module were sent via post ahead of the course start date including a list of required reading, and I personally never had an assignment/exam lost, misplaced, or ungraded. Each course/module had as I recall no more than ten people per group, and they could be anywhere in the world. We used Lotus Notes to communicate with others in our group and to submit assignments/exams, which were prepared using MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Since you were required to participate/interact with members of your small group, the start and stop dates of each module were fixed, so meeting those deadlines was very important. We also had to participate in a certain number (required) of weekend/week long schools to qualify for the residential component of the degree granting process, and I recall Ottawa (ON), Vancouver (BC) and Guadalajara (Jalisco) as some of mine. My fellow students were from extremely diverse backgrounds (breweries, banks, telecoms, physicians, farms and on…) all contributing their own experiences and personalities to the learning process and of course to our group assignments (one per module). Due to a family tragedy I was unable to attend convocation until June of 2002 so unfortunately didn’t get to meet some of my group members in person. That is my only disappointment with this programme (not AU’s fault), the study workload in my case involved about forty five hours per week, a tad more than the twenty to thirty suggested in the AU information materials. All in all, a very rewarding experience for me, but you sure have to have a study plan and follow it religiously, the work load is pretty intense.
Hit and Miss
Computing and Info Systems - December 28, 2015
AU's C++ (that's a computer programming language) is incredibly awful, it's painfully obvious that the guy who wrote it did no more than copy a few references from the text into their course delivery system. And I was really, really floored when the bulk of the exam was LITERALLY an exact copy of one of the homework projects (surely this is not normal. I have never seen it before). When I complained about this, it was clear that AU Admin could not care less. This bothered me more than the poor course itself. So, I am more-or-less set against AU, from this experience. To be fair, I took two other courses from them also, and they were ... OK. I would say, I learned quite a bit and the delivery was OK. I really like the way their web site and system is setup and administratively, everything was good. The cost seems crazily high, but it's comparable to TRU and other unis, and much less than some American unis. However, I was so turned off by C++ that I'm kind of scared to try another one. Also: I find it kind of amazing that AU (and most likely other unis) are SO FAR BEHIND places like Coursera and Udacity in terms of providing videos and proper course notes (though this varies). Really, the ONLY reason I'd use AU, etc. over the MOOC's is the piece of paper. And that's pretty sad, that (in many cases) the unis aren't even trying to update themselves. I can't wait for the day Coursera/Udacity are as recognized as the unis are.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Little human interaction
Undeclared - November 3, 2015
A disappointment. So far I've taken two courses and in both cases I was left with the feeling that I was in it completely alone. COMP200 Introduction to Computing and Information Systems (revision 6) used a mediocre textbook and a handful of make-work projects. The design of the course encouraged minimal interaction with other students (but that's more than its follow-up course). The overall difficulty of the course was probably on the easier side for a first year, introductory course. What was disappointing is that so little thought has gone into encouraging students to engage with each other (other than through trivial, post your thoughts on x, y or z posts). And, there was hardly any tutor/instructor presence. They're now onto revision 7 which includes a much better textbook. If you're in need of an intro to computer studies (not programming!) this is an adequate course. People complaining this is a hard course or the tutors are hard markers probably submitted mediocre work. It was surprising to me to see the crap that people were prepared to post in the forums for their mandatory 'participation' assignments. I'd be plain and simple embarrassed. If the quality of their work was anything to go by, I wouldn't be surprised if they submitted really poor quality assignments too and didn't bother studying. COMP268 Introduction to Computer Programming (Java) (revision 11). All this course was was read the first half of the textbook. There's NO interaction with other students. There's hardly any interaction with the tutors/course coordinator and there's definitely no one even resembling a prof. In terms of difficulty, I'd rate this as a medium 2nd year university course. Not particularly easy. Not particularly hard. Disclosure: I did very well in both courses and am very glad I didn't do my undergraduate degree at Athabasca. What a joke! Overall I've got to say I was disappointed by the process and courses. Tuition for a Canadian university pays for access to experts in their fields. There were no experts to be seen for miles. Getting in touch with the tutors and instructors was an exercise in futility. I'm still debating whether to take any more courses through Athabasca. Tragically they're the only provider of computer science courses on-line in Canada. If that weren't the case I would be somewhere else in a heartbeat. Somewhere where I could feel like I'm learning and could learn from my peers and from the professors. PS I ranked teachers a one because I didn't EVER see a teacher in both courses I took. Not once. Even technology could be considered mediocre at best. These two courses failed to use IT in any meaningful way. Assignments were trivial and there was NO PRACTICE ANYWHERE. The free courses offered by Coursera and Udacity were MUCH better. They actually used such things as on-line program checkers and student feedback to provide feedback. Want to LEARN, got to another institution. Want a credit, go to Athabasca U. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I desperately want to learn but this is the only option to get credits given where I live (I don't have access to universities where I live).
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